Russian Race Round 15

Lewis Hamilton wins the Russian grand prix ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Force India’s Sergio Perez as Mercedes takes the Constructors Championship.

11/10/2015

After his big shunt in saturday practise 3, Carlos Sainz Jr is racing today and is ok. Pastor Maldonado, Felipe Nasr, Marcus Ericsson and Fernando Alonso all start on the Soft compound tyres but the rest of the field start on the Super Soft tyre.

The lights go out and Nico Rosberg, who started on pole position gets a great get away but Lewis Hamilton is close behind and are side by side going into turn 2. Rosberg stays ahead as Nico Hulkenberg spins in the middle of the corner, Max Verstappen is tagged and spins then Marcus Ericsson runs into Hulkenberg. Verstappen continues but Hulkenberg and Ericsson is out. The Safety Car is deployed after Verstappen limps back to the pits with a left rear puncture.

Lap 2, Romain Grosjean pits and goes onto the Soft tyres and gets a new nose. Verstappen finally makes it back to the pits and goes onto the Soft tyres aswell. Rosberg leads ahead of Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen, Valterri Bottas and Sebastian Vettel. Lap 4, the Safety Car comes in as Bottas passes Raikkonen before turn 2.

Lap 5, race leader Rosberg has been on the team radio and says he is having problems with his throttle deployment. Despite his problems, Rosberg sets the fastest lap of the race on lap 6. Lap 7, Hamilton sets the fastest lap as Rosberg runs wide at turn 2 and Hamilton leads. Bottas soon passes Rosberg and then Rosberg pits at the end of the lap and retires, that could be the end of his 2015 World Championship dreams!

Lap 12, a huge crash for Romain Grosjean as he is the wall at the long turn 3. The replay shows the Lotus driver behind Jenson Button, in the slipstream, Grosjean loses the rear of the car, gets on the marbles and impacts with the barrier. The Frenchman is able walk away and is ok but brings out the safety car.

Sergio Perez, Daniel Ricciardo, Carlos Sainz and Jenson Button pit for the Soft tyre. The next lap and Fernando Alonso pits for the Super Soft tyre as Roberto Mehri pits for the Soft tyre.

Lap 17, the Safety Car peels into the pits and Hamilton leads the way. Into turn 2, Vettel overtakes team-mate Raikkonen and into 3rd place. Lap 18 to 22 and Hamilton builds a gap after fastest lap after fastest lap to over 5 seconds. Lap 26, Carlos Sainz is issued with a 5 second time penalty, which will be added to his time at the end, after crossing the white line at the pit entry.

The same lap and Valterri Bottas pits after his tyres are dying. He pits for the Soft tyre as Sebastian Vettel is told to push by his team to uder the finn. Lap 30, after some quick laps, Vettel pits for the Soft tyre and is ahead of Bottas as Vettel exists the pits. Now Raikkonen is told to push as he pits at the end of lap 31. He pits but it’s not enough as Bottas flys past.

Lap 33, race leader Hamilton pits for the Soft tyre. Lap 35 and Sauber’s Felipe Nasr is the last one to pit and is having a strong race on route to some points. Lap 45, Bottas catches and passes one stopping Ricciardo on the way down to turn 2. Lap 46, Sainz spins at turn 10 and rejoins, brake problems?

Lap 47, Sainz is into the barrier again as he spins at turn 13 and loses a piece of his rear wing which is on the track. A marshal recovers it as Sainz pits and retires. Lap 48, Raikkonen passes Ricciardo before turn 2 and up to 4th. Lap 49, Ricciardo has stopped in Sector 2 as he has suspected suspension failure and is out. The same lap and Raikkonen sets the fastest lap as he tries to catch up with Bottas, who is behind Perez in 3rd.

Lap 53, final lap and Bottas passes Perez for 3rd and so does Raikkonen. Raikkonen tries to pass Bottas from a long way back, Raikkonen clips the rear of Bottas’s car and he is out, Raikkonen still continues but he is limping around and Perez takes 3rd back! Hamilton wins ahead of Vettel and Perez.

Race Result

1.Hamilton  2.Vettel  3.Perez  4.Massa  5.Kvyat  6.Nasr  7.Maldonado  8.Raikkonen*  9.Button  10.Verstappen  11.Alonso*  12.Bottas  13.Merhi  14.Stevens  15.Ricciardo*  DNF Sainz, Grosjean, Rosberg, Hulkenberg and Ericsson

Raikkonen* orignally finished 5th but was given a 30 second penalty added to his race time with his last lap collision with Bottas.

Alonso* got a 5 second penalty for exceeding track limits, pushing him down from 10th to 11th.

Ricciardo* orignally retired but was classified 15th.

Drivers Championship

1.Hamilton 302pts  2.Vettel 236pts  3.Rosberg 229pts  4.Raikkonen 123pts  5.Bottas 111pts

My View

Mercedes only needed 3 more points than Ferrari this weekend and with Kimi Raikkonen’s penalty they did and that means that they are Constructors Champion 2015!

Great race by Lewis Hamilton to lead the championship by 66 points. Surely Nico Rosberg’s championship is well and truly over, he is 73 points behind Hamilton. Amazing race by Felipe Nasr to 6th place. A fantastic recovery drive by Carlos Sainz after his big crash in Saturday practise 3 and was about to score points as brake failure put a stop to that.

The next race is on the 23rd – 25th October in Austin, United States.

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