Russian GP - Sunday - Race Notes

Bottas takes first win in Russia

 

By Mark Karp

Valtteri Bottas stormed to the lead and won the Russian Grand Prix over polesittering Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel by 0.6 seconds to win his maiden Grand Prix victory in the Mercedes GP.

Kimi Raikkonen was third in his Ferarri, 11.0s behind.

Bottas held on to win his first race in his 82nd start, after five seasons in Formula One. Vettel extents his lead in the world championship over Hamilton by 13 points, while Bottas moves into third over Raikkonen. Mercedes retakes the lead in the constructors by one point over Ferrari.

Lewis Hamilton (36.3s) in the other Mercedes had an off day, and finished in fourth place, followed by Max Verstappen (1m00.4s) in the Red Bull finished fifth, Sergio Perez (1m26.7s) in the Force India-Mercedes was sixth, his team mate Esteban Ocon (1m35.0s) was seventh, Nico Hulkenberg (1m36.1s) in the Renault was eighth, Felipe Massa (1 lap) in the Williams-Mercedes was ninth, and Carlos Sainz in the Toro Rosso-Renault finished in the final points position in tenth place.

Before the start, Ferrari took the front row on Saturday with Vettel on pole alongside Raikkonen in the second spot - the first front row for Ferrai since 2008 - can Ferrari take the win in a track that has been dominated by Mercedes in prior races. All the front runner on ulta soft Pirelli tyres.

On thr formation lap Alonso pulls to the side of the track with an engine problem, and an extra formation lap is called, and the race field comes around again.

The drivers line up for a second time, the lights go out and the race begins, with Vettel gets a giid start, but Bottas gets a better one and takes the lead into the first corner ahead of Vettel, Raikkonen, Hamilton and Verstappen.

Grosjean and Palmer comes together, and are out - the safety car is deployed. Further in the lap Stroll spins but continues. Vandoorne dives to the pits.

At the end of lap 3 the safety car came in and the run resumed with Bottas in the led.

On lap 5 Ricciardo is suffering problems with his rear brakes smoking - he slows and pits.

The field remained the same, and started to space out in front.

On lap 7 Bottas set fast lap at 1m38.837s.

At lap 10 Bottas leads Vettel by 3.3 seconds, followed by Raikkonen (7.6s), Hamilton (9.5s), Verstappen (18.4s), Massa (23.2s), Perez (27.2), Ocon (30.1s), Hulkenberg (33.9s) and Magnussen (39.7s) in tenth place.

Magnussen is handed a five-second penalty from the first lap, as well as Vandoorne with a five-second penalty.

Mercedes tells Hamilton that his pace is good, but to watch out for the car’s temperatures.

On lap 16 Vettel sets fast lap at 1m38.629s, as he follows Bottas by 4.4 seconds.

Bottas responds the next lap and sets fast lap at 1m38.404s, then Hamilton on the next lap at 1m38.398s, as Hamilton tells the team that his temperatures have gone up again.

Vettel complains of blisters on his front left tyres.

On lap 19 Bottas sets fast lap at 1m37.350s.

At lap 20 Bottas leads Vettel by 5.6 seconds, followed by Raikkonen (10.9s), Hamilton (14.0s), Verstappen (32.0s), Massa (40.0s), Perez (45.8s), Ocon (49.6s), Hulkenberg (54.2s) and Magmussen (61.5s).

On lap 21 Massa pits from sixth place, switching to super soft tyres - Magnussen and Kvyat pit as well - Magnussen taking his five-second penalty.

On lap 23 Vettel sets fast lap at 1m38.19s.

On lap 24 Sainz pits, while Vettel has closed the gap to Bottas to 3.2 seconds.

On lap 27 Ocon pits from seventh place, switching to super soft tyres. Stoll pits as well.

On lap 28 as the gap closes to 2.5 seconds, Bottas pits from the lead switching to super soft tyres - rejoining in fourth behind Hamilton.

Perez pits as well from sixth place.

Raikkonen complains “the rear is going”.

On lap 30 Raikkonen pits from seconds place, switching to super soft tyres.

Bottas sets fast lap at 1m38.172s.

Verstappen pits for super soft tyres and rejoins in fifth place.

On lap 31 Hamilton pits from second place, switching to super soft tyres.

On lap 31 Raikkonen sets fast lap at 1m37.372s.

Ferrari tells Vettel, “we stay out, pace is very good”.

On lap 35 Vettel’s gap over Bottas is 20.3 seconds, as Vettel pits from the lead and switches to super soft tyres, and rejoins in second.

At lap 35 Bottas leads Vettel by 4.6 seconds, followed by Raikkonen (7.6s), Hamilton (22.4s), Verstappen (43.9s), Hulkenberg (50.8s), Massa (58.8s), Perez (66.0s), Ocon (72.8s) and Sainz (86.2s) in tenth place.

38 lap in and Hulkenberg has still yet to pit with his ultra soft tyres.

On lap 39 with Bottas locking up his tyres at turn 13, Vettel is now 1.8s behind the Finn.

On lap 41 Hulkenberg finally pits for super soft tyres.

Vettel continues to lap faster than Bottas, and is closing in. Massa pits with a puncture and switches back to ultra soft tyres - he rejoins in ninth.

At lap 45 Bottas leads Vettel by 1.7 seconds, followed by Raikkonen (9.3s), Hamilton (26.1s), Verstappen (54.8s), Perez (78.6s), Ocon (86.7s), Hulkenberg (89.7s), Massa (92.9s) and Sainz (1 lap) in tenth place.

At lap 47 the gap to Vettel is down to 1.3 seconds. On lap 48 Vettel sets fast lap at 1m37.329s.

On lap 49 Raikkonen sets fast lap at 1m36.844s.

On lap 51 Vettel closes to DRS range on 0.8 seconds as the Ferrari is breathing down Bottas’ tail, with two laps remaining.

Closing the line for the final lap with a 0.9s gap, Bottas passes the back marker Massa, while Vettel does not get through - Bottas takes the win just ahead of Vettel. Raikkonen finishes third.


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