Ambient 18° Track 27° Humidity 46% Wind 1.5 m/s
3 points over Ferrari was all Mercedes needed to claim WCC honours today, as gloomy weather dominated the paddock. Carlos Sainz was given medical clearance to race and with several out of place cars it was possible that some small modicum of racing might happen in Sochi.
In words that will surprise no one, Lewis Hamilton has claimed yet another suffocating win, his 42nd equaling Sebastian Vettel. Surprise 1 is that Vettel took P2 as Rosberg suffered a throttle damper failure (tinfoil alert) early in the race that forced his retirement. Surprise 2 was the unexpected podium for Sergio Perez thanks to the temporary loss of sanity by both Valterri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen going into T1 of the final lap, resulting in Bottas being out of the race and Raikkonen limping in P5, barring the steward’s verdict. The biggest surprise, though was the sudden and unexpected decision by many drivers to play bumper cars instead of F1.
A huge shunt at the start caused by Nico Hulkenberg’s brought a lap 1 Safety Car, which would see additional duties when Romain Grosjean thoroughly destroyed his car on lap 14. A late Safety Car was only avoided when a marshal ventured on to track to retrieve Carlos Sainz’ rear wing endplate, which had flopped loose on track. Thankfully a fairly alert Vettel was able to avoid the marshal and deliver an acerbic response at the same time.
Congratulations to Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes and stay tuned for a slightly more detailed look at the race.
Have fun arguing Raikkonen v Bottas in the comments (nicely) and stay tuned for the update!
It’s all Kimi’s fault. Apparently he’s been watching too many Verstappen highlights and got it in his head if he just drove at the corner fast enough, much like the Delorean in Back to the Future, he would travel in time and arrive at the corner ahead of Bottas. Sadly, he was completely wrong and is demoted into 8th as a result of a 30 second penalty assessed against him for causing a collision. The demotion also clinches the WCC for Mercedes, at least according to Sky who are reporting that they think that’s the case, unless their maths are wrong. Good luck working that one out!!!