Mercedes-AMG on Sunday continued its 100% winning streak at the Russian Grand Prix, which served as round 10 of the 2020 Formula One World Championship.
Valtteri Bottas was the first to cross the finish line at the race held in Sochi, though he benefited from some bad luck for teammate and pole sitter Lewis Hamilton who managed to recover from receiving two five-second time penalties to finish third, 22.7 seconds behind Bottas.
Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen split the two Mercedes drivers, finishing second some 7.7 seconds behind Bottas. For Verstappen, it was his first podium finish at the Russian Grand Prix.
Hamilton received two penalties for a pair of practice starts he made prior to the race in an incorrect area. In addition to the time penalties, Hamilton also lost two points on his Super License, bringing him just two points shy of the 12 in 12 months that would trigger a race ban. Stewards later added back the points after they determined Hamilton made the practice starts in the incorrect area based on team orders.
Bottas started the race at third but quickly passed Verstappen in second to then challenge Hamilton in the lead. McLaren’s Carlos Sainz ran off the track early and crashed into a barrier when trying to rejoin, ending his race.
2020 Formula One Russian Grand Prix
Racing Point’s Lance Stroll was also out just two laps later, this time when he received a tap from the right rear side from Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, sending him into a wall. This prompted the safety car to come out. Leclerc was able to carry out without a penalty.
Racing resumed on lap six and then one lap later, Hamilton, still in the lead, received his time penalties. He pushed harder to build up a gap and was eventually called in to the pits on lap 16. He rejoined the race at 11th, some 35 seconds behind Bottas who was now in the lead.
Hamilton managed to fight his way up the field and was in third by lap 32 of the 53-lap race. He couldn’t catch Verstappen who himself was trying to catch Bottas. Further down there was a nice battle between Racing Point’s Sergio Perez and Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo, with Perez ultimately coming out on top to finish fourth, with Ricciardo finishing fifth.
Despite the weekend’s upset, Hamilton still has a comfortable lead in the 2020 Drivers’ Championship. He sits on 205 points versus the 161 of Bottas and 128 of Verstappen. In the Constructors’ Championship, Mercedes leads with 366 points versus the 192 of Red Bull and 106 of McLaren.
The revised 2020 season resumes in a fortnight’s time in Germany with the special Eifel Grand Prix, to be held at the Nürburgring’s grand prix circuit. It’s the first time the circuit will be on the F1 calendar since 2013.
Mercedes-AMG’s Valtteri Bottas at the 2020 Formula One Russian Grand Prix
Below are the full results from the 2020 Formula One Russian Grand Prix:
1) Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes-AMG
2) Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing +7.729 seconds
3) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG +22.729 seconds
4) Sergio Perez, Racing Point +30.558 seconds
5) Daniel Ricciardo, Renault +52.065 seconds
6) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari +62.186 seconds
7) Esteban Ocon, Renault +68.006 seconds
8) Daniil Kvyat, AlphaTauri +68.740 seconds
9) Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri +89.766 seconds
10) Alexander Albon, Red Bull Racing +97.860 seconds
11) Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo +1 lap
12) Kevin Magnussen, Haas +1 lap
13) Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari +1 lap
14) Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo +1 lap
15) Lando Norris, McLaren +1 lap
16) Nicholas Latifi, Williams +1 lap
17) Romain Grosjean, Haas +1 lap
18) George Russell, Williams +1 lap
NC) Lance Stroll, Racing Point DNF
NC) Carlos Sainz, McLaren DNF