With a victory at the Russian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton has now surpassed his childhood hero, Ayrton Senna, with 42 victories. The 2-time champ seems to be putting the final touches on his third world championship after teammate, Nico Rosberg, suffered a throttle issue leaving him with a DNF for Sunday’s race. Lewis had some rear-wing niggles but nothing that could stop him from taking the top step of the podium just ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Force India’s Sergio Perez.
Mercedes has now clinched the Constructor’s Championship thanks to a post-race penalty for Kimi Raikkonen who clashed with Williams F1 driver and fellow Fin, Valtteri Bottas on the final lap. Raikkonen limped home in 5th but was handed a 3-place penalty to finish 8th.
The surprise of the race may be the beneficiary of that Finnish Fling in the form of Force India’s Sergio Perez who sluiced his way through the Finnish carnage and claimed the final podium step giving the team a desperately needed third place and more importantly, big points which equals cash. It also gives some hope in closing in on 4th in the Constructor’s Championship.
A big win for Lewis who moved ahead of Ayrton Senna in total wins and now sits equal with rival Sebastian Vettel at 42. Mercedes also clinched its second world Constructor’s Championship title with Lewis’s victory and Kimi Raikkonen’s penalty.
A huge win for Force India who hasn’t seen a podium since 2014 and proved once again just how good Perez is at tire management as well as race craft. The Mexican will head to his home grand prix in a few weeks a real hero.
A win for hometown hero Daniil Kvyat who drove a measured and tidy race to finish 5th at his home race. It’s also a win for the man just ahead of him in 4th as Felipe Mass had a nice recovery drive and benefitted from his teammate’s circumstances to claim 4th.
A win for McLaren Honda, while benefitting from attrition in the race, claimed two points-scoring positions—initially as Alonso was penalized dropping him out of the points.
A win for Roberto Mehri who replaced Alexander Rossi and bested teammate Will Stevens, just as Rossi had done, on his return to the seat at Manor Marussia.
Finally, it was a win for Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari to claim second with their fourth podium in a row and with Nico Rosberg’s DNF, they also take over second place in the driver’s title race.
A big win for Sauber’s Felipe Nasr who scored points and drove and excellent race to preserve tires and manage his pace. Great job given Ericsson was collected and out on lap one.
A win for Carlos Sainz who managed to race on Sunday after that 46g crash in FP3. He was looking great all race until a brake failure ended it to soon.
Mercedes reliability has been bullet-proof on average but there have been a few issues this year and mainly at the hands of Nico Rosberg who suffered a throttle problem. It’s difficult in F1 but when you’re trying to battle for the title, it doesn’t help when these things happen. Nico looked unhappy, as anyone would be, and I wonder just how long he is for the world at Mercedes given he just can’t seem to get a leg up on Lewis Hamilton. He now knows what it is like to be in Rubens Barrichello’s shoes—is it better to be a number two at Mercedes or a number one at a lower-performing team?
A fail for Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen who felt his incident with Bottas was just a racing deal but clearly the Fin wasn’t going to be able to make that passing opportunity stick. It has raised comments about being daft and trying a no-win situation versus the inevitable Senna comment about not taking a chance when you see it and how that means you aren’t a real racer. Regardless, the stewards weren’t impressed handing him a 3-place penalty.
A fail for Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg who entered this weekend with only a point difference between he and teammate Sergio Perez. Hulk spun on turn two and ended his race lodged on the side of Marcus Ericsson’s Sauber ending both of their races. Perez’s podium now moves him 10 points clear of Hulk.
Romain Grosjean also get a fail for his spin at turn three. Thankfully he is ok because that was a big shunt.
Not a lot of WTH moments but surely the Finnish Fling between Raikkonen and Bottas was worthy as was the turn two spin for Hulk as well as perhaps the penalty for Alonso for cutting the chicane after being warned spoiling a dual-points finish.
Perhaps you could argue the hats on the podium ceremony were a bit of a WTH but who am I to judge Russian Haute Couture? However, the handshake with Vlad Putin after the race were a little awkward. Lewis was congenial but Vettel seemed a little wary of the horse-riding shirtless president. It looked like Vladimir was enjoying the race and seemed genuinely convivial even sitting with F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone for the start of the race. Good for him, he’s put a lot of cash behind this race and will now possibly light it up for the night race in 2017.
|1||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||53||1h 37:11.024|
|3||Sergio Pérez||Force India/Mercedes||53||28.918|
|5||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||53||47.566|
|10||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||53||1:28.424|
|13||Roberto Merhi||Marussia/Ferrari||52||1 Lap|
|14||Will Stevens||Marussia/Ferrari||51||2 Laps|
|15||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||47||Suspension|
|–||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||45||Brakes|
|–||Romain Grosjean||Lotus/Mercedes||11||Spun off|
|–||Nico Hülkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||0||Collision|
Hat Tip: AUTOSPORT for final results.