Lewis Hamilton Wins Russian GP; Takes 50-point Championship Lead but is Unhappy with Team Orders
A win and a 50-point cushion in the driver’s championship may be desirable for some drivers but not Lewis Hamilton. The Silver Arrows driver was not too pleased with the outcome.
Mercedes had a front-row lock-out with Valtteri Bottas on pole. But as the drivers approached lap 25, Bottas was instructed to let Hamilton, who was being pressured by Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari, pass.
Bottas was not too happy with team orders either and made it known to the team.
Hamilton said this after race and securing his 70th Grand Prix win: “Valtteri did a fantastic job all weekend and he was a real gentleman to let me by. It has been a great weekend for the team. Usually I would be elated. But I can understand how difficult it was for Valtteri.”
Race highlights :
“Championship-wise we are trying to win both championships. It doesn’t feel spectacular, but I know he is going to do a great job in the races to come.” The victory ceremony was demure with both drivers giving each other smiles.
This is what Bottas had to say, diplomatically: “Difficult day. It was a good result for us as a team; we got maximum points. But everyone saw it, it was a difficult race.
“For sure we always go through all the scenarios, Lewis is fighting for the championship, and we are fighting for the constructors’ championship. We always have a plan. It’s always difficult to predict what is going to happen. It is what it is.”
Russian president Vladimir Putin with ex-F1 chief, Bernie Ecclestone.
Bottas, Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen finished in that order. Max Verstappen of Red Bull, who was celebrating his 21st birthday, drove brilliantly to secure fifth place after starting 19th on the grid, caused by penalties for using too many engine parts.
Birthday boy Max Verstappen with team boss Christian Horner and some Russian pals.
Teammate Daniel Ricciardo came in sixth. Ferrari-bound Charles Leclerc finished seven while Haas’ Kevin Magnussen was eight. Force India continued its upbeat form with Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez, completing the race in ninth and tenth respectively.
The Japanese GP is on the 7th of October. The track has been a happy hunting ground for Hamilton and Vettel with four wins apiece. Who will win their fifth Japanese GP and go on to win their 5th driver’s championship? Tell us your prediction.