Russian GP: Lewis Hamilton leads Mercedes one-two finish to end Ferrari’s 3-race winning run

first_img Next Associated Press SochiSeptember 29, 2019UPDATED: September 29, 2019 19:06 IST Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium after finishing 1st at Russian GP. (Reuters Photo)HIGHLIGHTSLewis Hamilton finished in a Mercedes one-two in RussiaWith this win, Hamilton stretched his lead to 73 points in drivers’ championshipFerrari’s Charles Leclerc finished third as his teammate Sebastian Vettel retired on 28th lapLewis Hamilton coasted to a comfortable victory and led a Mercedes one-two finish at the Russian Grand Prix on Sunday to tighten his grip on a sixth World Championship.In a calamitous few laps for Ferrari, the Italian team threw away a possible one-two finish of its own after Sebastian Vettel broke down and Charles Leclerc dropped from first to third.Valtteri Bottas followed team-mate Hamilton home at the Sochi Autodrome as Mercedes secured the full quota of points. Hamilton now leads Bottas in the championship by 73 points with just 130 remaining. Leclerc is 107 points behind the British driver.Max Verstappen finished fourth ahead of Red Bull team-mate Alex Albon, who started last after he crashed out during qualifying.Ferrari had already got themselves into a needless mess before Vettel retired with an engine failure on lap 28.Vettel got the jump on pole-sitter Leclerc on the long drag down to the second corner but a curious pre-race arrangement had Leclerc calling for the roles to be reversed.It appears that the team had agreed that if Vettel benefited from Leclerc’s slipstream and moved ahead of the Frenchman off the start line, he would have to concede the position.Ferrari were on the radio to tell Vettel to let Leclerc by, but the four-time world champion resisted the order.Leclerc protested over the radio.”You put me behind and I respected everything,” he said. “We will talk later.”The Ferrari pit wall were on to Vettel again, but again the German refused to let his teammate pass, fearing that he would be exposed to Hamilton in third place if he slowed down.advertisementLeclerc was the first to stop on lap 22, but instead of calling in Vettel the next time around Vettel was left on old tires as his teammate put in several fast laps on his fresh tires.Four laps after Leclerc pitted, Vettel was eventually called in and by the time he emerged he had fallen behind his teammate and into second place.Just moments later disaster struck as Vettel broke down with an engine failure.It was then to get worse for the Scuderia. With Vettel’s broken down machine in a precarious position, the virtual safety car was deployed to slow down the field, allowing Hamilton, who had yet to pit, a free stop for tires and the lead of the race.Leclerc, meanwhile, declined to blame the team or his teammate for the mid-race drama.”I will always trust the team but the tactic was me giving the slipstream and for us to be one-two, which happened, but then I don’t know. I need to speak to the team to know the situation better.”Standing in the drivers’ championshipLewis Hamilton 322Valtteri Bottas 249Charles Leclerc 215Max Verstappen 212Sebastian Vettel 194Also Read | Russian GP: Charles Leclerc emulates Michael Schumacher with 4th pole in a rowAlso Read | Great job, really happy for you: Hamilton congratulates Vettel for Singapore GP winFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAnita Jat Russian GP: Lewis Hamilton leads Mercedes one-two finish to end Ferrari’s 3-race winning runLewis Hamilton’s closest rival and Mercedes team mate Valtteri Bottas took second place, with Hamilton also banking an extra point for the fastest lap.advertisementlast_img

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