Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes team took advantage of starting on medium tires and a virtual safety car to take the win in Russia at the Sochi Grand Prix. Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas finised in second, with Ferrari pole winner Charles Leclerc rounding out the podium. The win is Hamilton’s ninth of the 2019 season and leaves Sochi with a commanding 73 point lead in the driver’s standings going into the next round in Japan.
Ferrari had an absolutely brilliant plan at the start of the Grand Prix Sunday, as Sebastian Vettel bolted to the lead at the start with teammate Charles Leclerc behind him. However, when Vettel was asked to hand the lead back to his teammate, he refused. The Ferrari duo would continue to lead one-two until the first round of pit stops.
Leclerc pitted before Vettel, and after some fast lap times on new tires, Vettel pitted and would surely lose the lead to his younger teammate. Disaster struck the Ferrari team as Vettel pitted. An energy recovery system issue forced Vettel to stop the car on course bringing out a virtual safety car. The Mercedes team jumped at the opportunity and pitted both Hamilton and Bottas. This resulted in both of them jumping Leclerc on track, securing them the one-two finish.
Red Bull Racing teammates Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon finished in fourth and fifth respectively, while McLaren’s Carlos Sainz finished in sixth. Sergio Perez finished in seventh, scoring points for the third time in the last four races.
The series travels to Japan in two weeks time for the Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix October 11th thru the 13th.
Featured Image Credit: Formula 1
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