Bottas pips Verstappen to take the win at Sochi
Mercedes-AMG Petronas’ Valtteri Bottas ended an eight-race win-less run at Sochi, benefitting from a penalty for his polesitting teammate Lewis Hamilton, leaving the six-time champion third at the flag, as Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen claimed his first ever podium at Sochi in P2. Additionally, Bottas also took the fastest lap bonus point to leave Russia with 11 points more than Hamilton.
Hamilton began the race on the back foot, after a pair of practice start infringements on his laps to the grid led to him being handed a 10-second penalty mid-race, ruling him out of contention for the win. Bottas, meanwhile, had passed Verstappen for second at the race start, before benefitting from Hamilton’s penalty to enjoy an untroubled run to the chequered flag for the ninth win of his career, at the venue where he scored his first back in 2017. It would have been an important confidence booster for Bottas, too, with the Finn’s previous victory having come at the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix back in July.
Behind the podium positions, a quiet but effective race for BWT Racing Point’s Sergio Perez saw him come home fourth, while despite having a five-second penalty hanging over him for not running through the Turn 3 rejoining bollards after going off the track, Renault DP World’s Daniel Ricciardo had enough pace in hand to maintain P5 at the flag, ahead of Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow’s Charles Leclerc in sixth.
Esteban Ocon passed his Renault team mate at the start for P4, but eventually fell to P7 (his starting position) at the chequered flag, ahead of Scuderia Alphatauri’s Daniil Kvyat. Rounding out the top 10, a late stop from Kyvat’s teammate Pierre Gasly allowed him to battle through to P9, passing Red Bull’s Alex Albon, who finished P10, having started P15 after receiving a five-race penalty for changing his gearbox.
Ultimately, it’s another two-week gap until the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix, which will be held at the Nurburgring for the first time since 2013. The last time we raced at the track, it was Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull who triumphed at the iconic venue – but who will take the honours there on October 11? We’re as excited as you are to find out!
Note: Provisional results. Bottas scored an additional point for setting the fastest lap of the race. Ricciardo and Albon received 5-second time penalties for rejoining the track incorrectly.