Valtteri Bottas wins Russian Grand Prix after Hamilton’s penalties

Just like Mugello two weeks ago, chaos ensued on the first lap with multiple crashes. Also, Lewis Hamilton suffered another penalty, vaulting his teammate, Valtteri Bottas, to a victory, his second on the season.  

For the fifth time in the last six races, the safety car was deployed on lap one as Carlos Sainz slammed into the wall with McLaren teammate Lando Norris suffering damage as well. Lance Stroll also crashed after contact with Charles Leclerc, ending his day early for the second race in a row. Sainz also was forced to retire. Norris and Alexander Albon restarted at the bottom.

On lap seven, after Hamilton pulled away from Bottas, two five-second time penalties were issued on Hamilton for start violations during practice. They are combined to add 10 seconds of time onto Hamilton’s pit stop.

On lap 15, Sergio Perez passed Daniel Ricciardo for fifth place. Ricciardo would pit two laps later. Hamilton came into the pits on lap 17 to serve his penalty. Hamilton came out of the pits in 11th place behind Sebastian Vettel. Bottas took the lead with a four-second gap over Max Verstappen.

Verstappen pitted on lap 26 followed by Bottas one lap later. Leclerc ran in second on older medium tires, about five seconds behind Bottas. On lap 28, Ricciardo suffered a five-second penalty for passing teammate Esteban Ocon beyond the kerb.

Bottas continued to dominate as after Leclerc pitted, he held a 12-second lead over Verstappen.

Despite a late charge from Verstappen, Bottas would win comfortably, winning his second race of the season (other was the Austrian Grand Prix). He would also receive an extra point for the fastest lap of the race. Verstappen finished second, his seventh podium of 2020.

After serving his penalty, Hamilton worked his way to third place but could not gain on Verstappen, finishing fourth.

Perez finished fourth and Ricciardo finished fifth despite his penalty.

After wrecking the last three races, Leclerc finished, placing sixth. Ocon finished seventh.

Daniil Kvyat finished eighth on his home track while his teammate Gasly finished ninth after a three-way battle between him, Norris and Albon for ninth and tenth place. Albon finished 10th as Norris’ tires locked up while battling for position. Norris finished 15th.

Formula 1 will head to Nurburgring, Germany for the Eifel Grand Prix in two weeks.  

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