page contents

Russian Grand Prix (F1) – Day 3

Race day at the Russian Grand Prix could not have come sooner for the Mercedes. Both their drivers looked good leading up to the race. Hamilton had survived a scare in the qualifying session, and secured pole position thereon. Bottas started on the second row of the grid in 3rd. The two Mercedes were split by the Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. It was only the second time in 2020 that the audience got a chance to witness Hamilton versus Verstappen at the start of a race.

A quick reminder of the starting positions of the drivers:

Opening Lap

Bottas started the race well, passing Verstappen before heading into Turn 1. Esteban Ocon was another driver to gain places at the start of the race moving swiftly into 4th. Bottas tried to make a move for first place on Turn 2, but could not make the move stick. Ocon and Verstappen’s battle led to the Dutchman going wide, but he recovered and slotted back into 3rd. Carlos Sainz went wide on Turn 2 as well, but in trying to avoid the bollards, hit a wall and spun onto the middle of the track. Charles Leclerc tagged Lance Stroll on Turn 4 sending him into the barriers. The safety car was out on the track in Lap 1.

Also Read: Russian Grand Prix (F1) – Day 2

Hamilton’s weekend turned sour as he was awarded two 5 second penalties for practice starts outside the designated area.  Ricciardo suffered a 5 second penalty as well. Instructions to Ocon from the team were to let Ricciardo pass, but he ran off track and failed to go through the bollards when he rejoined.

Significant Pit Stops

After Lewis Hamilton pitted and served his penalty on Lap 16, Bottas led the race, behind him Verstappen. Hamilton rejoined the race in 11th place. Verstappen pitted on Lap 25 and rejoined in 4th right infront of Hamilton, who had made his way up to 5th place by then. Bottas hit the pits in Lap 26 and comfortably rejoined in the lead.

Verstappen and Hamilton passed those ahead of them, except the race leader, and moved into 2nd and 3rd place respectively by Lap 32. The gap between them was not small though. Bottas led Verstappen by 12 seconds who led Hamilton by 9 seconds himself.

Engaging Battles on Track

The best battle which occurred during the race was between Lando Norris, Alex Albon and Pierre Gasly in Lap 45. Norris in 9th place, was defending his place against Albon. Gasly caught up to Albon, as he was caught behind Norris’ defense. In a space of just 5 turns, Albon went from attacking Norris to defending against Gasly. His compromised position allowed Gasly to pass him with ease. Gasly went on to pass Norris in Lap 45, and then Albon did the same as well.

The race results were as follows:

Mercedes once again dominated the Russian Grand Prix, as they have since its inception in 2014. Hamilton will be a disappointed man despite the podium finish, as he could not tie Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 wins.

The Driver Standings at the end of Round 10 looked as follows:

Lewis Hamilton still awaits his 91st victory. Will the win at Sochi inspire Bottas to knock some more points off Hamilton’s lead? We have to wait 2 weeks to find out at the Eifel Grand Prix in Germany, at the famous Nurburgring.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: