Lewis Hamilton wins the Russian GP and clinches his 70th victory as a result of a team order by Mercedes. Sebastian Vettel settles for third, as he lacked the raw pace to attack the Silver Arrows.
Valtteri Bottas was the author of a clean start, while Sebastian Vettel attempted to challenge Hamilton for P2, but the Briton prevailed. Leclerc shone bright at the start, as he managed to gain two positions, first on Esteban Ocon, as the two engaged in a fiery duel, and then on Kevin Magnussen for P5.
The award for most impressive racer of the day goes to Max Verstappen, who carved through the field up to P10 in 3 laps, whereas his teammate Daniel Ricciardo was still stuck at the bottom.
Lewis Hamilton caught Vettel and reclaims his P2 after being pipped by Vettel and Ferrari’s undercut. Bottas tried slowing Vettel down to favour Hamilton
Vettel was put under investigation for moving under braking during his defense from Hamilton, but no further action was taken towards the German. As for Mercedes’ intra-team politics, Valtteri Bottas was told to let Hamilton through in the course of lap 23, in order to keep Vettel behind.
Force India’s closest rival was Kevin Magnussen today. Both Perez and Ocon did not manage to attack him, therefore Perez was forced to give his position back to his teammate, as he could not get into the DRS window to the Dane.
Max Verstappen stopped on the 46th lap, switching to the US tyre. Unlike he did on Softs, the Dutchman did not manage to extract the same amount of performance from the purple-banded Pirelli, therefore he could not close in on Raikkonen.
In the closing stages of the race, Bottas asked his race engineer how the race was going to end, suggesting a possible switch. However, the pit wall decided not to intervene and gift Hamilton with 25 points, which will turn out to be quite handy at the end of the season. Shades of Todt-Barrichello, as Toto Wolff spoke to Bottas via radio to justify his blatantly-performed team orders.
Here is the official race classification, with Charles Leclerc being the best of the rest in 7th. Force India unsuccessfully completed its assault towards Magnussen, but managed to beat Grosjean and the Renaults, who are currently 4th in the standings.