Hamilton wins after team mate Nico Rosberg’s car falters. Kimi Raikkonen receives penalty demotion, giving Mercedes their second successive constructors’ championship.
SOCHI, RUSSIA (OCTOBER 11, 2015) (FOM) – Lewis Hamilton won a dramatic Russian Formula One Grand Prix on Sunday (October 11) to take a huge step towards his third world championship after Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg retired early on with throttle failure.
After Ferrari received a post-race penalty, Hamilton’s win was enough to net Mercedes their second successive constructor’s world championship title.
The win was Hamilton’s ninth of the season, and the 42nd of his career, and the Briton’s untroubled afternoon was a stark contrast to his German team mate’s woes.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finished runner-up at the Olympic Park circuit to overtake Rosberg as Hamilton’s closest rival, 66 points adrift of the Briton with four races and a maximum 100 points remaining.
If results go Hamilton’s way, he can secure his second successive title in Austin, Texas, in two weeks’ time.
Hamilton, who also won the inaugural Russian Grand Prix last year and has now surpassed the tally of victories racked up by the late triple champion Ayrton Senna, now has 302 points to Vettel’s 236 and Rosberg on 229.
Rosberg had led from pole, holding off Hamilton through the opening corners, but was forced to retire in the pits on the seventh of 53 laps.
Hamilton had already taken over the lead as Rosberg wrestled with the problem but his advantage was whittled away when Frenchman Romain Grosjean crashed heavily on lap 12 and brought out the safety car.
It was the second safety car period of the race after deployed after Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg spun on the opening lap and was hit by the Sauber of Marcus Ericsson with Max Verstappen’s Toro Rosso also caught up in the action.
After the second safety car Hamilton maintained his lead to the end but there was action behind him.
Mexican Sergio Perez finished third for Force India after Finnish drivers Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen collided on the last lap while battling for the final podium place.
Raikkonen crossed the line fifth for Ferrari, but he later received a 30 second penalty which demoted him from fifth to eighth place for causing a collision.
Perez had thought his podium hopes had gone when Bottas and Raikkonen, on fresher tyres, passed him in the closing laps but the collision put him right back for his first top three finish of the season.
“One lap before the end it seemed like everything went away from us. I was very unhappy with myself but in the end I thought ”I gave it all”,” said the Mexican.
“I did plenty of laps with my tyres and had massive degradation. On the last lap when it came it was just amazing.”
Brazilian Felipe Massa finished fourth for Williams while Russian Daniil Kvyat was seventh for Red Bull.
Raikkonen is now given eighth place ahead of Sauber’s Brazilian Felipe Nasr and Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado in a Lotus.
Struggling McLaren received a boost when Jenson Button finished ninth but team mate Fernando Alonso also received a penalty, five seconds this time for cutting a corner, which drops him to 11th.
Spanish rookie Carlos Sainz, fresh from a night in hospital after crashing his Toro Rosso in practice, had been heading for his best result after running as high as seventh but retired eight laps from the end.
Winner Hamilton received the winner’s trophy on the podium.from Russian president Vladimir Putin.
“It looked like we were going to have a race and I was thinking this is great and we were going to put on a good show,” said the Briton afterwards.
“Nico made a mistake at turn one and went wide. I overtook him and after that, or maybe even before, he started to have some problems. It is very unfortunate for the team.”
“Those last five laps I was just taking it in. I don’t know how many times I’ll be in this position again,” added the current champion.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel said:
Result from the Formula One GP Russia on Sunday.
Update after 30 second penalty of Raikkonen.
1. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1:37:11.024
2. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Ferrari +00:05.953
3. Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India – Mercedes 00:28.918
4. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams-Mercedes 00:38.831
5. Daniil Kvyat (Russia) RedBull – Renault 00:47.566
6. Felipe Nasr (Brazil) Sauber – Ferrari 00:56.508
7. Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus – Mercedes 01:01.088
8. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 01:12.358
9. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 01:19.467
10. Fernando Alonso (Spain) McLaren 01:26.210
11. Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Toro Rosso – Renault 01:28.424
12r. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams-Mercedes 1 lap
13. Roberto Merhi (Spain) Marussia – Ferrari 1 lap
14. Will Stevens (Britain) Marussia – Ferrari 2 laps
15r. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) RedBull – Renault 6 laps
r. Carlos Sainz Jr (Spain) Toro Rosso – Renault 7 laps
r. Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus – Mercedes 42 laps
r. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 46 laps
r. Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Sauber – Ferrari 53 laps
r. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Force India – Mercedes 53 laps
(rank: r = retired, nc = not classified)
Fastest Lap: Sebastian Vettel,1:40.071, lap 51.
Driver and Constructor Standings after the Formula One GP Russia on Sunday.
Updated after penalty for Raikkonen. Mercedes have won the constructors standings.
1. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 302
2. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Ferrari 236
3. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 229
4. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 123
5. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams 111
6. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams 109
7. Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Red Bull 76
8. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull 73
9. Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India 54
10. Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus 44
11. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Force India 38
12. Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Toro Rosso 32
13. Felipe Nasr (Brazil) Sauber 25
14. Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus 22
15. Fernando Alonso (Spain) McLaren 12
16. Carlos Sainz Jr (Spain) Toro Rosso 12
17. Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Sauber 9
18. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 8
19. Roberto Merhi (Spain) Marussia 0
20. Will Stevens (Britain) Marussia 0
21. Alexander Rossi (U.S.) Marussia 0
1. Mercedes 531
2. Ferrari 359
3. Williams-Mercedes 220
4. RedBull – Renault 149
5. Force India – Mercedes 92
6. Lotus – Mercedes 66
7. Toro Rosso – Renault 44
8. Sauber – Ferrari 34
9. McLaren 20
10. Marussia – Ferrari 0