Rosberg Error Hands Hamilton Russian Win, Mercedes Win Constructor’s Championship

Nico Rosberg’s lockup into turn 2 on the first lap at Sochi left  Lewis Hamilton in a position from which he won the first Russian Grand Prix. Rosberg needed to battle through the field to finish second while Valtteri Bottas finished in third. The Mercedes 1-2 also meant that Mercedes clinched the Constructor’s Championship with three races remaining.

Hamilton’s win in Sochi is the 31st of his career, bringing him level with 1992 world champion Nigel Mansell on 31 wins apiece. It is his ninth win of the year.

Speaking of his delight in both winning the first Russian Grand Prix and the Constructor’s World Championship for Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton said he really liked the track and that he never thought a championship would arrive so soon.

“I wasn’t really having to push much and even when I had to pick up the pace a little bit when Nico was behind it was easy to match the times. The car’s been amazing this weekend and I tell you I really, really enjoyed the track, Russia’s been one of my favourite places so far this year. So it’s very cool to have won the first race here.”

“Today’s just incredible. We made history as a team and I never thought when I joined the team we’d be doing it so soon. I feel very proud of everyone at Stuttgart, at Brixworth and at Brackley for the incredible achievement. This is all down to them,” he added.

Nico Rosberg (L) is now 17 points behind Lewis Hamilton with a possible 100 points left to be won

Nico Rosberg (L) is now 17 points behind Lewis Hamilton with a possible 100 points left to be won

Nico Rosberg had mixed feelings after the race. Reflecting on his mistake which cost him a chance of victory, he also thanked the team for all their efforts and contributing to a successful year for the Mercedes team.

“We are World Champions! I feel so happy for the team and the whole Mercedes-Benz family, today we made history. Thanks to everybody for their efforts, also thanks to the husbands and wives to send us your partners to make this happen. I remember well the hard times we had in this team. So now it’s great to be so dominant in our sport. But I’m also divided. Today was a really tough race for me. I just messed up in the first corner. I simply braked too late, which was unnecessary. ”

Bottas (L) stood on the podium for the fifth time this season

Bottas (L) stood on the podium for the fifth time this season

Following his third place finish, Valtteri Bottas said he was glad to finish on the podium and that he hoped he could carry the momentum forward to the next event.

“I was keeping pace with Hamilton at the beginning but in the middle of my first stint the rear tyres started to go away and that allowed him to create a gap. In the second stint I didn’t realise Rosberg was quite as close as he was and his move caught me a bit by surprise, but he had more pace at that point anyway as my prime tyres were taking a good ten laps to switch on so he would have caught me regardless.

“I was closing in the final laps as my tyres were getting better but he had managed to create too big a gap. I’m very happy to be in fourth place in the standings and we have some great momentum heading into the US Grand Prix.”

Button finished over 20 seconds ahead of his team-mate

Button finished over 20 seconds ahead of his team-mate

It was a very strong day for McLaren, with Kevin Magnussen finishing a strong fifth but still behind his team-mate Jenson Button in fourth. Jenson Button felt that both drivers had performed as good as their car allowed them to and referenced a year which has been difficult for the team.

“Well, that wasn’t a bad day at all – I reckon we got the maximum out of the car.

“I had a little scare at Turn Three on lap one, when Fernando [Alonso] and I got very close to each other, but apart from that it was a pretty straightforward race.

“Having said that, unless you’re standing on top of the podium, you always want more; that’s the Formula 1 mindset. But believe me: we got the maximum out of our car today, and our race pace was good, but better results still will come soon enough.”

 

Russian Grand Prix Result

Pos Driver Car Gap
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1h31m50.744s
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 13.657s
3 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 17.425s
4 Jenson Button McLaren/Mercedes 30.234s
5 Kevin Magnussen McLaren/Mercedes 53.616s
6 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m00.016s
7 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m01.812s
8 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull/Renault 1m06.185s
9 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m18.877s
10 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m20.067s
11 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m20.877s
12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m21.309s
13 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso/Renault 1m37.295s
14 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Renault 1 Lap
15 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber/Ferrari 1 Lap
16 Adrian Sutil Sauber/Ferrari 1 Lap
17 Romain Grosjean Lotus/Renault 1 Lap
18 Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Renault 1 Lap
19 Marcus Ericsson Caterham/Renault 2 Laps
Kamui Kobayashi Caterham/Renault Brakes
Max Chilton Marussia/Ferrari Suspension

 

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