Hamilton Gets Assist From Bottas For 3rd Russian Grand Prix Victory Of His Career

Lewis Hamilton extended his Formula One points lead leaving the Russian Grand Prix on Sunday as the Mercedes driver won his eighth race of the season and 70th of his career in Sochi. It was Hamilton’s third victory on the road course and Mercedes’ fifth in as many years there.

But, if not for an assist from pole sitter and teammate Valtteri Bottas, Hamilton may not have had a chance for his third straight victory on the season and fifth in the last six races. 

Bottas, got off to a great start and him pulling Hamilton around the track in the early stages allowed Hamilton to get a good enough advantage over third place Sebastian Vettel.

On Lap 12, Mercedes put both teammates on differing strategies. Bottas, hit pit road and handed the lead over to Hamilton. A lap later, the Ferrari’s hit pit lane, meaning Hamilton would have to pit on Lap 14.

Vettel cycled out in the lead but only for two laps. Hamilton got back by and it was game over from there.

Bottas, would finish second in his No. 77 Mercedes while Vettel was third. It was Bottas’ first top two finish in the last five races as his last came in Germany. It was his sixth runner-up on the season though.

Vettel, earned his second straight third place run and fourth podium in the last five races. Unfortunately, Hamilton has finished ahead of him in five of the last six races now.

The biggest brightspot of the afternoon was watching Max Verstappen. He charged from his 19th starting spot up to fifth in just eight laps. He even led a race high in terms of laps led but was on the wrong end of strategy. He would round out the top five following Kimi Raikkonnen past the finish line.

Hamilton leads Vettel by 50 points with only five races to go.

Russian Grand Prix Results

  1. 44 Hamilton
  2. 77 Bottas
  3.   5 Vettel
  4.   7 Raikkonen
  5. 33 Verstappen
  6.  3 Ricciardo
  7. 16 Leclerc R
  8. 20 Magnussen -1
  9. 31 Ocon -1
  10. 11 Perez -1
  11.  8 Grosjean -1
  12. 27 Hulkenberg -1
  13.  9 Ericsson -1
  14. 14 Alonso -1
  15. 18 Stroll -1
  16.  2 Vandroone -2
  17. 55 Sainz Jr. -2
  18. 35 Sirotkin R -2
  19. 10 Gasly R OUT
  20. 28 Hartley R OUT

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