F1 2014 Russian Grand Prix result: Hamilton wins in Sochi
PUBLISHED: 13:39 12 October 2014 | UPDATED: 17:05 12 October 2014
Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton comfortably won the 2014 Russian Grand Prix at Sochi to extend his world championship lead over Mercedes rival Nico Rosberg.
The 29-year-old Mercedes AMG Petronas star from Hertfordshire took the chequered flag at the Sochi Autodrom today (Sunday) for this fourth F1 victory in succession and ninth of the 2014 season.
He coasted to victory in the first ever race in Russia, leading from pole position to flag, with Silver Arrows colleague Rosberg crossing the finish line second, after lasting 52 laps on the same set of medium tyres.
It was a brilliant recovery drive from Rosberg after having to pit at the end of the first lap and then carve his way through the field from the back.
Hamilton’s British record-equalling 31st career F1 win stretched his championship lead over Rosberg to 17 points with three races to go – USA, Brazil and Abu Dhabi.
2014 Russian Grand Prix result
Provisional Sochi top 10:
1 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
3 Valtteri Bottas (Williams)
4 Jenson Button (McLaren)
5 Kevin Magnussen (McLaren)
6 Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)
7 Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)
8 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
9 Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)
10 Sergio Perez (Force India)
The Stevenage-born racer now has 291 points to his name, while Rosberg has 274, and the 2008 F1 world champion has now joined Nigel Mansell in the pantheon of British F1 racers on 31 GP wins.
As a result of Hamilton and Rosberg’s ninth podium one-two of the season, the Silver Arrows team also clinched the 2014 FIA World Constructors’ Championship in Russia. This is the first time in 120 years of motorsport that Mercedes-Benz has won the World Championship as a constructor.
Hamilton said: “It was a good day and an amazing weekend. Firstly, I’m so proud to have contributed to the work of this great team, to get the first Constructors’ Championship for Mercedes-Benz is a huge achievement.
“Massive congratulations to the guys back in the UK and Germany, it’s history for us.”
Pictures of F1 2014 Russian Grand Prix
Russian Grand Prix winner Lewis Hamilton [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]
The Mercedes team celebrate Lewis Hamilton's victory in the 2014 Russian Grand Prix in Sochi [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]
Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the 2014 Russian Grand Prix in Sochi [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]
Nico Rosberg on the podium with Vladimir Putin after finishing second in the 2014 Russian Grand Prix in Sochi [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]
Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the 2014 Russian Grand Prix in Sochi [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]
Lewis Hamilton collects his trophy from Vladimir Putin after winning the 2014 Russian Grand Prix in Sochi [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton on the podium after winning the 2014 Russian Grand Prix in Sochi [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]
Nico Rosberg, Paddy Lowe, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas on the podium after the 2014 Russian Grand Prix in Sochi [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]
Nico Rosberg briefly takes the lead from Lewis Hamilton at the start of the 2014 Russian Grand Prix in Sochi [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]
The Mercedes team celebrate Lewis Hamilton winning the 2014 Russian Grand Prix in Sochi [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]
The Mercedes team celebrate Lewis Hamilton winning the 2014 Russian Grand Prix [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]
Turning towards the race, Hamilton added: “Today I had to manage the tyres a lot through the race; managing the fuel wasn’t too bad. The car felt great and I didn’t have to push too hard.
“At the end, when Nico was behind, I needed to match his times, which I did.”
With Vladimir Putin in the Sochi paddock, Valtteri Bottas completed the podium positions for Williams in another car powered by a Mercedes engine. The podium also lifted the flying Finnish racer into the top four in the drivers’ standings.
Jenson Button was fourth for McLaren, as the top four finished in starting grid order, with McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen fifth and Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso sixth.
2014 F1 World Drivers’ Championship
Championship standings after Russian Grand Prix:
1 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 291
2 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 274
3 Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) 199
4 Valtteri Bottas (Williams) 145
5 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) 143
6 Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) 141
Then came the Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel, with Kimi Raikkonen ninth and Sergio Perez taking the final point in 10th place.
Race runner-up Rosberg said: “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.
“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. So I flat spotted my front tyres and it was impossible to continue due to the vibrations.
2014 F1 World Constructors’ Championship
After Russian Grand Prix:
1 Mercedes 565
2 Red Bull 342
3 Williams 216
4 Ferrari 188
5 McLaren 143
6 Force India 123
“I had to pit, and on the prime tyre I had great pace. In the middle of the race I thought the degradation would start to increase. But very soon it was stable and I was able to push a lot.
“Then I managed to overtake Bottas. Also still at the end I was able to push, but the team asked me to control the pace as everyone was worried about dropping at the very end of the race.
“P2 was damage limitation. I really look forward to the last three races of the year with this outstanding championship car.”
Despite winning the constructors’ title for the first time, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff still had time to think of Jules Bianchi, the Marussia driver in hospital after last week’s crash in the Japanese Grand Prix, and former team principal Ross Brawn.
Wolff said: “This is a great moment for our team but, first of all, we must not forget what happened last week. While we celebrate a hard-earned achievement today, we will not forget what happened to Jules in Suzuka and we will not forget the battle he is fighting at the moment.
“We are split in two today, celebrating a moment that we have worked so hard for, but this will never take away the sadness at the events of last weekend.
“Looking at this achievement, it’s incredible: I have to pinch myself that we are now part of Mercedes-Benz history. Today, our team won the first ever Formula 1 Constructors’ title for Mercedes-Benz and I feel proud and honoured to be part of this group.
“The foundations of this success were built by Ross and he played such an important role in the team to prepare this success.
“We have been able to continue that work, making the right decisions, putting the right resources in place and putting the team on an upward slope; today’s achievement is the result of that.”
He added: “Of course, the focus will now shift to the battle for the drivers’ title and this will stay as intense as ever for the final three races.
“We have a healthy lead over Ricciardo in third place but nothing will change in our approach: we want Lewis and Nico to race each other hard and respectfully, as they have done so far this year.
“They have both made a massive contribution to our success and huge credit goes to both of them for the Constructors’ title today.”
The two Mercedes drivers started alongside each other on the front row, with Hamilton on pole for the inaugural F1 race in Russia.
Rosberg overtook Hamilton at the first corner, but had a massive lock up and flat-spotted his tyres approaching the second corner.
The German driver was told to hand position back to Hamilton after running over the corner, and he had to box for fresh rubber at the end of the opening lap, dropping to the back of the field as a result.
Rosberg’s big mistake on lap one enabled Hamilton to regain the lead and by lap five he was 2.3 seconds clear of Valtteri Bottas in second place.
After asking what his strategy was now, Rosberg was told over the Mercedes radio to try to get to the end of the race on this set of medium tyres – a tall order of more than 50 laps.
With eight laps of the 53 gone, Rosberg was running 16th, 36 seconds behind world title rival Hamilton.
Hamilton’s gap over Bottas was 3.5 seconds after 13 laps and he continued to pull away with a succession of fastest laps.
Rosberg, meanwhile, continued to climb through the field and was told over the radio that he’s still fighting for a podium finish. The Silver Arrows star had worked his way up from 21st place into the top 10 by lap 21.
Race leader Hamilton smoothly extended his advantage over Bottas to more than 17 seconds, before the Williams driver pitted from second place after 26 laps.
Hamilton stopped for prime tyres a lap later and was able to exit the pits still in the lead, with Sebastian Vettel now second for Red Bull, Bottas third and Rosberg up to fourth.
With Vettel pitting for the first time, Rosberg climbed into second place when he overtook Bottas at Turn Two on lap 31.
The gap between the two Mercedes drivers was around 20 seconds with 20 laps left, with Rosberg on much older tyres.
Despite that, Rosberg upped the pace, setting fastest sector times, presumably in the knowledge that a one-stopper might not be possible after first pitting at the end of lap one.
In the end he managed to reach the finish without stopping again, but he crossed the line some 15 seconds behind Hamilton, who won the inaugural Russian Grand Prix.
One of the first to send Hamilton a message of support on Twitter was girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger (@NicoleScherzy), who tweeted: “Congratulations babe @LewisHamilton 4 winning 1st ever #RussianGP Proud of u! & congrats 2 @MercedesAMGF1 on #W05LDCHAMPIONS #PrayForJules”
After collecting his trophy from Putin, Hamilton added: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the weekend here in Russia, it’s a great place. It’s been one of my favourite venues so far this year, so it’s very cool to have won the first race here.
“The fans have been amazing; I didn’t know so many people followed it here but they were all there in the grandstands and looked excited. The organisers have also done a great job – the layout, the surface and the whole event; I take my hat off to them.”