Hamilton wins in Russian Federation to go 50 points clear

05 October, 2018, 16:11 | Author: Greg Lawrence
  • 131-018 MERCEDES R BRAKES

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said after the race that the order for Bottas to concede the lead to title challenger Hamilton was "rationally the right call". I would rather be the baddie today and not the idiot at the end of the year.

It was a subdued Hamilton who was presented with his prize by Russian president Vladimir Putin, with little of the usual celebration next to his unhappy teammate.

Defending champion Hamilton leads Vettel - who finished third in Sochi - by 50 points and time is running out for the German, with only five races remaining.

Mercedes are leading both the constructors' championship and the drivers' championship through Lewis Hamilton, with Ferrari and Vettel in behind in each ranking.

It was Hamilton's third win in Russian Federation, his fifth in six races and the 70th of his career, confirming he has the momentum to clinch a fifth title triumph with five races remaining.

"Lewis is fighting for the championship and I am not so from the team's point of view it was the ideal result, but maybe not ideal for me", Bottas said.

As the pit stop window approaches, Ferrari asks Raikkonen to do the opposite to Hamilton in terms of pitting or staying out - the only problem is that Raikkonen is too far behind to see the Mercedes.

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The Silver Arrows are 53 points clear of their Italian rivals, but a typically-cautious Toto Wolff insisted his team's display in Sochi may not be par for the course. "We have to make sure that from where we are now, we focus on winning the last races". "He remains one of my favourite drivers, and I'm convinced that Ferrari is losing a very important driver".

But Vettel, who began the season with back-to-back victories, also knows he needs a huge slice of luck to stand any chance of halting Hamilton's charge to the title.

Sebastian Vettel has admitted that he did not want to be a "complete arse" during his battle with Lewis Hamilton in Sochi. Then Hamilton reported that he had a blister on his front left tyre, and, after considering the matter, Mercedes' James Vowles told Bottas to let Hamilton through.

"Right from Friday, the Sochi weekend was rather a hard one for us", he said.

"You can see that we've pulled a small qualifying advantage to Ferrari in recent races and we're hoping that we can carry that through to the remaining races this year".

"I have raced four times in Japan in the World Endurance Championship, but it's always been at the Fuji circuit".

On a track he's qualified in the top three at every visit to the Sochi Autodrom and registered his maiden career victory previous year, he got the job done in qualifying - pressuring Hamilton into a mistake.

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