Grand Prix of Russia – Race

Ferrari fill the front row of the grid after Mercedes struggled in Qualifying.

VER’s Red Bull has a water leak; looks like they may have to replace some parts of the power unit, which would mean a penalty.

Provisional grid: VET, RAI, BOT, HAM, RIC, MAS, VER, HUL, PER, OCO, SAI*, STR, KVY, MAG, ALO, PAL, VAN*, WEH, ERI, GRO.
*Penalties to be applied: SAI +3; VAN +15.

VER’s car is on the grid, which is good. No penalty, but VER says there’s still a leak.

Grid: VET, RAI, BOT, HAM, RIC, MAS, VER, HUL, PER, OCO, STR, KVY, MAG, SAI, ALO, PAL, WEH, ERI, GRO, VAN.

VET leads everyone away on the formation lap
Looks like everyone except WEH, ERI and VAN will start on ultrasoft tyres; those 3 are on supersofts
Radio from ALO suggests his McLaren might have an ERS problem; told “default 05 again”; ALO replies “nothing”
VET very slow through the last couple of turns as he tries to bunch up the field
ALO’s stopped right in the pit entrance; he’s out of his car and walking into the pits

Aborted start – the remaining 19 cars will do another formation lap while the marshals remove the McLaren
That’s a second Did Not Start for McLaren in two races
Pit entrance is clear before VET brings the pack round to form the grid

01/52: Great start from BOT – he’s already P2
BOT passes VET for P1 just as yellow flags appear
Safety Car deployed
STR spins
Looks like GRO and PAL have collided
Replay shows GRO try to push his way inside PAL; contact and they’re both out

02[SC]: Race control – Turn 2 incidents under investigation
ERI and VAN pit
Replay of STR’s spin – doesn’t look like there was any contact

03[SC]: BOT, VET, RAI, HAM, VER, MAS, RIC, PER, OCO, HUL, MAG, SAI, KVY, WEH, STR, VAN, ERI; retirements: GRO, PAL, ALO
SC in at the end of this lap

04: Race control – Incident involving STR and HUL noted – causing a collision
So maybe HUL did cause STR to spin on lap 1?
Radio for PER – “caution front right temperature”
Smoke from RIC’s Red Bull

05/52: BOT fastest lap 1:390
Radio from RIC – brake fire
RIC pulls off-line and tries to get back to the pits
DRS enabled

06: BOT 1.8sec clear of VET
RIC pits; mechanics take a look and tell him to switch off
Incident involving GRO and PAL will be investigated after the race

07: Radio from HAM – “getting cut outs in power”
No further action re: STR/HUL incident

08: BOT f/lap 1:38.847
Radio for VER telling him to move brake balance as far forward as he can stand
5-sec penalty for MAG for exceeding track limits at Turn 2
Ditto for VAN
Radio for HAM – still sounding unsettled; told to cool the car on the straights

10/52: BOT, VET, RAI, HAM, VER, MAS, PER, OCO, HUL, MAG, SAI, KVY, STR, VAN, WEH, ERI

14: Over 3sec gap between each of the top 10 cars

15: Radio for HAM telling him he’s “hot on temps”; HAM asks why

18: BOT f/lap 1:38.404

19: Radio from VER – “blisters on the front left”
HAM f/lap 1:38.398

22: MAS pits, followed by MAG, KVY and ERI
MAG serves his 5-sec penalty

24: VET f/lap 1:38.197

25/52: SAI and VAN pit; VAN serves his penalty

26: VET closing on BOT as the leader laps the backmarkers

27: Radio from OCO – “we have to pit as soon as possible”
OCO pits

28: BOT pits from P1; rejoins P4
PER pits too

29: Yet to pit are VET, RAI, HAM, VER & HUL
Radio from RAI – “rear is going”
Radio from VET complaining about lack of blue flags as he closes to lap STR

30/52: RAI pits from P2; rejoins P5
BOT f/lap 1:38.1
VER pits; rejoins P5, just ahead of HUL
Radio for HAM – “box, box”

31: HAM pits from P2; lick of flame from the front left brake; rejoins P4
BOT f/lap 1:38.171
Radio for VET telling him his pace is very good, “stay there”

32: BOT f/lap 1:38.160

33: Radio for RAI telling him gap to BOT; RAI thought it was HAM ahead of him
Radio for VET telling him to box for options … and then told to stay out

34: Are Ferrari putting VET at risk of rejoining behind RAI once he pits?
Radio for VET again telling him to pit

35/52: VET pits; not the fastest stop (3.4sec) because front left didn’t go straight on; rejoins a few car lengths ahead of RAI

36: BOT leads VET by 4.7sec; RAI is almost 3sec behind his teammate, with HAM about 10sec further back

38: RAI front brakes are hot
BOT locks up his front left, then the front right

39: Radio for VET telling him about BOT’s lock up and subsequent flat spot

40/52: BOT, VET, RAI, HAM, VER, HUL (yet to pit), MAS, PER, OCO, SAI, STR, KVY, MAG, VAN, ERI, WEH; retirements: RIC, PAL, GRO, ALO

41: VET is closing the gap to BOT
HUL finally pits; rejoins P9

43: MAS pits; slow puncture

44: VET under 1.5sec behind BOT

47: VET continues to close; 1.3sec back from BOT

48: BOT picking up his pace too
RAI is 6sec behind his teammate, with HAM over 10sec further back

49: VET f/lap 1:37.329, closing the gap to 1.2sec
Radio from VER reporting debris on Turn 5

50/52: BOT, VET, RAI, HAM, VER, PER, OCO, HUL, MAS, SAI, STR, KVY, MAG, VAN, ERI, WEH
VET f/lap 1:37.312
RAI f/lap 1:36.844
VET close enough to get DRS now

51 = 2 laps to go: BOT catching more backmarkers, which could benefit VET although BOT will now get DRS too

52 = final lap: BOT laps MAS, putting the Williams between him and VET
Radio from VET complaining again

BOT takes the chequered flag – his first F1 victory

Provisional result: BOT, VET, RAI, HAM, VER, PER, OCO, HUL, MAS, SAI; STR, KVY, MAG, VAN, ERI, WEH
DNF: RIC, PAL, GRO
DNS: ALO

3 thoughts on “Grand Prix of Russia – Race

  1. “The Sochi stewards have decided to take no further action over the first-lap incident that eliminated Renault’s Jolyon Palmer and Haas’s Romain Grosjean from Sunday’s race in Russia.” [FIA]

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