Russian Grand Prix – Race


Deleted lap times and VET’s accident in Q2 made for an exciting Qualifying session yesterday.

Provisional grid: HAM, VER, BOT, PER, RIC, SAI, OCO, NOR, GAS, ALB*, LEC, KVY, STR, RUS, VET, GRO, GIO, MAG, LAT*, RAI

*ALB and LAT each have a 5-grid spot penalty for gearbox changes [FIA]

As expected, the drivers have been told they cannot wear clothing bearing any slogans or messages while doing official duties after grands prix [BBC]

HAM: “I don’t know how to make the strategy work today, but where there’s a will there’s a way”
BOT: “I think [the medium] that’s the best tyre to start on”
RIC: “Plan A for everyone will be a one-stop, so track position will be crucial”

HAM is under investigation for “practice start outside the designated area”

Grid: HAM, VER, BOT, PER, RIC, SAI, OCO, NOR, GAS, LEC, KVY, STR, RUS, VET, ALB, GRO, GIO, MAG, RAI, LAT

HAM leads everyone away on the formation lap
MAG slow to get away but he manages to catch up and reclaim his P18

01/53: BOT ahead of VER right off the line
VER cuts Turn 2
SAI cuts T2 too but clips the wall as he tries to rejoin the track
STR spins, into the barrier
Safety Car deployed
The medical car has stopped for SAI

02[SC]: HAM, BOT, VER, OCO, RIC, PER, GAS, LEC, MAG, GRO, KVY
ALB, NOR, RUS all pit
Replay shows STR was rear-ended, causing him to spin into the wall

03[SC]: Radio from NOR, has he got damage?
Replay looks like SAI tags NOR’s rear right wheel as they went into Turn 2

04[SC]: Replay shows STR and LEC touched; STR was ahead

05/53[SC]: SC in at the end of this lap
HAM, BOT, VER, OCO, RIC, PER, GAS, LEC, MAG, GRO, KVY, GIO, VET, LAT, RAI, RUS, ALB, NOR; out: SAI, STR
HAM backs everyone up as the SC heads for the pit lane

06: BOT looking a tow behind HAM
VET looking for a way round GIO
NOR takes P17 from ALB but ALB reclaims the spot; second bite, NOR makes the move stick

07: HAM fastest lap 1:40.056
Race control: 5sec penalty for HAM for practice start violation 1
Race control: 5sec penalty for HAM for practice start violation 2
WHAT!? Why 2 violations?
Well, the stewards have decided to make the race interesting

08: KVY takes P10 from GRO
Race control: no investigation necessary for the STR/LEC incident
I don’t understand why Sky commentators keep talking about serving the penalty at the pit stop – it’s not a stop-go penalty, it’s a straight forward time to be added

09: DRS enabled
Radio from VER, “I have no rear grip – it’s insane”
RAI attacking LAT; RAI takes P14

10/53: HAM*, BOT, VER, OCO, RIC, PER, GAS, LEC, MAG, KVY
*HAM’s 10sec penalties puts him effectively P7, behind GAS

12: Radio for BOT telling him “start closing the gap to Lewis”

13: RUS locks up into Turn 13; ALB steals P16
KVY takes P9 from MAG
NOR passes RUS too

14: Radio for HAM, “We need to up the pace”
Radio from HAM saying he doesn’t want to pit; “Don’t stop me now, do not!”

15/53: HAM, BOT, VER, OCO, PER, RIC, GAS, LEC, KVY, MAG, GRO, GIO, VET, RAI, LAT, ALB, NOR, RUS
HAM f/lap 1:39.773
RUS pits to change his flat-spotted tyres

16: HAM f/lap 1:39.693
RIC pits from P6; rejoins P14
ALB takes P15 from LAT

17: HAM pits; team DO wait 10sec before servicing the car; rejoins P11, behind VET

18: BOT f/lap 1:39.439
GRO pits from P9; LAT pits too
LEC all over the rear wing of GAS

19: BOT f/lap 1:39.375
OCO and GAS pit; that bumps HAM up to P8
HAM passes VET for P7

20/53: BOT, VER, PER, LEC, KVY, MAG, HAM, VET, OCO, RAI, RIC, ALB, GAS, NOR, GRO, GIO, LAT, RUS; out: STR, SAI
MAG pits
RIC takes P9 from RAI

21: BOT f/lap 1:39.221
PER pits from P3, last of those who started on soft tyres; rejoins P6

22: BOT f/lap 1:39.081
HAM is ~39sec behind BOT but BOT will need to pit soon
Radio from NOR complaining of oversteer on every entry, asking how to make it stop

24: Radio from HAM still complaining about being pitted so early

25/53: BOT, VER, LEC, KVY, HAM, PER, VET, OCO, RIC, RAI, ALB, GAS, NOR, MAG, GRO, GIO, LAT, RUS
RIC passes teammate OCO into Turn 2 but RIC cut the corner

26: VER pits from P2; new hard tyres go on; rejoins P4, just behind KVY
Radio for BOT, “box, box”

Half distance

27: BOT pits from P1; hards; rejoins still P1 with LEC some way behind
RIC under investigation for cutting T2
VER takes P3 from KVY
RIC closing on VET

28: RIC passes VET for P7
OCO now closing on VET
RIC given 5sec penalty for cutting T2

29: LEC pits; rejoins P7

30/53: BOT, VER, KVY, HAM, PER, RIC, LEC, OCO, VET, RAI, GAS, NOR, MAG, GRO, GIO, ALB, LAT, RUS

31: KVY pits from P3; VET pits too

32: Radio for RIC telling him he’s got a 5sec penalty; “I’ll drive faster” – was that sarcasm?

33: GAS looking for a way round RAI

35/53: BOT, VER, HAM, PER, RIC*, LEC, OCO, KVY, GAS, RAI, NOR, MAG, GRO, GIO, ALB, VET, LAT, RUS
*RIC has 5sec penalty to be added

36: BOT f/lap 1:37.807
KVY catching OCO
RAI pits – he’s the last one to stop; slow stop due to the front-left

38: ALB squeezes past GIO for P13

40/53: BOT, VER, HAM, PER, RIC, LEC, OCO, KVY, GAS, NOR, MAG, ALB, GRO, GIO, VET, RAI, LAT, RUS; out: str, sai

41: GIO around the outside of GRO for P13

42: VET closes on GRO; GRO cuts T2; VET takes P14
GRO tried to weave between the polystyrene bollards but instead destroys them

43: ALB takes P11 from MAG
Incident involving VET and GRO has been noted
VSC deployed so the marshals can replace the bollards at Turn 2 – ridiculous!
GAS and GRO pit but VSC ends

45/53: BOT, VER, HAM, PER, RIC, LEC, OCO, KVY, NOR, ALB, GAS, MAG, GIO, VET, RAI, LAT, RUS, GRO
BOT has 10.7sec lead over VER; HAM is 9.5sec behind VER
NOR has ALB and GAS right on his tail

46: NOR defending really well
GAS attacks ALB; takes P10
GRO under investigation for cutting T2 … no further action

47: GAS now lining up NOR; takes P9

48: NOR struggling with his tyres; ALB closing on him
NOR locks up; ALB takes P10
NOR pits

49: VER f/lap 1:37.715
BOT laps VET (P13)

50/53: BOT, VER, HAM, PER, RIC, LEC, OCO, KVY, GAS, ALB, GIO, MAG, VET, RAI, NOR, LAT, GRO, RUS

51: RAI all over VET’s rear wing
GAS f/lap 1:37.231

52: BOT f/lap 1:37.030
RUS pits from P18; softs go on – can a Williams take fastest lap?

53/53: –

BOT takes the chequered flag
ALB P2
HAM P3
ALB given 5sec penalty for cutting T2
KVY looking to pass OCO but the Renault takes P7

Interviews:
BOT: “The start was going to be the first opportunity – actually it was a bit compromised because there was a massive bee, or something, that hit my visor, so I couldn’t really see where I should brake, so that’s why I went too deep.”
VER: “Very low grip on the insides. It cost us a bit but otherwise quite interesting.”; “I was just trying to do my own race today. I think we managed it well. I am very happy with second especially after two DNFs.”
HAM: “It doesn’t matter, it’s done now so I’ll take the points and move on but congratulations go to Valtteri.”

Provisional result: BOT, VER, HAM, PER, RIC*, LEC, OCO, KVY, GAS, ALB*; GIO, MAG, VET, RAI, NOR, LAT, GRO, RUS
*5sec penalties for RIC and ALB don’t change their position
BOT fastest lap 1:37.030
DNF: SAI, STR

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