Bottas takes advantage of Hamilton's mistakes

Bottas takes advantage of Hamilton's mistakes

The sanction to the leader clears the triumph of the Finn, who wins ahead of Verstappen. Sainz, out in the first round.

Bottas takes advantage of Hamilton's mistakes

Valtteri Bottas appreciated the facilities to add his second victory of the year in Sochi, with the bonus of the fastest lap (1: 37.030). It was a nondescript race on this semi-urban circuit, where only a double penalty for Lewis Hamilton upset the established order. After holding the guy at the start, starting from that 'pole' so conducive to slip-ups, the Briton received a tremendous slap in the form of double punishment for some maneuvers prior to the race. Third place on the podium, behind Max Verstappen , allows him to maintain at least a 44-point lead on the World Cup table.

Carlos Sainz was much less productive on Sunday, out of circulation on the first lap after a failure at turn 2. As soon as he lost the line, the Madrid native wanted to avoid the cars coming from behind, but when he rejoined the front part burst. of his car against one of the protective walls. McLaren also could not retaliate with Lando Norris , relegated from the first lap and fifteenth at the finish line.

Due to paradoxes of this sport, the race was resolved almost half an hour before the red light went off. At the time, Hamilton was rehearsing his start drills in a totally irregular fashion. The stewards recorded the incident and deliberated for a long time before communicating their punishment, which was actually double. Two five-second penalties that you should serve during your passage to change tires. “This is just ridiculous,” the Brit said.

Angry with the engineers

After reviewing the video images, the stewards had discovered that the Briton had carried out these maneuvers at the pit exit and not at the end of it, violating articles 19.1 and 36.1 of the regulations. According to those texts, it should have accelerated at the beginning of the 'pit-lane', where it is always mandatory to open gas. The punishment also meant 10 points in the superlicense, just two from the limit, which would force him to miss a race. Of course Lewis fumed under his helmet. Or get mad at his own engineers on lap 16.

At that moment, on the soft tires, the stop seemed a bit premature, given that a minute earlier he had set the fastest lap. Bottas, installed in the lead with the intermediate tires, endured 10 more laps on the track. To also mount the hard compound, with which he was enough to reach the checkered flag first.

Bottas takes advantage of Hamilton's mistakes

The Finn had accumulated enough merits to allow himself a quiet career. At Sochi, one of his favorite tracks, he was simply faster than anyone: 12 seconds ahead of Verstappen and 22 seconds ahead of the sulky Hamilton. His only moment of doubt came on lap 43, with a 'virtual safety car' to replace the bollards of turn 2. The diligence of the stewards, who solved everything in a jiffy, avoided further setbacks.

Ferrari, in irrelevance

The fight from behind had been resolved in favor of Sergio PĂ©rez , who in the middle of the race had gained positions with a precise 'overcut'. Racing Point, after the abandonment of Lance Stroll in the first lap, delivered all its letters to the Mexican. Not to dream of the podium, although to contain the push of Esteban Ocon and Daniel Ricciardo .

The Frenchman's pace did not seem ideal for the chase, so Cyril Abiteboul ordered him to give way to his partner at Renault. Before the Australian had too many illusions, he was punished with five seconds for failing to follow Michael Masi's instructions after a track exit at Turn 2.

In any case, the growth of Renault, with its drivers in fifth and seventh position, has further doomed Ferrari, once again relegated to irrelevance. Not even Charles Leclerc , far ahead of the car, could aspire to more than sixth place. Even more embarrassing was to see Sebastian Vettel in his fight with the thirteenth with Kevin Magnussen and Kimi Raikkonen .

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