Nico Rosberg eases to his 4th win of the season ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen as Sebastian Vettel gets taken out by Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat on the 1st lap.
Hamilton’s problems fixed?
After missing out on a shot for pole position in Q3, Lewis Hamilton has had his MGU-H changed for the race overnight. Mercedes came on at the start of Q3 and said that Hamilton would not take part in this session. What can Hamilton achieve in the race with team-mate Nico Rosberg looking to continue his dominance at the top?
Most of the grid have opted for the super soft tyre while Nico Hulkenberg is on used Soft tyres, Esteban Gutierrez and Marcus Ericsson are on a new set of Soft tyres.
The lights go green and Nico Rosberg gets away cleanly from pole position and is ahead of the field approaching turn 2. Kimi Raikkonen overtakes Valterri Bottas going into the corner and is up to 2nd. Daniil Kvyat misses his braking point into the corner and hits Sebastian Vettel. Daniel Ricciardo also gets hit from Vettel, forced into by Kvyat. Vettel is slow off of turn 2 as he struggles for traction and is again hit by Kvyat. Vettel is speared to the right with a puncture and is in the barrier and his race is over. Ricciardo and Kvyat have both sustained damage, a huge blow for Red Bull as they looked to score decent points. The replay show Esteban Gutierrez locking up and hitting the rear of Nico Hulkenberg. Hulkenberg spins and hits the innocent Rio Haryanto. So now we have lost Sebastian Vettel, Nico Hulkenberg and Rio Haryanto in the space of one long straight and 3 corners.
Sebastian Vettel come on the radio to his Ferrari team is is furious with Kvyat for punting him out. Meanwhile, Red Bull pit Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat as both need new font wings. Both cars go onto the Medium tyre. Marcus Ericsson, Sergio Perez, who sustained a puncture and Esteban Gutierrez pit. The Safety car is deployed while Nico Rosberg leads ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, Valterri Bottas, Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton.
The Safety car is in on lap 4 and into turn 2, Valterri Bottas passes Kimi Raikkonen for 2nd and Lewis Hamilton passes Felipe Massa for 4th. Lap 7, Lewis Hamilton overtakes Kimi Raikkonen for 3rd place is starts to hunt down 2nd place, Valterri Bottas. Lap 9, Daniil Kvyat serves his 10 second stop and go penalty for the collision between him and Sebastian Vettel. Lap 10, Esteban Gutierrez serves his drive through penalty for the collision between him and Nico Hulkenberg.
Laps 11 to 14, drivers start making their first pit stops including Carlos Sainz, Felipe Nasr, Pascal Wehrlein and Jolyon Palmer. They all go onto the Soft compound tyre. At the end of lap 16, Valterri Bottas pits, goes onto the Soft compound tyre and releases Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen. End of lap 17, Lewis Hamilton reacts to Bottas’s stop and pits, goes onto the Soft tyre and releases Kimi Raikkonen. Its close but Valterri Bottas is still ahead of Hamilton. Lap 19, Hamilton passes Bottas into turn 2 with the help of DRS. Lap 20, Kimi Raikkonen finally pits, goes onto the Soft tyre and rejoins in behind Hamilton but ahead of Bottas. At the end of lap 20, race leader, Nico Rosberg pits, goes onto the Soft tyre and rejoins in 1st.
Lap 29, after a long stint on the Medium tyre, Daniel Ricciardo pits for the Soft tyre. Lap 33, Nico Rosberg encounters traffic and Lewis Hamilton now has closed the gap to 8.4 seconds. Lap 34, Max Verstappen pulls over and stops his car in sector 1, looks like his engine has failed on him. Lap 37, Lewis Hamilton has been told by his Mercedes team that he has a “water pressure issue” and Hamilton immediately backs off his charge for the win. Lap 42, Mercedes come on the radio to Lewis Hamilton and assure him that the “water pressure issue” has been stabilized. Lap 47, Felipe Massa pits and goes onto the Soft tyres for the final few laps. Nico Rosberg wins ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen.
1.Rosberg 2.Hamilton 3.Raikkonen 4.Bottas 5.Massa 6.Alonso 7.Magnussen 8.Grosjean 9.Perez 10.Button 11.Ricciardo 12.Sainz 13.Palmer 14.Ericsson 15.Kvyat 16.Nasr 17.Gutierrez 18.Wehrlein DNF Verstappen, Vettel, Haryanto and Hulkenberg
- Nico Rosberg won his fourth win of the season and his seventh victory in succession at Sochi. Rosberg is also the fourth driver in history – after Alberto Ascari, Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel – to win seven races in a row. Will this continue into Spain?
- Kimi Raikkonen scored the team’s 700th Grand Prix podium with 3rd place behind Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.
- Fernando Alonso’s 6th place secured his first points of the season and with Jenson Button in 10th, it was a double points finish for McLaren.
- Kevin Magnussen’s 7th place secured his and Renault’s first points of the season.