Motor racing – Team analysis by team of the Russian Grand Prix

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Team by team analysis of the Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix on Sunday in Sochi, round 15 of the 22-race championship (ranked in order of the championship): MERCEDES (Lewis Hamilton 1, Valtteri Bottas 5)

Hamilton became the first driver to win 100 Grands Prix with his fifth victory of the season. He is also the first to score more than 4,000 career points. The Briton now leads the championship, two points ahead of Verstappen. He started fourth, dropped three places at the start but recovered with an extended stint on medium tires and gained more places after his first stop. He stopped for the intermediates as the rain fell late, taking the lead from Norris who remained on the slicks. Mercedes continued their 100% winning record in Sochi, winning every year since the first race there in 2014. Bottas started 16th after a tactical engine change. Mercedes is now 33 points ahead of Red Bull. RED BULL (Max Verstappen 2, Sergio Perez 9)

Verstappen moved from last place on the grid due to engine penalties to second, a result which team boss Christian Horner said was a victory. The Dutch driver was helped by the rain and perfectly synchronized his passage to the intermediates. Perez started eighth but the decision to stay slick cost him a possible podium. MCLAREN (Daniel Ricciardo 4, Lando Norris 7)

Norris started on pole for the first time in his career, lost to Sainz at the start but regained the lead and clocked the fastest lap. A possible first victory disappeared when he stayed on the slicks in the late rain and dived in order as others came to a halt. Ricciardo started fifth. McLaren extended their lead over Ferrari by three points to 17.5. FERRARI (Carlos Sainz 3, Charles Leclerc 15)

Sainz started in the front row and led at the start, before Norris passed on lap 13. He stopped on the 15th lap and timed his late passage at intersections well. The podium was the fourth of the season for the team and the third for Sainz who is 8.5 points ahead of Leclerc. Leclerc ran from 19th to 12th in the first lap but stopped too late at the end. ALPIN (Fernando Alonso 6, Esteban Ocon 14)

Alonso continued Alpine’s goal streak for a 14th race. The Spaniard started sixth and is the highest ranked driver to date on the podium this season. He was third when the rain fell, a position he felt he could have kept or improved otherwise. Ocon bet on the tablecloths and lost. ALPHATAURI (Pierre Gasly 13 years old, Yuki Tsunoda 17 years old)

Red Bull’s sister team went blank for the second race in a row, making the wrong tire decision with both drivers behind. Gasly started 11th, Tsunoda 12th. ASTON MARTIN (Lance Stroll 11, Sebastian Vettel 12)

Stroll got off to a good start and finished fourth in lap one, holding onto his position until he stopped on lap 12. He and Vettel collided on lap 48 as the rain started, then lost at the end leaving him late to move on to the intermediates. WILLIAMS (George Russell 10, Nicholas Latifi 19)

Russell started third, his second time in the first two rows this season, and scored points for the fourth time in five races. Latifi started 18th due to engine penalties and retired after hitting the barrier at turn seven on lap 47, damaging the rear wing. He was classified. ALFA ROMEO (Kimi Raikkonen 8, Antonio Giovinazzi 16)

Raikkonen returned after two races due to a positive COVID-19 test and more than doubled Alfa’s tally for the season. They remain 16 points behind Williams. HAAS (Nikita Mazepin 18, Mick Schumacher retired)

Mazepin finished his first grand prix at home as an F1 driver. Schumacher started 14th but was last after the first round. He retired on lap 34 due to a hydraulic problem, ending his end-of-season race series.


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