Russian GP: Bottas claims victory after Hamilton penalty

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Valtteri Bottas eased to a comfortable victory at the Russian Grand Prix, following a penalty for Lewis Hamilton.

The world champion held the lead at the start and during the first stint, but would be given two five-second penalties for completing a practice start outside the designated area on the lap to the grid.

That left the Finn clear to assume control of the race, and he would do so, claiming his first win since the season-opener in Austria.

At the start, Hamilton retained the lead on the long run to Turn 2 with Bottas jumping Max Verstappen into second.

Drama behind as Carlos Sainz crashed recovering to the track at Turn 2 and Lance Stroll was spun into the wall by Charles Leclerc exiting Turn 4 requiring a safety car to clear the debris.

Renault were the big gainers as Ocon and Ricciardo ran fourth and fifth, as Gasly moved upto sixth ahead of Leclerc.

When the race resumed, Hamilton easily held the lead as no positions changed on the run to Turn 2.

It was soon after when the stewards awarded the Briton his two five-second penalties, meaning he would stop for 10 seconds before mechanics could work on his car.

When he did stop, Lewis would drop to 11th, giving Bottas the lead, but would be back upto third when the midfield teams pitted.

Once ahead, Bottas was untouchable as Verstappen couldn't keep pace with the Mercedes, while Hamilton appeared to settle for third.

Sergio Perez would make a great move on Daniel Ricciardo through Turn 3 and jumped the other Renault of Esteban Ocon through the pit-stop to sit fourth.

That was because the Frenchman had got stuck behind Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari, and when Ricciardo caught his teammate, Renault decided to switch cars.

In doing so though, Ricciardo went wide at Turn 2 and was given a five-second penalty for track limits.


That appeared to put the Australian in a duel with the late-stopping Leclerc for fifth, but the Monegasque would drop back out of contention in sixth.

Ocon followed in seventh, holding off Daniil Kvyat in the closing laps as the only Russian in the field jumped teammate Pierre Gasly by stopping much later.

Alex Albon struggled towards the back of the field for the first half of the race, after having a five-place grid drop for a new gearbox, but put in a strong late charge to take the final point in 10th.

Down the field, Antonio Giovinazzi was 11th for Alfa Romeo. holding off a Ferrari-powered train consisting of Kevin Magnussen, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, who was passed by his former teammate in the closing laps.

Lando Norris was compromised by damage from the start and had to make a second stop after a lock-up, dropping him to 15th as McLaren had their worse race of the season.

Nicholas Latifi was 16th ahead of Romain Grosjean as George Russell went for the fastest lap on the final lap, but came up just three-tenths short as he was the final finisher.