Text: Marcus De Guzman / Photos: Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1, FIA | posted May 02, 2016 12:25
Silver Arrows secure 1-2 victory at Sochi Autodrom
Nico Rosberg has won his fourth win of the season after taking 1st place victory at the 2016 Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom. Securing pole position allowed Rosberg to avoid the mayhem that befell other drivers at the beginning of the race.
Off the line, Danill Kyvat from Red Bull Racing immediately rear-ended Ferrari driver Sebastien Vettel onto his teammate, Daniel Ricciardo in Turn 2. Nico Hulkenberg, on the other hand was not able to finish this year's Russian Grand Prix after Haas' Esteban Gutierrez collided with him in Turn 2. Meanwhile, Hulkenberg's teammate Sergio Perez, suffered a punctured right rear tire during the incident. In Turn 3, Vettel was struck again by Kyvat, resulting in the German spinning out and causing a safety car lap.
Danill Kyvat was given a stop/go penalty of 10 seconds after colliding with Vettel earlier. But even with that, Vettel had to retire from the race.
The race restarted in lap 4, with Rosberg again leading the pack. Williams Martini's Valterri Bottas was able to overtake Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen for 2nd place, while reigning Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton passed Bottas' teammate Felipe Massa for 4th place. Young gun Max Verstappen of Toro Rosso was now vying Massa, as was Honda-McLaren's Fernando Alonso.
Rosberg was able to extend his lead after Hamilton managed to outmaneuver and outbrake 'The Iceman' in lap 7. This also resulted in Bottas overtaking the Finn. Raikkonen was able to bounce back in the top three after Bottas got stuck behind Alonso in lap 20. He was now in 3rd place, just behind the 2 Silver Arrows.
Hamilton was able to close the gap between him and Rosberg during laps 23 to 26 to just 7.5 seconds. He had to back down however over falling water pressure on his engine A few laps later, the issue was resolved but the gap between the two grew once more to 13 seconds.
Verstappen managed to hold on to 6th place before his engine gave out on lap 34. Alonso gained 6th place, with Renault's Kevin Magnussen and Haas' Romain Grosjean trailing behind on 7th and 8th place accordingly. Completing the top ten finishers of the 2016 Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix were Perez and Honda-McLaren's Jenson Button.
In the end, Hamilton secured 2nd place victory while Raikkonen settled for 3rd place. Bottas and Massa finished the race in 4th and 5th accordingly.
Rosberg now has a 43-point lead against Hamilton who has now 57 points. Third place overall is Raikkonen who has 43 points. Trailing behind at 4th and 5th are Ricciardo and Vettel with 36 and 33 points respectively.