Russian Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton takes 100th Grand Prix victory in dramatic style at Sochi


Lewis Hamilton sealed his 100th Formula 1 race victory in dramatic style at the Russian Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon, beating Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz with Lando Norris slipping out of the lead as the heavens opened in the final laps.

A mixed-up grid before lights out promised plenty of action for the race and we were treated to exactly that, with Sainz jumping Norris off of the line and into the first braking zone, whilst Hamilton was mobbed by a number of cars behind him, dropping from fourth to seventh in the opening exchanges.

Verstappen, meanwhile, started plum last after an engine change ahead of the weekend and began his recovery drive in decent style, working up to 15th by lap 4 and crucially getting ahead of Valtteri Bottas in the other Mercedes a couple of laps later.

Back up front, Norris reassumed the lead from Sainz and began building a gap, whilst George Russell in third had a bit of a queue forming behind him consisting of Lance Stroll, Daniel Ricciardo, Hamilton and Sergio Perez.

With tyre degradation a big issue here in Sochi, strategy around the pit stops was going to be key with the likes of Perez, Alonso and Charles Leclerc going long on the harder compound and the leaders coming in to pit as they were on the softer medium compound.

Among them, Hamilton, and with Max Verstappen now in the top ten the Dutchman followed his title rival into the pits in a bid to then try and get him on track, though that would not come to pass.


Lewis would come out and quickly get past Stroll and Sainz to begin hunting down Norris who was in the net lead once Perez, Alonso and Leclerc had come in whilst Verstappen was stuck behind the likes of his teammate and Ricciardo once he’d re-emerged.

It looked, then, that it would be a straight fight between Norris and Hamilton for the lead with the gap hovering around the 1-second to 1.5-second mark before things got even more dramatic.

With just under 10 laps to go, the rain hit – slightly at first before increasing in intensity to leave drivers with a huge call – pit for intermediates and hope it gets worse or stay on slicks and hope it gets better, quickly.


Norris, gunning for his first-ever F1 race win, stayed out and tried to bring it home but, by the last few laps, the rain was too strong and he was sliding off of the circuit, leaving the door open for Hamilton on intermediates to take victory number 100.

In all the chaos, his title rival Verstappen roared through to second place to really do a cracking job of damage limitation, whilst Sainz took third for Ferrari.

A frankly bonkers race, and the Drivers’ standings have once again closed up and swung back in Hamilton’s favour, with him leading by just the two points.


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