Bottas wins Russian GP after Hamilton’s penalties


Lewis Hamilton’s quest for the all-time record of Formula 1 wins was put on hold when he was hit with penalties at the Russian Grand Prix.

Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas dominated after the world champion was given a 10-second penalty for doing two illegal practice starts.

Hamilton’s transgressions put him on the verge of a one-race ban because of accumulated licence penalty points.

Bottas’ win means he cuts Hamilton’s championship lead to 44 points.

Hamilton and the Mercedes team made the victory easy for Bottas with their collective failure to know the rules on practice starts before the race.

Bottas was on the better strategy – starting on the medium tyres while Hamilton was on softs after a chaotic qualifying session for the Briton – and was tracking Hamilton in the early laps waiting for the race to play out.

Had the race played out, Hamilton would have made his pit stop first and been leading in the closing stages but with a grip deficit on older tyres trying to hold off Bottas and Verstappen.

But two five-second penalties, each for practice starts in the wrong place on the reconnaissance laps before the cars go to the grid, took Hamilton out of the equation. (BBC Sport)

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