Valtteri Bottas with Mercedes won the 2020 Russian Grand Prix in Sochi, ahead of Max Verstappen in 2nd place for Red Bull. Although Lewis Hamilton started from the pole position and many expected to see him clinch his 91st victory today, his pre-race practice starts outside of the pit lane earned him two 5-second time penalties. Hamilton also earned 2 more penalty points towards his Super License, which puts him at 10 total points. If a driver collects 12 points points within 365 days, then he would be penalized with skipping the following race. Nevertheless, Lewis managed to step on the podium by finishing 3rd in this race.
The first lap of the race was rather chaotic, with Carlos Sainz crashing his McLaren into the wall at turn 2, Lance Stroll crashed his Racing Point out after a contact with Charles Leclerc. These two separate accidents caused the Safety Car to appear and remain out for several laps. Other than that, the race was pretty smooth, without any major accidents or problems.
Sergio Perez with Racing Point finished 4th, while Daniel Ricciardo held on to the 5th place, despite being given a 5-second penalty for violating track limits in turn 2. Charles Leclerc managed to take his Ferrari into the points today. The young Monegasque started 11th but following a brilliant tire strategy he crossed the checkered flag in P6. Ricciardo’s teammate in Renault Esteban Ocon finished 7th, ahead of the two Alpha Tauri drivers, Daniil Kvyat and Pierre Gasly, who finished 8th and 9th, respectively. Alex Albon did not match Max’s pace yet once again and finished in P10 for Red Bull.
Antonio Giovinazzi with Alfa Romeo placed 11th, ahead of Haas’ Kevin Magnussen in P12. Sebastian Vettel started 14th today but his poor tire strategy only managed to gain 1 place for Ferrari. Nevertheless, the German driver was not happy with his car’s performance in Russia, which was largely expected due to Ferrari’s tremendous pace problems in the second half of 2020. Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen finished 14th, after having started this race in P19. Lando Norris for McLaren had a chaotic first lap himself, which led to his alternative tire strategy. Ultimately, the British driver could not manage to preserve his hard tires towards the end of the race, which forced him into the pits just 5 laps before the checkered flag. He finished 15th, ahead of Nicholas Latifi for Williams. Romain Grosjean with Haas finished in 17th, while George Russell with Williams finished last today in P18.
Fastest lap – 1:37.030 (BOT)
You can access the official race results HERE.