F1 – Lewis Hamilton wins in Russia after team orders

Lewis Hamilton took a giant step towards a fifth world championship with victory in the Russian Grand Prix.

Hamilton benefited from team orders as Mercedes told his team-mate Valtteri Bottas to let him by at half distance to protect against rival Sebastian Vettel.

But Hamilton had to pass Vettel on track to get into a position to benefit from the orders after being passed at the pit stops.

The Briton is now 50 points ahead in the title race with a maximum 125 still available in the remaining five races.

Bottas led away from pole position, and the Finn’s slipstream enabled a slow-starting Hamilton to fend off Vettel’s attack into the first corner.

Hamilton was struggling with his tyres, which were developing small blisters, and Mercedes were worried about Vettel being right behind him.

So Bottas was ordered to move out of the way at Turn 13 on lap 25, and Hamilton assumed second place.

Bottas was not a happy camper , saying over the radio that he had been preparing a move on Verstappen on the next lap – which did not sound very credible given the nearly two-second gap.

In the closing laps, Bottas asked whether they were going to finish in these positions and was told: “Affirm. We will talk about it afterwards.”

RESULTS

1  Lewis Hamilton  Mercedes 
2  Valtteri Bottas  Mercedes 
3  Sebastian Vettel  Ferrari 
4  Kimi Raikkonen  Ferrari 
5  Max Verstappen  Red Bull  
6  Daniel Ricciardo  Red Bull 

7  Charles Leclerc  Sauber 
8  Kevin Magnussen  Haas 
9  Esteban Ocon  Force India 
10  Sergio Perez  Force India 
11  Romain Grosjean  Haas 
12  Nico Hulkenberg  Renault 
13  Marcus Ericsson  Sauber 
14  Fernando Alonso  McLaren  
15  Lance Stroll  Williams  Canada
16  Stoffel Vandoorne  McLaren 
17  Carlos Sainz Jnr  Renault 
18  Sergey Sirotkin  Williams 
R  Pierre Gasly  Toro Rosso 
R  Brendon Hartley  Toro Rosso 

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