Lewis Hamilton achieved his fourth consecutive victory this season and thereby increasing his lead in the Formula 1 world championship to 17 points over team-mate Nico Rosberg with a commanding win in the inaugural Russian Grand Prix.
The championship leader also matched Nigel Mansell’s record of 31 Grand Prix victories, which secured Mercedes their first Constructors’ title with three races left in the championship.
Hamilton looked more at ease than Rosberg with the demands of the new 3.6-mile circuit in Sochi, and he converted pole position into his ninth win of the year with a measured drive.
Rosberg also started on the front row, and briefly headed his championship rival after sneaking up the inside after the first run through the flat-out Turn 1 right-hander, but Rosberg locked up heavily under braking for Turn 2 and flat-spotted his front tyres.
That forced Nico into the pits for a tyre-change at the end of the opening lap and effectively handed victory to Lewis.
Extraordinarily, Rosberg made his set of medium Pirelli tyres last 52 of the scheduled 53 laps as he limited the damage to his own championship aspirations by recovering to second in a processional race.
This was the Silver Arrows’ eighth one-two finish of the season which clinched the Constructors’ championship for the Brackley-based team.
Valtteri Bottas ran second for the majority of the first half of the Russian Grand Prix, but had to settle for the final podium spot once he had made his own pit stop and it became clear Rosberg’s tyres would last the distance.
Jenson Button recorded his best result since July’s British Grand Prix by finishing fourth, while McLaren team-mate Kevin Magnussen – who qualified sixth but started P11 thanks to a grid penalty for a gearbox change – made an excellent start and recovered well to finish fifth.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso also got away well from the grid to climb from seventh and lie fourth at the end of the first lap when Rosberg pitted, but the double world champion ultimately lacked the pace to fight the McLarens and also suffered a delay at his only pit-stop.
Alonso held off Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull to finish best of the non-Mercedes runners and round out the top six.
Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel ran ahead of his slow-starting Red Bull team-mate Ricciardo in the early stages, but his strategy of running an extended first stint didn’t work out and Vettel had to settle for eighth.
Kimi Raikkonen finished a distant ninth for Ferrari, while Force India’s Sergio Perez survived fears of excessive fuel consumption to claim the final point by rounding out the top ten.
Perez held off the second Williams of Felipe Massa, who started P18 after a fuel pressure problem ruined his qualifying session.
Massa attempted an aggressive two-stop strategy in an effort to recover the lost ground, but in the end fell short to score any points.
Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg took a close P12, while Russian home hero Daniil Kvyat started a superb fifth but slipped backwards after a scruffy opening lap and wound up finishing P14, behind Toro Rosso team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne.
All the drivers stood united at the front of the grid ahead of the Russian Grand Prix, as a mark of respect to injured Marussia driver Jules Bianchi.
The French racer’s team-mate Max Chilton raced on in Marussia’s sole entry, but retired with a front-left vibration at the end of his ninth lap.
Russian Grand Prix race results, 53 laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1h31m50.744s
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes +13.657s
3 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes +17.425s
4 Jenson Button McLaren/Mercedes +30.234s
5 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes +53.616s
6 Fernando Alonso Ferrari +1m0.016s
7 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault +1m1.812s
8 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault +1m6.185s
9 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari +1m18.877s
10 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes +1m20.067s
11 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes +1m20.877s
12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes +1m21.309s
13 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault +1m37.295
14 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault +1 Lap
15 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari +1 Lap
16 Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari +1 Lap
17 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault +1 Lap
18 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault +1 Lap
19 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault +2 Laps
Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 21 laps completed
Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 9 laps completed
Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m40.896s, lap 53
1 Lewis Hamilton 291
2 Nico Rosberg 274
3 Daniel Ricciardo 199
4 Valtteri Bottas 145
5 Sebastian Vettel 143
6 Fernando Alonso 141
7 Jenson Button 94
8 Nico Hulkenberg 76
9 Felipe Massa 71
10 Kevin Magnussen 49
11 Sergio Perez 47
12 Kimi Raikkonen 47
13 Jean-Eric Vergne 21
14 Romain Grosjean 8
15 Daniil Kvyat 8
16 Jules Bianchi 2
17 Adrian Sutil 0
18 Marcus Ericsson 0
19 Pastor Maldonado 0
20 Esteban Gutierrez 0
21 Max Chilton 0
22 Kamui Kobayashi 0
1 Mercedes 565
2 Red Bull-Renault 342
3 Williams-Mercedes 216
4 Ferrari 188
5 McLaren-Mercedes 143
6 Force India-Mercedes 123
7 Toro Rosso-Renault 29
8 Lotus-Renault 8
9 Marussia-Ferrari 2
10 Sauber-Ferrari 0
11 Caterham-Renault 0
Next race: United States Grand Prix, Circuit of the Americans. November 2.