Rosberg victorious for the seventh time

Championship leader Nico Rosberg dominated the Russian Grand Prix was ease to record his seventh straight victory in Formula 1.

His Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton was able to recovery from tenth to finish second. Despite a brief mid-race water-pressure scare.

Kimi Raikkonen took third for the Scuderia, which was the team’s 700th podium result in the sport.

As for his Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel, he was out on the first lap no thanks to a double bash from ‘Russian torpedo’ Daniil Kvyat.

Vettel was attempting to pass Daniel Ricciardo for fifth up the inside into the Turn 2 on the opening lap, with Sergio Perez making it three wide on the outside line.

Vettel appeared to have made the move, only for Kvyat to tap the rear of the Ferrari and pitch it sideways and into Ricciardo, who in turn hit Perez and gave the Force India a right-rear puncture.

The Ferrari was then hit in the rear again by Kvyat in the fast Turn 3, pitching Vettel into the wall and out of the race and prompting a few F-bombs over the team radio.

Kvyat, who like team-mate Ricciardo had to pit for a new front wing, was given a ten-second stop and go penalty for causing the two collisions.


The safety car was deployed to clear up the wreckage of the Ferrari and the consequences of a separate incident in which Esteban Gutierrez hit Nico Hulkenberg’s Force India.

While Rosberg had the lead, Hamilton was running fifth, which became fourth position when he passed Felipe Massa’s Williams at Turn 2 at the restart.

Hamilton then dived up the inside of third-placed Kimi Raikkonen into Turn 4 on lap seven after The Iceman had a poor run out of the previous corner while chasing Valtteri Bottas.

Bottas was able to keep Hamilton behind when he pitted at the end of lap 16 of 53, with Hamilton emerging just behind after stopping a lap later.

But two laps later, the reigning champion was able to take second up the inside into Turn 2 even though Bottas also had the use of the DRS on the run to the corner thanks to the yet-to-stop Fernando Alonso being ahead.

Once in clear air, Hamilton did close on Rosberg, reducing the gap to 7.5 seconds by two-thirds distance prior to being warned of the water pressure issue that led to him easing off while it was checked.

The gap quickly extended to just over 13 seconds, with Rosberg eventually crossing the line 25 seconds clear after setting the fastest lap of the race on his penultimate time round the Sochi circuit.

Bottas lost out on the final podium position to Raikkonen, who ran four laps later in his first stint and emerged from his sole pitstop just in front of the Williams driver.

Massa had a lonely race to fifth, with the Williams team bringing him in for a late and risk-free stop at the end of lap 46 to switch to super-softs, presumably in case a safety car closed up the field again and he was able to attack.

He had a comfortable advantage over Fernando Alonso, who took his first points finish since last year’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

The double world champion capitalised on Toro Rosso driver Max Verstappen retiring from sixth place with an engine problem.

Kevin Magnussen delivered a strong race to take his and Renault’s first points of the season in seventh, prevailing in a tight five-car battle for the minor points positions.

He led home Romain Grosjean, who took the new Haas team’s third points finish in four races.

Perez recovered to ninth, with Jenson Button passing Carlos Sainz Jr for the final point late on. Scoring a double points finish for McLaren.

Ricciardo could only recover to P12 ahead of Jolyon Palmer after initially switching onto medium rubber following the first-lap problems and then making a second stop to bolt on softs.

Team-mate Kvyat was P15, behind Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson, after serving his penalty.

So four wins out of four for Nico Rosberg. The Mercedes driver is looking the clear favourite for the championship. Can Hamilton fight back? We shall see.

Russian Grand Prix, race results after 53 laps:

1    Nico Rosberg    Mercedes    1h32m41.997s
2    Lewis Hamilton    Mercedes    25.022s
3    Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari    31.998s
4    Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Mercedes    50.217s
5    Felipe Massa    Williams-Mercedes    1m14.427s
6    Fernando Alonso    McLaren-Honda    1 Lap
7    Kevin Magnussen    Renault    1 Lap
8    Romain Grosjean    Haas-Ferrari    1 Lap
9    Sergio Perez    Force India-Mercedes    1 Lap
10    Jenson Button    McLaren-Honda    1 Lap
11    Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull-TAG Heuer    1 Lap
12    Carlos Sainz    Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1 Lap
13    Jolyon Palmer    Renault    1 Lap
14    Marcus Ericsson    Sauber-Ferrari    1 Lap
15    Daniil Kvyat    Red Bull/TAG Heuer    1 Lap
16    Felipe Nasr    Sauber-Ferrari    1 Lap
17    Esteban Gutierrez    Haas-Ferrari    1 Lap
18    Pascal Wehrlein    Manor-Mercedes    2 Laps
–    Max Verstappen    Toro Rosso-Ferrari    Retirement
–    Sebastian Vettel    Ferrari    Collision
–    Rio Haryanto    Manor-Mercedes    Collision
–    Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes    Collision

Drivers’ standings:

1    Nico Rosberg    100
2    Lewis Hamilton    57
3    Kimi Raikkonen    43
4    Daniel Ricciardo    36
5    Sebastian Vettel    33
6    Felipe Massa    32
7    Romain Grosjean    22
8    Daniil Kvyat    21
9    Valtteri Bottas    19
10    Max Verstappen    13
11    Fernando Alonso    8
12    Kevin Magnussen    6
13    Nico Hulkenberg    6
14    Carlos Sainz    4
15    Sergio Perez    2
16    Jenson Button    1
17    Stoffel Vandoorne    1
18    Jolyon Palmer    0
19    Marcus Ericsson    0
20    Pascal Wehrlein    0
21    Felipe Nasr    0
22    Esteban Gutierrez    0
23    Rio Haryanto    0

Constructors’ standings:

1    Mercedes    157
2    Ferrari    76
3    Red Bull-TAG Heuer    57
4    Williams-Mercedes    51
5    Haas-Ferrari    22
6    Toro Rosso-Ferrari    17
7    McLaren-Honda    10
8    Force India-Mercedes    8
9    Renault    6
10    Sauber-Ferrari    0
11    Manor-Mercedes    0

Next race: Spanish Grand Prix, Circuit de Catalunya. May 13-15.

7 thoughts to “Rosberg victorious for the seventh time”

  1. Sebastian Vettel and Danill Kvyat collided for the second successive race with the former ending up in the wall on lap one of the Russian Grand Prix.

    Red Bull’s Kvyat locked up and hit Vettel at Turn 2, pitching the Ferrari into Daniel Ricciardo.

    All three cars continued, but Kvyat then hit Vettel again into the fast Turn 3, sending him into the wall and out of the race.

    Vettel’s team radio immediately after the incident was expletive-laden but he was calmer when speaking to reporters on returning to the pits.

    “In the end these things happen, but obviously it’s harsh,” said Vettel.

    “The race is long. Yes you can make progress on the first lap but you can also end your race there.

    “It was not my fault, nothing I could change.

    “I don’t dislike him but I think he made a mistake two weeks ago and a mistake today but it doesn’t change anything.”

    Vettel rode a scooter himself back to the pits and watched replays of the incident.

    The German then headed over to the Red Bull pitwall to speak to his former boss Christian Horner.

    “I think you saw more than me,” he added. ‘It was fairly clear that I just got a big hit.

    “I was lucky not to spin into Turn 2, then just got turned around at turn three into the barriers.

    “If I need to talk to somebody it is him (Kvyat).”

    Kvyat received a 10-second stop-go penalty for causing the two collisions.


  2. Red Bull Racing’s Daniil Kvyat has apologises to Sebastian Vettel for the first lap ‘mess’. has the details.

    Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat says he accepts responsibility for his double collision with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel on the first lap in Russia – an incident which also led to damage for team mate Daniel Ricciardo.

    Kvyat misjudged his braking point heading down into Turn 2, and lightly tagged the rear of Vettel’s car – pitching the Ferrari into Ricciardo. All three recovered, but as Vettel headed through Turn 3 Kvyat tapped his rear again, this time diverting the Ferrari into the barriers and out of the race.

    The incident came just one race after Vettel and Kvyat’s war of words following the Russian’s aggressive start in China.

    “There was a bit going on [at the start],” Kvyat explained, “and I think in the last moment I didn’t expect it to slow so much.

    “I tried to press the brakes, the rear wheels locked and the first contact came from that. The second contact he just slowed down a lot, I couldn’t see ahead, and I didn’t have time to react.

    “All the mess came from me… of course it doesn’t feel great but these things happen sometimes. It’s probably the messiest [start] of my career. I will learn from it – and of course apologies to everyone involved.

    “I think we will speak [with Vettel and Ricciardo], that’s all we can do. Everyone will attack me, but I’m okay with that.”

    Vettel was incandescent in the cockpit of his Ferrari immediately after the contact, but was more circumspect in the paddock.

    “I got a big hit, I was lucky not to spin and then got another huge hit which turned me around and I couldn’t avoid the barriers,” he said.

    “These things happen – there is nothing I could have done differently. I think there was enough damage to conclude I couldn’t continue. If anyone needs to talk to anyone, I think it’s him [Kvyat]…”

    Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, who discussed the incident with Vettel during the race, added: “Obviously Seb was slightly frustrated. All I could do was apologise, because this week it was unfortunately a mistake from Dany.

    “I think he knows what happened. He’s misjudged that first corner, and hit Sebastian who hit Daniel. From a team point of view it’s screwed our race because we could have scored a lot of points today.

    “Emotions run high with all these guys, in his home race I think he just went for too much too soon. Unfortunately I think he has just misjudged it.”

    Kvyat, who received a 10-second stop and go penalty and three penalty points as punishement for the incident, eventually finished a lap down 15th place.

  3. Daniel Ricciardo says he expects an apology from team-mate Daniil Kvyat for his error at the start of the Russian Grand Prix.

    Kvyat ran in to the back of Sebastian Vettel, causing the Ferrari to hit Ricciardo who was on the outside. The damage suffered to both Red Bulls required pit stops at the end of the first lap and neither were able to recover to score a point as a result, with Ricciardo unhappy with his team-mate for causing the crash.

    “A first lap incident that shaped the race for us, and from there we tried putting the medium on and that just didn’t work,” Ricciardo said. “But we had a lot of damage. I just saw the right-hand side of the car, and there is a lot (of damage) going on. Just the first lap – people getting a bit impatient I guess.

    Asked if he meant his team-mate was getting impatient, Ricciardo replied: “Yeah, yeah. I expect an apology, put it that way.”


  4. Mercedes Formula 1 team boss hits back at conspiracy theorists on social media regarding sabotage the result. Reuters has the news story.

    Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff denounced social media conspiracy theorists after a Russian Grand Prix weekend during which Germany’s Nico Rosberg won his seventh race in a row and world champion team mate Lewis Hamilton endured more engine problems.

    Wolff said he was speaking out because some of the abuse directed at the Formula One team could impact on engineers and other employees.

    “I don’t want to even ignore this bunch of lunatics who think that we would harm a driver who is our driver, who has been a double world champion for us,” the Austrian told reporters.

    “He (Hamilton) hasn’t let us down, and we wouldn’t let him down. This is a mechanical sport and these things happen.”

    Despite the Briton’s success with Mercedes, there have always been some who believe the German manufacturer really wants a German champion.

    Hamilton has not won a race since he took his third title in Texas in October and has suffered mechanical problems in his last two races, starting from the back of the grid in China and 10th in Sochi.

    He is now 43 points behind Rosberg after four races.

    Wolff suggested some of the critics were “lying in their beds with their laptops on their chests” and were not to be taken seriously.

    “The reason why I am being vocal about it is that I want to protect the guys,” he said.

    “They are being hit by comments that are just inexcusable and unfair and abusive without reason. If some of the guys read those comments they might take it personally.”

    Hamilton would have had to start from the pit lane in Russia on Sunday had Mercedes not, as Wolff pointed out, “moved heaven and earth” to fly essential parts from Britain overnight.

    Wolff said non-executive chairman Niki Lauda organised the private jet while Formula One’s commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone “sorted” the Russian customs.

    Hamilton, who has 3.3 million followers on Twitter and is active on various social media platforms, understood the hurt felt by fans but assured them the team was making every effort.

    “The people…are feeling the same pain I’m feeling,” he said. “They’re feeling the hurt and emotions you go through because we’re connected in that way and its a beautiful thing.

    “In any sport or any situation the easiest thing is to jump to the negative and I just want to assure them that my guys are doing a fantastic job and it’s not their fault.”

  5. Despite finishing in third position, Kimi Raikkonen has commented that Ferrari are not fast enough to challenge Mercedes. has the details.

    Kimi Raikkonen says Ferrari did not have the pace to challenge Mercedes at the Russian Grand Prix after the 2007 world champion finished a distant third in Sochi.

    The Finn crossed the line nearly 32s adrift of race winner Nico Rosberg, and was only able to close the gap to second-placed Lewis Hamilton after the Briton had to nurse a water leak on his W07.

    Having struggled with the set-up of his SF16-H all weekend in Russia, Raikkonen admits he could not take the fight to the two-time Constructors’ champions.

    “It’s not exactly what we want,” the 36-year-old said of his podium finish. “We want to win races and put the two cars as far up as we can. We tried to today. I had a pretty OK start, managed to get Valtteri [Bottas] on the first lap but again after the restart, same as last year here, we just did not have the speed.

    “He managed to get me and then when I tried to get past him obviously Lewis [Hamilton] got past me, but we just had to try to run a bit longer and pass them and we managed to leapfrog the Williams but we were not fast enough for Mercedes.

  6. Haas Formula 1 driver Esteban Gutierrez says he feels “very bad” about triggering the Russian Grand Prix first-lap crash that ended Nico Hulkenberg and Rio Haryanto’s races.

    Gutierrez ran into Hulkenberg heading into Turn 2 at Sochi, with the Force India then collecting Haryanto’s Manor and Marcus Ericsson’s Sauber.

    While Gutierrez and Ericsson were able to continue following pitstops for repairs, Haryanto and Hulkenberg were out.

    Gutierrez received a drive-through penalty and two penalty points on his licence and ultimately finished 17th.

    “When I approached the first corner I took a lot of margin but I locked my front wheels and I had nowhere to go,” Gutierrez told Autosport.

    “I feel very bad. Obviously I damaged a lot of races in front.


  7. As for Romain Grosjean, the Haas driver is delighted to finish in the points. has the news story.

    Romain Grosjean says scoring points at the Russian Grand Prix felt “great”, especially after he and the Haas F1 Team had been struggling for pace around Sochi Autodrom all weekend.

    The Frenchman only lined up 15th on the grid but he was already up to P8 by the time the opening lap melee and early Safety Car period ended. Grosjean managed to keep the position until the end, despite intense pressure from Force India’s Sergio Perez in the second half of the race.

    “It’s great to be back in the points, especially after a very difficult weekend where we were never very happy with the car,” Grosjean said. “It was a good first lap to avoid all the incidents, and then I kept Perez behind.

    “There are still so many things we can improve on the car. I’m still not a hundred percent happy with the behaviour. I think for the next race it’s going to be so much better. It’s very positive knowing that we have something that will become better.”

    While Grosjean picked up Haas’ third points finish in four races this year, team-mate Estebian Gutierrez’ challenging return to F1 continued in Sochi.

    The Mexican was involved in the mayhem at the start and had to serve a 10-second stop-and-go penalty for punting Nico Hulkenberg out of the race, before finishing 17th and second last.

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