Hamilton, who started on pole position in Sochi hoping for a record-equalling 91st career Formula One victory, ended up third behind Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

His hopes were dashed when stewards issued two five-second penalties for making practice starts outside the designated area as he headed to the grid.

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Hamilton's lead over Bottas shrunk to a still healthy 44 points after 10 of 17 races. Dominant Mercedes continued their record of winning every Russian Grand Prix since the first in 2014. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Ed Osmond)

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