Lewis Hamilton extended his lead at the top of the drivers’ championship at the Russian Grand Prix as Mercedes claimed an unlikely one-two after Sebastian Vettel was forced to retire.
Charles Leclerc claimed his fourth straight pole in Saturday’s qualification and Ferrari used his position to slingshot Vettel into P1 off the grid, putting the Scuderia in a strong position to make this race their own.
However, team radio squabbles saw Ferrari shoot themselves in the foot somewhat, with Vettel stopping due to a mechanical issue almost immediately after Leclerc had been switched ahead of the German again after pitting.
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This put Hamilton and Bottas in control, with the Finn keeping Leclerc behind him to ensure Mercedes claimed the top two places on the podium. Hamilton now holds a 73-point lead in the drivers’ standings over Bottas, with this victory edging him closer to a successful defence of his crown.

DRIVER OF THE DAY - Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)

He didn’t finish the race, but this was Vettel back to his street-fighting best. Leclerc might not have been too happy with his teammate, but the German was setting a pace that nobody could keep up with. Ferrari took the decision to switch their drivers back around after Vettel’s pit stop, but he almost certainly would have passed Leclerc again had he not suffered the technical issue that ended his race. Hamilton took the chequered flag, but this race was defined by what Vettel did.

WHERE THE RACE WAS WON

1/53 Vettel past Hamilton and Leclerc! The 21-year-old will be furious! His Ferrari teammate got the slingshot on him, pushing him past the Mercedes, but also past Leclerc out of Turn Two! Was that planned? Was that a team move?
23/53 Leclerc into the pits! The Ferrari has been shifted from the softs on to the mediums. It was a bit of a sluggish stop, to be honest. That won't improve the mood of Leclerc, who is already annoyed at his team's strategy.
28/53 Vettel pits and... Leclerc is ahead again! Ferrari have finally switched their drivers around that will keep Leclerc from complaining over the team radio, which he had been doing for the first 27 laps of the race.
29/53 VETTEL OUT! Disaster for the German! He was leading this race, but the Ferrari has suffered a technical issue and he won't finish! Oh dear. Just as it seemed we might get a real race between the two Ferraris.
HAMILTON WINS THE RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX! It's a one-two for the Silver Arrows and there's a mood of celebration in the Mercedes garage. Leclerc takes the final place on the podium, but Ferrari will be disappointed.

PIT EXCHANGE OF THE DAY

Certainly not for the first time this season, Leclerc and Vettel ended up in a bit of a squabble with their team over the radio. “Let Charles by,” the instruction was given to Vettel after just nine laps after Leclerc gave him the slingshot off the grid. However, Vettel kept pushing and didn’t allow his teammate the chance to pass. “You put me behind and I respected everything. We will talk later,” Leclerc responded. Classic Ferrari.

BEST OVERTAKE

With just three laps remaining, Alex Albon moved up into P5 with a brave move on Carlos Sainz, getting around the outside of the McLaren, but with enough time to regain the racing line on the inside heading into Turn Four. Albon is making quite the impression in the Red Bull seat. He surely has to be a good bet to keep his place for next season.
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