Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Sochi Autodrom, 2015

Hamilton can take title in USA after Sochi win

2015 Russian Grand Prix summary

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Lewis Hamilton is poised to clinch his third world championship title after winning the Russian Grand Prix.

Team mate Nico Rosberg dropped out in the early stages with a throttle problem. Hamilton went on to take a straightforward win, and can win the title at the next round in America.

Sebastian Vettel took second place and moved ahead of Rosberg in the drivers’ championship standings, but the battle for third place was decided on the final lap.

A strategic gamble by Sergio Perez had moved him up to third place, but the Force India driver was passed by Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen on the penultimate tour. However when Raikkonen and Bottas tangled on the final lap Perez reclaimed the final place on the podium.

Raikkonen limped in fifth, passed by the recovering Felipe Massa, but remains under investigation by the stewards.

Daniil Kvyat moved up to sixth in his home race ahead of Felipe Nasr and Pastor Maldonado. All three had seen their team mates retire: Daniel Ricciardo with a suspension failure, Marcus Ericsson in a lap-one collision with Nico Hulkenberg, and Romain Grosjean in a solo crash at turn three. The McLaren pair claimed the final two points places.

2015 Russian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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22 comments on “Hamilton can take title in USA after Sochi win”

  1. There is an enormous difference between the hype surrounding Hulkenberg (who is supposed to join Ferrari every year) and the lack of hype on Perez (who is average), which is quite strange considering that there’s virtually no difference in actual ability or talent.

    1. I second that.

    2. @kingshark it could be because Sergio Perez already drove for an top team and didn’t impress at Mclaren. We still have to see Nico in an top team.

    3. I’m also guessing Mercedes will have the WCC after Kimi his penalty?

      1. If he gets a 20-sec-penalty or worse, then the Mercs have already won the WCC.

    4. @kingshark Perez has loads of talent along with Hulkenberg, but really it is consistency where he lacks. Every season he’s participated in, he has had very high highs, but also very low lows. Hulkenberg has also had the lion’s share of bad luck this year. Not to mention that Perez already had a go in a “top” team, where he didn’t set the world alight against JB. Which just goes to show that he isn’t a Alonso/Vettel/Hamilton/Button.

    5. Isn’t it because Perez had his chance at McLaren already?
      Hulkenberg has yet to receive a chance to establish himself at a top team. That’s basically why I think.

      1. @john-h

        Isn’t it because Perez had his chance at McLaren already?

        In a car which was basically midfield and not any better than any of the other cars he’s driven in his career.

    6. I agree to an extent, but I think Hulkenburg is a bit frustrated with his competitiveness whereas Perez has accepted the midfield a bit more. Hulkenburg was a chance for a podium in Hungary before the front wing failure. He also has a much stronger junior record.
      Although I’m not Perez’s biggest fan (as a guy he seems great, but I find his driving style very awkward), being fired from Mclaren was a blessing in disguise.

    7. Perez has taken a couple of years to get more cerebral, this season he’s avoided silly errors and gotten much more from the VJM and luck. At McL the second half of the season he improved significantly but he was already out. I like how he mentally bounced back from McL into SFI , exciting guy to watch in the midfield though his forte is resource mgmt more than brilliant passes or Quali . Wonder if he’d get a second shot at a top seat improving race craft or one-lap performance… But he is delivering at SFI and seems to be having fun!

  2. So, after Hamilton has secured the title, will there be team-orders at Merc to help Rosberg with P2?

    1. @crammond Good question! I think they would do that as long as they would never have to ask Hamilton to give away a win, which might exactly always be the case…

    2. I doubt it, there’s no basis. The team will have the constructors done and dusted and Lewis would rather any of the others beat Rosberg. Especially after what looked like today’s brake test.

      1. Wasn’t a brake test. High fuel, tyres struggling to get up to temp, and a bit of early race caution is what it was. Grosjean found out what can happen with too much speed in turn 3.
        But I also think Mercedes won’t be concerned with Rosberg being 2nd or 3rd. Too trivial to start upsetting people over.

        1. He jumped on the brakes.

          1. @lockup I assume you’re referring to the lap 1 safety car? Given that the result of a rear end impact is usually a broken rear wing and retirement I can’t see any reason for a purposeful break test.

          2. Yes I am @weeniebeenie. I have to admit I’m not 100% sure after watching again, but it makes perfect sense if you’re unscrupulous. The most common outcome of a low-energy impact like that is a dislodged front wing and no damage to the car in front.

            There was some risk it could not work or backfire as you say but with the points situation as it was it would have been a gamble worth taking.

            Impossible to be sure, but then it had to be deniable and it was very obviously risky to slow suddenly like that on an exit.

  3. If Kimi gets a 20-seconds-time-penalty, Mercedes will win the constructor’s championship, because Ferrari can only equal them on points, but will have less wins than the Mercs.

    Btw HAM set his fastest time on lap 44 lol

  4. Should change the title to “Hamilton will take title in USA after Sochi win”. It’s a done deal!! ;)

    1. If Hamilton wins the US GP and Rosberg is 2nd followed by Vettel in third then it’s all over, however if Vettel manages to get second then it goes on. So while it’s looking likely he will be crowned champion it’s not as simple as it “will” happen.

      It could very well be that Mexico’s return to the calendar is greeted by a championship being decided there. Whichever way you look at it the situation Hamilton finds himself in now is incredibly strong.

      1. Ham is 73 points ahead of Vet. If Ham wins and Vet comes 2nd, Ham will have 80 points lead with 75 points max available. So unless there is a mechanical failure, its almost a done deal.

        1. No, Hamilton is 73 points ahead of Rosberg. He’s 66 points ahead of Vettel. If Hamilton wins at Austin and Vettel comes 2nd he will be 73 points ahead with three races remaining. If Vettel finishes third or lower and Hamilton wins it’s all over.

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