Start, Sochi Autodrom, 2018

Rate the race: 2018 Russian Grand Prix

2018 Russian Grand Prix

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What did you think of today’s race? Share your verdict on the Russian Grand Prix.

RaceFans has held polls on every F1 race since 2008 to find out which fans thought of each round of the season.

Join in the latest poll and give your verdict on the race: 10 being the highest and 1 the lowest. Please vote based on how entertaining and exciting you thought the race was, not on how your preferred driver or team performed.

What were the best and worst moments of the race? What was the main thing you’ll remember about it? Rate the race out of ten and leave a comment below:

Rate the 2018 Russian Grand Prix out of ten

  • 1 (14%)
  • 2 (4%)
  • 3 (8%)
  • 4 (12%)
  • 5 (18%)
  • 6 (21%)
  • 7 (17%)
  • 8 (5%)
  • 9 (1%)
  • 10 (0%)

Total Voters: 277

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1 = ‘Terrible’, 10 = ‘Perfect’

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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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83 comments on “Rate the race: 2018 Russian Grand Prix”

  1. Valteri, take a leaf from Rosberg’s book. Once you stop being a wingman, then you may get the chance.

  2. 5

    0 for the race, and the hollow victory. Disappointed Lewis would agree with that.

    +5 for Max.

    1. another +5 added for Max

    2. +1 without Max it would be really bad.

    3. I didn’t quite race it that low @psynrg, but yeah, the almost completely uneccissary Mercedes switcheroo (what with the large gap, that was widening already before the team orders) and the way they seemed not really even to want to tell it to Bottas straight out did leave a bad feeling about the race.

      Interesting though how Sky seemed to all be perfectly fine with this when Mercedes does it for Hamilton but cannot stop talking about it when it’s Ferrari doing it.

    4. This race is on its way to entering the bottom 10 !!
      One of the worst rated races. Second from this season.

  3. A rather straightforward race although not the worst ever, but still not the best of the season either.

  4. Bottas is broken now. There’s no coming back from this. His team clearly favor Hamilton.

    1. I think he needs to have a winter time-out with Rosberg to show him how to come back, like Rosberg did after 2014, and 2015, winning the WDC in 2016.

      1. Gifted the title by team mistakes on the other side of the garage.

      2. Good point there @bosyber. Bottas really gave a huge effort to take it on the chin, but since they never even really came out and told him – he had to ask “what are we doing for the finish” and only got a “we’ll talk about it later” you’d have to think his trust in Wolff will not be increased by this sorry episode.

        1. Even Hamilton ended up asking (apparently, haven’t gone back to listen to his race end) ‘so do we switch back now then?’ only to be told no, I can understand being embarrassed, but that’s hardly a good and motivating way to go about it.

    2. @illustrious he puts himself in that position to begin with, both drivers started the season with 0 points, Ferrari would have done the same to maximise their chances, it’s not about sentiments it’s about points, drivers and constructors positions, it could have been the other way around like when Lewis was told not back off Rosberg in Abu Dhabi 2016.

  5. Great start to the race but it really tapered off in the second half.

  6. I think David Croft best described it as “absorbing”. Not particularly exciting, but the intrigue was kept throughout. As a user above me mentions, it does make you miss Nico Rosberg a little. Bottas is quick, but missing that extra edge that Rosberg had to stay really close to Hamilton and force him into mistakes.

    Sochi was always going to be a Mercedes dominated race, so I’m not giving up hope of more competitive races later in the season. The championship is looking closer and closer to being tied up though…

    1. it does make you miss Nico Rosberg a little

      @ben-n – and makes me respect him some more.

      1. Well said @ben-n, @phylyp, these past two seasons we have really seen what Rosberg brought to the team, and shown him beating Michael Schumacher in that car wasn’t just a sign of the old master being past it, but rather Rosberg being fast and doggedly determined.

  7. Pretty simple – it’s an ugly track that produces boring races, IMO.

    1. Feel free to remove the IMO, it’s objective, not subjective.

  8. Championship over.

    Nothing happens in this race as usual. I think this track needs to go (along with a few others).

  9. There was a moment, when Vettel was challenging Hamilton and when Verstappen’s strategy wasn’t quite clear yet, that this race had serious potential. Sadly it petered out badly. Team orders and big gulfs in performance. The Red Bull showing some semblance of pace does give hope for more exciting, maybe even three way races to come. But dull, in the end.

  10. 2015 > 2016 > 2017 > 2014
    Now where would 2018 be placed?

  11. This is the first F1 race I have not sat through to the end in at least more than five years. Red Bull achieved the impossible art of making a comeback from the back of the grid boring, Mercedes’ team order was blatant and then they had the gall to pretend it was for “tactical reasons” instead of doing the necessary thing. Ferrari have lost their entire plot when it comes to development within a few races to the point that the Mercedes is as far ahead as it was in 2017.

    Quite frankly, I am questioning whether my time isn’t better spend watching other series. This year will end the same way as last year and a guy who has enough talent for “only” a world title and a half will have five of them, all whilst being the perhaps most insufferable public persona in sports this century, all whilst actual worthwhile talent is left on the sidelines. Honestly, not even 2014-16 were this bad, because at least then Mercedes’ domination was actually impressive.

    1. @Klon Yep, this pretty much sums up the situation.

      1. Klon right on … kept TV on for the company … and Otmar

      1. +1: Gave it a generous 4, what a thoroughly depressing waste of two hours.

    2. @klon when it’s the British Touring Car Championship finale on ITV4 all day (also featuring all sorts of other great racing) it’s no contest for my attention.

      Watched the F1 during the breaks in the action from Brands Hatch, fast forwarding through most of it. What a waste of time. 3 out of 10 because at least Max had a bit of action and there was at least a bit of action between Lewis and Seb even if it only lasted a couple of corners.

    3. @Klon +1. I agree with everything you said. I turned it off with 10 laps to go. Haven’t done that in over 5 years.

      Gave the race 2. 1 for Verstappen and 1 for the early midfield action with Lecler and the Force Indias.

      Bottas must be utterly gutted at his treatment.

  12. Toto really ruined this one. Team comes first and how we now know Hamilton comes second.

  13. A showcase of everything wrong with F1

  14. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
    30th September 2018, 13:51

    Decent, which is quite something considering this is the Russian Grand prix

    Vettel’s move on Hamilton was filth though, luckily Ferrari will have a proper driver in leclerc last year.

    1. Vettel’s move on Hamilton was filth though

      Tell that to VER….

      1. Max (VER) did it much better, this is sloppy!

  15. 5/10. Great pass by Leclerc on Magnussen, Vettel did a beast outlap, amazing fight between the two, Verstappen was great, and Bottas is a loser not a winner. It was his chance to win today but sacrificed it. Overall pretty boring race with some bright spots here and there. It is Hamilton’ title to lose now.

  16. Gave it 1. It was disgusting to see mercedes steal victory from valtri. It wasn’t necessary, Lewis is way ahead in champions and it’s downright unfair.

  17. Gving this a 1. One hell of an boring race and the treating of Bottas just makes me sick.

  18. Of all the efforts they are doing to grow F1’s fanbase, this is not the way to do it. We want to see true racing, wheel to wheel, man against to man. Do not do it like this.

    When you have tracks / requlations where you simply cannot get closer than 2 secs and decide wins with team orders, there really is no point of watching F1.

  19. Pretty disgusting, to be honest.

    Ferrari haven’t been on the pace of the Mercedes all weekend and given how comfortably Hamilton blew past Vettel there was no fight there – neither Mercedes was ever under threat. There was no reason to tell Bottas to move aside. Pretty gross showing in a terminally dull race only made interesting by Verstappen. I understand the need for team-orders – Force India demonstrated how that can work efficiently, but with a 40-point lead taking points from the guy in 1st when you have no contest from your nearest rival… it was unnecessary. Poor Wingman. He should have refused.

    I realise there are races left to go but it looks like the championship is over really. Ferrari may have had a good car to begin the year with but have failed to develop it and now are clearly behind the Mercedes and frankly the points Ferrari have lost via Vettel overdriving, bad luck and poor strategy won’t make any difference now.

    Going on the race specifically it’s essentially a car park and has all the charisma and interest of one.

  20. 6. Mostly thanks to VER.

    What a disgrace to steal the win from BOT!!!

    Another disgrace: Sky coverage. The only religion these guys preach is to praise Ferrari’s car just to make HAM’s wins look more deserved than they actually are. Davidson felt to say that VER is going to have more work to do than usual before he gets a Sauber just because it has a Ferrari engine! In just 3 corners VER proved what a joker Davidson is, overtaking the Sauber just as easy as any other car. Also, in the last few laps, Crofty felt the need too to say that Ferrari might have messed up the strategy for VET… again… when it’s obvious they did everything right.

    Mercedes has the better car now without doubt. The way HAM managed to overtake VET and the fact that VET never managed to get in the DRS range of Mercedes is just proof enough they lack raw power/speed.

    Told you the champs are over……

    1. Sky’s bias is ridiculously insulting. The blatant hypocrisy of saying it makes perfect sense to swap Bottas/Hamilton here while complaining about how wrong it would be to swap Raikkonen/Vettel in Monza is just insane. It’s surprising Hamilton can sit down with how far Sky’s coverage is up him.

      1. I’ll be honest guys, I’ve been reading comments like this for years – I usually red button and watch a stream without commentary, but was at a friends today so heard the commentary – I don’t see it?

        They took Vettels side on the double move issue unanimously, they called Verstappen the driver of the race and they said that this was Bottas’ race, and are not happy that it was given to Hamilton.

        I’m not sure saying Ferrari’s car is fast – and they said fast, not faster – is particularly proof of what you think it is.

        1. Also, I’ve just been shown a recording of Monza, an they did the precise same, said they understood it from a team perspective, but wish that the drivers could race.

          I’m not seeing “insane hypocrisy” or “insulting bias”, or “religious like preaching”… well I am, but it’s not from sky.

          (And please bear in mind – I deliberately shut off their commentary, I’m not a fan of it!)

  21. Solid race. Nothing extra but good for Russia 6/10. Lot of people is mad because of Mercedes strategy but i think it was right thing to do. Only i’m not sure why they just didn’t said Valtteri before the race that Hamilton will not give him back his place

  22. It’s Russia. What did you expect?
    Any good rating I might’ve given from Hamilton and Vettel got smashed by the Bottas teamorder.

    The only highlight is Max in an otherwise dreadfull GP.

  23. 2.
    6 for the race itself (there was SOME tension, after all), minus 4 for being, basically, a microcosm of F1’s issues in 2018.

  24. Well, mostly, this was a lot better of a race then I thought it’d be, especially after the leaders kept position in those first few corners. But, while understanding the swap from Mercedes, I would have really like to have seen Hamilton use moves like he had with Vettel to get the win for himself, or alternatively, not get it and Bottas finally get a 2018 win in after all the bad luck he had, so that was a big letdown and damper on any joy I had.

    I did like to see how Force India this time handled their drivers, and the team orders, that was great management, even if in the end it didn’t help them past Magnussen (who’s now ahead of Hulk in the F1B WDC!); Leclerc had a great, if largely unsighted, race too, which was nice. Those first few corners by Verstappen were just great, after that he used his much faster car to great effect. But, in the end, a lot of hard work, to end 1 position ahead of his teammate who apparently had a damaged nose for the 1st stint. I think either the Verstappen ‘late stop to attack’ was not ever going to work (in which case, they might as well have stopped him a lot sooner before it got hard to hold back Hamilton, as I still think they should have done to give those ultra’s more time to get to Kimi), or they had to go actually aggressive, ie. hypersofts for the last 8 laps. So, on the whole, I have a hard time giving this race an ‘adequate’, I’ll go for 5.4/10 I think; w/o the Merc. switch it would have been a 7, probably.

  25. 6/10 only because I’m a Verstappen fan and my wife is a Ricciardo fan. It lost a point because the result was completely predictable yesterday.

  26. Fed up with seeing potential fast qualifiers and winners on the back of the grid. Today’s race could have been a cracker but spoiled by stupid non driver penalties. Not worth staying up late for.

  27. Almost fell asleep on the sofa. Had some interesting moments (who wouldn’t want to see Hamilton v Vettel on track?), and some that highlighted the thing that is F1 2018 (Verstappen DRSing through the field in few laps, stupid tyre rule).

    Afterwards this might be remembered as the race where Vettel finally lost the championship.

    1. Far majority of Max overtakes was without DRS, the first 2 laps there was no DRS and Max then made most overtakes through the corners in sector 3 where the Red Bull was strongest.

  28. I’m not so much a fan of drivers, more of the sport itself, so I don’t usually feel flat and miserable after races whatever the result… but today I do. I understand the reason for team orders, but that doesn’t mean I’ll ever like them.

    The race itself wasn’t as horrible as it could have been, and it was great getting to see a proper, aggressive fight between Hamilton and Vettel (however brief). Verstappen added a lot to the afternoon, including a lot of excitement, until it turned out his car didn’t really like the Ultras. Saw a couple of decent overtakes as well.

    I gave it a 6, but maybe I’m being too generous in an effort to avoid ‘protest rating’.

  29. For once I rated a race below 5, giving it a 3. As already mentioned even the redbulls comeback was incredibly boring, and team orders inevitably ruined the spectacle. For the DOTW it will be more a matter of the less worse than the best driver, and it is Verstappen who did well but had virtually no opposition.

  30. 1. Toto Wolf or whoever made that call is no good for this sport. For the last 5 years I’ve been setting my alarm clock to watch these races but my interest in 2018 has truly truly faded. . I rate this as a 1 with a sigh.

  31. Modern Formula 1 doesnt deserve fans. We should all just let it die.

  32. Even with my tifosi heart sinking seeing how much better Mercedes car is right now, it was overall developing into an interesting race. We did have some action at the front and throughout the field, and some exciting action at that too. However, the most unnecessary swap between HAM and BOT just totally killed it for me and I turned it off. Second time this year and a second time in the last several years. And here comes the problem I have with the poll now as this is my ‘home’ track and obviously I am biased. Since I see that many here share some of my sentiments from above, basically Mercedes today just destroyed the rep of the track even further, despite it being not so bad for good racing, proven also by F2. It’s a bit unfair to all the people that put their hard work into making the race happen, no? Really, I would totally understand it if there was a close battle for the wdc, but come on, you already have a 40 points lead and an amazing car with an amazing driver. Why did you have to do this?
    And the championship… well, I guess it’s over now. And it’s harder to swallow than it was in 2017, because back then no-one really expected Ferrari to throw such a challenge to Mercs, while 3 months ago I was sure Ferrari were going to finally take it home this year. SF71h is an amazing car too, just as the Mercedes, but somewhere it went all wrong after Marchionne’s death.

  33. 1/10 Another race to forget in the worst scenario of the calendar.

  34. I’m not even going to bother trying to rate this race.

    I enjoyed the show that Verstappen put on getting through the field, but that was about the only redeeming quality that the race had along with some of the mid-field scraps.

    As soon as the picture of whoever it was at Mercedes on the pit wall with the finger hovering over the “TACTICAL” button for the radio was shown, that was the beginning of the biggest let down for me in terms of watching F1 by asking Bottas to stand aside. Even Lewis wasn’t himself after the race which should tell you how bad that call was and what it did to the mood. When Toto Wolff makes a bee line to the commentators to try to salvage some face you could see in Paul Di Resta’s face that even he was a bit let down.

  35. 4
    Got up at 4am to watch a very boring race. Kept falling back asleep and had to rewatch key points later. Crashtappen raced beautifully. Makes you wonder what could have happened if he didn’t start at the back of grid.
    Team orders are team orders. Don’t remember a lot of complaints when Ferrari always asked barichello and masa to make way. And even Vettel agreed, it’s a no brainer from the teams point of view.
    Feel bad for Bottas, but this wasn’t a surprise.

  36. I would be interested to learn the explanation for Max’s contrasting performance on the soft and ultrasoft tyres.

    On the soft tyre, Max had great speed and made easy work of the nest of rabbitts behind the leaders. The commentators expressed the view that, come the ultra soft, Max would be between one and a half and three seconds a lap faster than the front runners on softs. Never happened; if anything Max was slower on ultrasofts than when on softs and despite the bulk of his fuel having been used up.

    Could it be that the degredation on the ultra softs was so bad that within a couple of laps the soft tyre was the one to have for racing?

    Not looking for an argument; just enlightenment.

    1. Max had nothing to gain after his pitstop. He was 14 seconds behind Kimi with just 8 laps to go. He would never be able to get close to the front four. So, he just consolidated his race and pace, bringing the car home.

      1. Which makes me think they should have gone either a) earlier onto the ultra, so he’d have time to catch Raikkonen, or b) on the hypersoft when they pitted; this way his whole 40 lap first stint was effectively wasted – he was ahead of Ricciardo already before the 1st corner, might have saved himself the trouble and engine. I don’t really understand the thinking here from Red Bull, even though Verstappen did a great job, his race was ultimately a bit of a let down.

      2. Thatmademedizzy – Consolidation does not sound like Max.

        1. He’s maturing. He became 21 on sunday. ;)

    2. Max was told to conserve his engine, distance to Kimi was too great to really attack, so RB was satisfied with 5th and 6th, that was what they expected.
      He was also asked if they would have changed to Hypersoft, but explained that these tyres would have been worn down in three laps, especially left front.

    3. Max said hyper would last 3-4 rounds so the engine went on savings!

  37. When will they understand that they need to change this track? Awful in every way

  38. I’m sorry, besides MaxV start, opening laps etc and then Ham vs Vet few corners of fun.. The race was not that engaging.

    This race will taint Hamilton reputation forever and mark a dark day in Mercedes history.

  39. I didn’t see it live, just a coverage. I know that is a big difference because I knew what was coming and so I don’t have that dissapointing feeling from somebody who did sit out the ride. Last year there was only one pass on this track and now a lot more. Doesn’t that make everybody happy? Especially the way Ham overtook Bot was incredible. We haven’t seen that much before. To be fair no rating.

  40. Absolute rubbish –
    F1 is badly broken. With 1/4 of the field taking penalties & Renault qualifying without running in Q2, qualy was a shambles.
    With “Team Orders” to thank for giving Lewis the win, and Force India (or whatever they’re called this week) swaping spots at random, the whole event has degenerated into (a very expensive) farce.
    Personally, I’d prefer to see Alonzo, Lewis, Seb, Max, & Danny in a “Super F2” series where everyone play for the win.
    Today’s race was ____(ie. not good)

  41. The decision Merc/Toto made demotivated Bottas and devaluated some great racing by Hamilton. He was very unlucky with a win on these conditions.
    So in the end, the team gained nothing ( the points stayed the same) but lost the respect from their drivers and the public.
    Very bad day for Mercedes!

  42. As far as Russian GPs go, it was pretty good actually. Obviously the team orders were disappointing, but I thought it was an absorbing race. Certainly tons better than Monaco and Canada this year. Max’s 1st stint was a lot of fun, the top 3 were close the whole race, and Hamilton’s pass on Vettel was awesome.

    Gave it a 7.

  43. Did anyone else cringe at the Max love from the Sky team.

    With the difference between the top 3 teams and the rest of the field and the fact that no driver was going to risk a crash to defend their position, did we expect anything any different?

    The race itself was OK, commentary was bloody awful.

  44. I was about to give it 5 (6 could’ve been reasonable too) for that little on track action and verstappen’s quick comeback (ricciardo eventually got the same result minus 1 place much more slowly, although he exploited the overcut for several places), but I saw a high amount of 200 people, 15% voted 1 and joined them, the reason is obvious: unnecessary mercedes team orders.

    Bottas unlike raikkonen at least won races last year, so it wasn’t as badly needed but it was still deserved and let’s not forget the puncture in baku and other unluck this year, totally deserved this race, and really, 40 points that were gonna become 43 anyway? They’re not mathematical certainty of the title but should be really plenty, you don’t need 50; look at the case last year they ended up with 46 in front.

    I could have understood if they were like 10 points in front, so 20 instead of 13 makes sense; 50 instead of 43 doesn’t and WE WILL SEE in the end when the final numbers talk how impactful these 7 points will be!

  45. I watched the official F1 highlights video-6 minutes long and fell asleep . These street circuits are great for Liberty’s finances but are boring processions for fans. Max’s drive excluded . The championship is already over. zzzzzzz

  46. I gave the race a 4, it would have been a 6 without team orders deciding the winner.

    I fully understand why Mercedes did what they did and it was the sensible and obvious thing to do considering the situation.

    Remember in Hamilton’s first two seasons in F1 he lost and then won the title by just 1 point, and he had a sizeable lead going into the final two races in his debut season in 2007 and still didn’t win the championship, so although people may say it was unnecessary because of the lead Hamilton already had in the championship history has shown that things can change quickly, as Toto Wolf said after the race better to be the baddy now than an idiot at the end of the season if these extra points ended up making the difference in the title race.

    Although I am not saying Mercedes should not have used team orders I do not think they handled the whole situation very well, from what Bottas said it seems he thought he would have been allowed to win, Mercedes should have discussed all possible scenarios before the race so the drivers knew where they stood, Hamilton behind Bottas and under pressure from Vettel in third was not unlikely so should not have been a surprise.

    If having Bottas move over was not pre-planned and was only because Hamilton had blistered his tyres attacking and overtaking Vettel after the stops, which meant they didn’t want to risk Vettel coming back at Hamilton later on, then why did they not change the positions back at the end when a gap to Vettel had developed.

    If they always wanted Hamilton to win they should have arranged something with both drivers before the race or if they didn’t want it to be so obvious they could have given Hamilton the better strategy and have him pit first which probably would have seen him take the lead without Bottas moving aside on track.

    Apart from the team orders issue I thought it was a pretty decent GP, better than I thought it was going to be anyway.

    It was brilliant recovery drive by Verstappen, making up plenty of positions in the opening laps, given the pace he showed it was a shame he wasn’t starting at the front to see if he could have challenged the Mercedes.

    It looked like any changes at the front would come through pit stops so the timing of each driver’s single stop would be crucial and Mercedes made an error in keeping Hamilton out that extra lap, they would have been able to see from the sector times that Bottas was going quicker on his new tyres so should have known Vettel could do the same and get ahead of Hamilton which is what happened.

    I thought Hamilton would then be stuck behind Vettel given how difficult it can be to overtake in modern F1 on some circuits especially as the Mercedes seems to have more problems following other cars closely than others do.

    So the on track battle between Hamilton and Vettel was both surprising and entertaining, even if it didn’t last that long. I think Vettel’s defence was on the limit and the stewards decision regarding it could have gone either way.

    Right up to the chequered flag I was hoping that Mercedes would swap the positions again and let Bottas take the win he deserved, but as I have said I understand why they did not.

    When they got out of their cars neither Hamilton nor Bottas looked pleased with the situation and Vettel looked like he was the happiest on the podium even if he didn’t really have much to be cheerful about.

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