Lewis Hamilton scored his ninth victory of 2019 after Ferrari hit trouble in the Russian Grand Prix.
Charles Leclerc finished third having run second behind Hamilton after the VSC period. He and Ferrari opted to make another pit stop during a subsequent Safety Car period which dropped them behind Valtter Bottas, who Leclerc was then unable to re-pass.
Sebastian Vettel led the first part of the race, though somewhat controversially. He passed Leclerc easily on the way into turn one, his team mate giving up the inside line as Vettel shot by Hamilton.
Soon afterwards Ferrari told Leclerc on the radio that Vettel would let him by into the lead, apparently due to some pre-race arrangement. However Vettel refused to follow the order when it came.
Ferrari eventually told Leclerc the positions would be swapped later in the race. This came about through the pit stops. In a reversal of what happened in Singapore, Ferrari brought Leclerc in before Vettel and left him out long enough to cut Vettel’s lead on his fresher tyres. When Ferrari brought Vettel in, he came out behind his team mate.
His race lasted less than half a lap longer, however, as the team told him to pull over with a suspected power unit failure. “Bring back the fucking V12s,” cursed Vettel as he climbed out of his SF-90.
Max Verstappen took fourth for Red Bull but was never in contention for the podium. Team mate Alexander Albon raced his way through from the pit lane to finish fifth.
Both McLarens finished in the points, Carlos Sainz Jnr sixth and Lando Norris eighth after inheriting a place from Kevin Magnussen, who was given a five-second time penalty. Sergio Perez split the McLarens in seventh, and Nico Hulkenebrg claimed the final point.
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2019 Russian Grand Prix reaction
- Leclerc defends call for extra pit stop which cost him second place
- Ferrari ‘100 metres away’ from avoiding VSC for Vettel’s retirement
- Raikkonen accepts blame for jump start after another “nightmare” race
- Leclerc: Ferrari told Vettel to give up lead because starts “were identical”
- “Stupid, idiotic steward” cost Magnussen eighth place
- Vettel confirms Ferrari had pre-race agreement for start after defying team orders
- Williams retired Kubica’s car to conserve parts