The Russian Grand Prix as it happened - The Race
Formula 1

The Russian Grand Prix as it happened

Sep 27 2020

Valtteri Bottas ultimately dominated the Russian Grand Prix, as his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton had a rough day.

Here’s how it all unfolded:

Before the start: Hamilton comes under investigation by the stewards for a breach of practice start regulations after stopping in the pit exit outside the designated zone.

Start: Bottas immediately takes second from Verstappen, then inches ahead of Hamilton on the outside into Turn 2 but Hamilton manages to hold the lead.

Verstappen then slews over the run-off area at Turn 2 and temporarily falls behind Ricciardo.

Sainz also goes over the run-off but hits the wall trying to dodge between the marker posts.

Stroll and Leclerc make contact, sending the Racing Point into a spin out of Turn 4 and into the wall, prompting a safety car.

Lap 1: Russell, Albon and Norris pit to switch to hard tyres.

Race order: 1 Hamilton; 2 Bottas; 3 Verstappen; 4 Ocon; 5 Ricciardo; 6 Perez; 7 Gasly; 8 Leclerc; 9 Magnussen; 10 Grosjean; 11 Kvyat; 12 Giovinazzi; 13 Vettel; 14 Latifi; 15 Raikkonen; 16 Russell; 17 Albon; 18 Norris

Lap 6: Racing resumes with Hamilton maintaining his lead.

Lap 7: Hamilton pulls out a 1.4s lead over Bottas on the first racing lap.

Lap 8: Hamilton is given two separate 5s time penalties for his pre-race pitlane misdemeanour.

Lap 11: Hamilton gets his lead out to 2.4s with a run of new fastest laps.

Lap 11: Russell locks up and falls to the back then pits.

Edd Straw:
“Unsurprisingly, Russell reports a very big flatspot after that error. Sounds like he’s going to have to pit. That’s really compromised his race given he’s on the hards and due to run long.”

Scott Mitchell: “Mercedes’ response to Hamilton demanding not to be stopped early is basically ‘OK, if you can keep this pace up’. He is unlikely to get 10s clear but if he can gap as many cars as possible, it’ll leave him in a straight fight with Bottas and Verstappen and he’ll be off the sensitive soft tyres.”

Lap 15:
Perez battles past Ricciardo to take fifth with a move that takes several corners to complete.

Lap 16: Hamilton does another fastest lap – a 1m39.693s – but his lead is still 2.5s.

Lap 16: Ricciardo pits for hard tyres and falls to 14th.

Lap 17:
Hamilton pits from the race lead and takes his penalty. He switches to hard tyres and rejoins 11th. Bottas now leads by 3.7s from Verstappen.

Lap 17: Giovinazzi pits too, rejoining ahead of only Russell.

Scott Mitchell:
“Hamilton was shaking his head at the stop, called it ‘ridiculous’. But he’s served his two time penalties in one go, is back on track and can now get on the offensive.”

Lap 18: Bottas extends his lead to 4s with a new fastest lap of 1m39.439s.

Scott Mitchell:
“Hamilton’s questioning why the penalty had to be served, not added on later on. The rules are that the penalty must be served at the next opportunity. If it was later on in the race it could be added to his race time.”

Lap 18: Grosjean and Latifi make their pitstops.

Lap 19:
Bottas does fastest lap again with a 1m39.375s to lead by 4.6s.

Lap 19: Ocon and Gasly make their pitstops. That elevates hard-tyre runner Kvyat to fifth, with Hamilton up to eighth – which becomes seventh with an immediate pass on Vettel. Ocon rejoins ninth, still ahead of team-mate Ricciardo.

Edd Straw: “Ocon is being given the hurry up to pass Vettel given Perez is setting a decent pace before his stop.”

Lap 20: Magnussen comes in from a temporary sixth, giving Hamilton another place. He’s still lapping slower than leader Bottas and is 37.7s behind.

Lap 21: Another new Bottas fastest lap – a 1m39.221s. He leads by 5.9s.

Lap 21: Perez pits from third and comes out in sixth between Hamilton and the yet-to-stop Vettel, putting him comfortably ahead of the two Renaults.

Edd Straw: “That’s a really good job by Perez – his pace on old softs combined with Ocon being stuck behind Vettel has allowed him to gain that position.”

Lap 22: Fastest lap again from Bottas – a 1m39.081s brings his lead up to nearly 7s.

Order: 1 Bottas; 2 Verstappen + 7.0s; 3 Leclerc +27.0s; 4 Kvyat +30.2s; 5 Hamilton +39.2s (1 stop); 6 Perez +42.8s (1 stop); 7 Vettel +46.6s; 8 Ocon +47.9s (1 stop); 9 Ricciardo +49.5s (1 stop); 10 Raikkonen +53.2s

Lap 26: Verstappen makes his pitstop from second place, rejoining on hards in fourth and 6s ahead of Hamilton.

Lap 26: Ocon allows Ricciardo past on Renault orders but then locks up and goes off at Turn 2, triggering an investigation for not following the rules on how to rejoin.

Lap 27: Bottas follows Verstappen’s example by stopping. He gets out still ahead of the yet-to-stop Leclerc and on hards with 26 laps to go. Verstappen quickly passes Kvyat for third.

Lead gaps: 1 Bottas; 2 Leclerc (yet to pit) +6.0s; 3 Verstappen +9.4s; 4 Kvyat +11.1s; 5 Hamilton +14.7s

Lap 27: Ricciardo passes the yet-to-pit Vettel for eighth.

Lap 28: Albon pits despite having taken new hards on the first lap.

Lap 29: Ricciardo is awarded a five-second time penalty for his Turn 2 transgression.

Scott Mitchell: “Really dislike the track limits rules at Turn 2. The big sausage kerb on the outside is one thing, but having to swerve left into the rejoining lane because you’ve hit the apex bump is silly. Car park run-off just causes so many issues.”

Lap 29: On his new hards, Bottas does a new fastest lap of 1m37.861s to get his lead over Verstappen up to 11.7s. Hamilton is still behind Kvyat in fourth and now 17.5s from the lead.

Lap 29: Leclerc pits from second place, coming back out between the Renaults in seventh.

Lap 30: Informed of his penalty, Ricciardo accepts responsibility and says he’ll make up for it by ‘driving faster’. He’s currently on course to lose one place – to Leclerc – as a result of it.

Lap 31: Kvyat finally makes his pitstop without being overtaking by Hamilton. That elevates Hamilton to third, 8s behind Verstappen and 21s off Bottas. Kvyat comes back out on mediums behind Ocon in eighth.

Lap 31: Vettel pits and falls to 16th behind Albon.

Lap 33: Hamilton does his best lap of the race so far, but continues to lose time to both Bottas and Verstappen ahead.

Lap 35: Raikkonen has risen to ninth by not pitting yet.

Lap 36: Bottas bangs in another new fastest lap of 1m37.807s to bring his lead over Verstappen up to nearly 14s and 24s over Hamilton.

Lap 36: Raikkonen finally makes his pitstop and drops to 16th.

Lap 39: Albon squeezes past Giovinazzi in a tight move to take 13th as he recovers.

Lap 40: Albon gains another place by overtaking Grosjean for 12th. Giovinazzi passes the Haas too.

Lap 42: Vettel attacks Grosjean for 14th and the Haas goes off at Turn 2 after contact as it’s overtaken. Grosjean goes to take the correct route through the marker boards but smashes them instead.

Lap 43: Albon takes 11th from Magnussen.

Lap 43: A virtual safety car is called due to the bollard debris. Gasly pits from ninth place and falls to 11th as a result, rejoining on mediums.

Lap 47: Gasly manages to get ahead of Albon for 10th by pouncing while the Red Bull is trying to overtake Norris for ninth.

Lap 48: Gasly takes ninth from Norris.

Lap 49: Norris does a big lock-up and loses 10th to Albon, then pits for fresh mediums and falls to 15th.

Lap 49: Verstappen takes fastest lap away from Bottas.

Lap 51: Gasly now grabs fastest lap.

Lap 52: Bottas reclaims fastest lap for good.

Lap 53: Bottas clinches victory, with the main battle further back ending with Ocon fending off Kvyat for seventh.

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