Sochi – In an all-around unique race, Mercedes has once again come out on top, only this time they have done so in such a way that is invincible. In Formula 1’s first visit to Russia, the Mercedes Works team started 1,2 with Lewis Hamilton taking pole. Close behind the Silver Arrows was this weekend’s Flying Finn, Valtteri Bottas, who stood a decent chance at taking pole in qualifying. Unfortunately for Bottas, he veered slightly off track at the last moment, losing 0.7 seconds and qualifying in 3rd.
The race featured only 21 drivers, as Marussia decided to not race Bianchi’s car with a different driver. Rather, Bianchi’s car remained in the pit, ready for his wishful arrival at the circuit.
The first two laps showed off the resilience of the drivers and speed of the track, with Nico Rosberg making quick work of passing his teammate Hamilton, unfortunately though for the German, he lost 1st through locking up his front brakes and going off the track. This resulted in Rosberg having to change tyres on Lap 2.
Beyond the first few laps, the race itself was terribly uneventful. With only two retirements, Marussia’s Max Chilton retiring after 9 laps with car trouble, and Caterham’s Kamui Kobayashi retiring after 21 laps with a strange case of “team orders.” There was one collision between Adrian Sutil and Romain Grosjean, however the incident did not garner much attention from the FOM television producers, who chose not to show it.
One unique feature of the Sochi Autodrom is the long corners, which frankly are quite beautiful with speeds reaching nearly 280 kph (173 mph.)
The weekend was capped off by the presentation of Mercedes’ 1st place and constructor’s trophy by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who made an appearance midway through the race at the side of F1 Supremo Bernie Ecclestone.
Formula 1 returns next to the United States with the grand prix at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. I will be heading south some 800 miles from Kansas City to Austin to witness Free Practise 3, Qualifying, and the Grand Prix in person. I will only be able to tweet out coverage of Free Practise 3, Qualifying, and the race from Turn 1. You can follow me @sthosdkane.
Final results for the 2014 F1 Russian Grand Prix are:
- Lewis Hamilton, GBR, Mercedes, 1:31:50.744, 25 pts
- Nico Rosberg, GER, Mercedes, +00:13.657, 18 pts
- Valtteri Bottas, FIN, Williams, +00:17.425, 15 pts
- Jenson Button, GBR, McLaren, +00:30.234, 12 pts
- Kevin Magnussen, DEN, McLaren, +00:53.616, 10 pts
- Fernando Alonso, ESP, Ferrari, +01:00.016, 8 pts
- Daniel Ricciardo, AUS, Red Bull, +01:01.812, 6 pts
- Sebastian Vettel, GER, Red Bull, +01:06.185, 4 pts
- Kimi Räikkönen, FIN, Ferrari, +01:18.877, 2 pts
- Sergio Pérez, MEX, Force India, +01:20.067, 1 pt
- Felipe Massa, BRZ, Williams, +01:20.877
- Nico Hülkenberg, GER, Force India, +01:21.309
- Jean-Éric Vergne, FRA, Toro Rosso, +01:37.295
- Daniil Kvyat, RUS, Toro Rosso, lapped
- Esteban Gutierrez, MEX, Sauber, lapped
- Adrian Sutil, GER, Sauber, lapped
- Romain Grosjean, FRA, Lotus, lapped
- Pastor Maldonado, VEN, Lotus, lapped
- Marcus Ericsson, SWE, Caterham, lapped
- Kamui Kobayashi, JPN, Caterham, retired, 21 laps
- Max Chilton, GBR, Marussia, retired, 9 laps