Mercedes double up in Russia – Russian GP 2018
We saw some wheel-on-wheel action in the Russian round, but it was still sadly a somewhat underwhelming race with only Mercedes’ blatant team orders providing anything to talk about (and even that was mostly for nought).
- Lewis Hamilton – I’d really hate to piss on Hamilton’s parade, even though it took team-orders to secure his victory. I will give him credit for his overtake of Vettel before that incident which provided us with some real fight.
- Valtteri Bottas – Bottas’s finish would be more exciting were it not for how totally he’s been turned into Mercedes’ number-2 driver. Better luck next time, I guess…
- Sebastian Vettel – There was also some a-do about Vettel making a dangerous move on Hamilton before his overtake. Once Hamilton got past though, the Ferrari was so outclassed in speed that I hardly think a penalty would have added much to the disappointment.
- Kimi Räikkönen – A chill race from the iceman.
- Max Verstappen – Red Bull deserve huge credit for rising up from the back-lot.
- Daniel Ricciardo – Ditto.
- Charles Leclerc – The bizarre incident in qualifying which allowed the Saubers to start from the Top-10 allowed the future Ferrari driver to finish on points for a second race in a row. Leclerc also had to fight Magnussen for these points so they weren’t simply gifted to him.
- Kevin Magnussen – All the same, Magnussen again valuable points which are keeping them solidly in the Constructors’ Top-5.
- Esteban Ocon – Not Force India’s best result but more points are insuring that they’re catching up to McLaren.
- Sergio Perez – Ditto.
Golden Pineapple Award: Romain Grosjean, Haas
Grosjean adds to his tally of disappointing race results. Things were still looking so good three races ago. It’s a little disheartening to see the Frenchman get his second pineapple award of the season.
Drop-out count: 2
There may had not been many winners but there was one definitive loser this round and it was Toro Rosso. Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley both spun out at the start of the race and retired into the pits with technical problems.
Back of the Lot News:
With so few retirements, there were a lot of disappointments in this race. Nico the Hülk has been slipping a bit towards the end of the season with him managing quite a paltry 12th place. On the other hand, considering his team-mate Carlos Sainz wound up 17th and second-to-last, we can probably deduce that Renault had some serious issues with their cars.
Marcus Ericsson wasted another great starting position by dropping to 13th by the finale. We saw yet another disappointing race from McLaren with Alonso and Vandoorne only finishing 14th and 16th.
But of course, in a race with such few retirements, one team would inevitably be last. That was Williams. Lance Stroll could only muster a 15th place this round which leaves…
Dead Last: Sergey Sirotkin – I honestly feel bad for the young Russian. If he is unlucky enough to be stuck driving at Williams next year, I can only hope their race pace improves by a lot.