F1: Hamilton cruises to win, Mercedes secures title

    Hamilton extended his lead in the championship to 17 points over Nico Rosberg after a commanding win at Russian GP in Sochi.

    Published On Oct 12, 2014 10:12:00 PM

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    F1: Hamilton cruises to win, Mercedes secures title

    Lewis Hamilton extended his lead in the Formula 1 world championship to 17 points over Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg with a commanding victory in the inaugural Russian Grand Prix.
     
    Hamilton generally looked more at ease than Rosberg with the demands of the new 3.6-mile F1 circuit in Sochi, and the Briton converted pole position into his ninth win of the year with a measured drive, which also meant he equalled Nigel Mansell's British record of 31 grand prix victories.
     
    Rosberg also started on the front row, and briefly headed his chief rival after sneaking up the inside after the first run through the flat-out Turn 1 right-hander, but Rosberg locked up heavily under braking for Turn 2 and flat-spotted his front tyres.
     
    That forced him into the pits for a tyre-change at the end of the opening lap and effectively handed victory to Hamilton, as Rosberg was forced to battle his way back through the pack.
     
    Extraordinarily, Rosberg made his set of medium Pirelli tyres last 52 of the scheduled 53 laps as he limited the damage to his own championship aspirations by recovering to second in a largely processional race.
     
    The pair's eighth one-two finish of the season also clinched the constructors championship for Mercedes.
     
    Valtteri Bottas ran second for the majority of the first half of the event, but had to settle for the final podium spot once he had made his own stop and it became clear Rosberg's tyres would last the distance.
     
    Jenson Button recorded his best result since July's British GP by finishing fourth, while McLaren team-mate Kevin Magnussen - who qualified sixth but started 11th thanks to a grid penalty for a gearbox change - made an excellent start and recovered well to finish fifth.
     
    Ferrari's Fernando Alonso also got away well to climb from seventh on the grid and lie fourth at the end of the first lap when Rosberg pitted, but the Spaniard ultimately lacked the pace to fight the McLarens and also suffered a delay at his only pitstop.
     
    The Spaniard held off Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull to finish best of the non-Mercedes engine runners and round out the top six.
     
    Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel ran ahead of slow-starting Red Bull team-mate Ricciardo in the early stages, but his strategy of running an extended first stint backfired and Vettel had to settle for eighth.
     
    Kimi Raikkonen finished a distant ninth in the second Ferrari, while Force India's Sergio Perez survived fears of excessive fuel consumption to claim the final point by rounding out the top 10.
     
    The Mexican just held off the second Williams of Felipe Massa, who started 18th after a fuel pressure problem ruined his qualifying session.
     
    Massa attempted an aggressive two-stop strategy in an effort to recover the lost ground, but ultimately just fell shy of salvaging any points.
     
    Nico Hulkenberg took a close 12th in the second Force India, while Russian home hero Daniil Kvyat started a superb fifth but slipped backwards after a scruffy opening lap and wound up finishing 14th, behind Toro Rosso team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne.
     
    Both Kvyat and Vergne - who also started inside the top 10 and ran as high as fifth in the early stages - struggled for speed in the race as they finished well outside the points.
     
    All drivers stood united at the front of the grid ahead of the race, as a mark of respect to injured Marussia driver Jules Bianchi.
     
    The French racer's team-mate Max Chilton raced on in Marussia's sole entry for this grand prix, but retired with a front-left vibration at the end of his ninth lap.

    RESULTS - 53 LAPS:

    PosDriverCarGap
    1Lewis HamiltonMercedes1h31m50.744s
    2Nico RosbergMercedes13.657s
    3Valtteri BottasWilliams/Mercedes17.425s
    4Jenson ButtonMcLaren/Mercedes30.234s
    5Kevin MagnussenMcLaren/Mercedes53.616s
    6Fernando AlonsoFerrari1m00.016s
    7Daniel RicciardoRed Bull/Renault1m01.812s
    8Sebastian VettelRed Bull/Renault1m06.185s
    9Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1m18.877s
    10Sergio PerezForce India/Mercedes1m20.067s
    11Felipe MassaWilliams/Mercedes1m20.877s
    12Nico HulkenbergForce India/Mercedes1m21.309s
    13Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso/Renault1m37.295s
    14Daniil KvyatToro Rosso/Renault1 Lap
    15Esteban GutierrezSauber/Ferrari1 Lap
    16Adrian SutilSauber/Ferrari1 Lap
    17Romain GrosjeanLotus/Renault1 Lap
    18Pastor MaldonadoLotus/Renault1 Lap
    19Marcus EricssonCaterham/Renault2 Laps
    -Kamui KobayashiCaterham/RenaultBrakes
    -Max ChiltonMarussia/FerrariSuspension

    Drivers' championship

    PosDriverPoints
    1Lewis Hamilton291
    2Nico Rosberg274
    3Daniel Ricciardo199
    4Valtteri Bottas145
    5Sebastian Vettel143
    6Fernando Alonso141
    7Jenson Button94
    8Nico Hulkenberg76
    9Felipe Massa71
    10Kevin Magnussen49
    11Sergio Perez47
    12Kimi Raikkonen47
    13Jean-Eric Vergne21
    14Romain Grosjean8
    15Daniil Kvyat8
    16Jules Bianchi2
    17Adrian Sutil0
    18Marcus Ericsson0
    19Pastor Maldonado0
    20Esteban Gutierrez0
    21Max Chilton0
    22Kamui Kobayashi0

    Constructors' championship

    PosConstructorPoints
    1Mercedes565
    2Red Bull/Renault342
    3Williams/Mercedes216
    4Ferrari188
    5McLaren/Mercedes143
    6Force India/Mercedes123
    7Toro Rosso/Renault29
    8Lotus/Renault8
    9Marussia/Ferrari2
    10Sauber/Ferrari0
    11Caterham/Renault0
     

     

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