Mercedes took the 2014 Formula One constructor’s championship in Sunday’s Russian Grand Prix after Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg secured yet another 1-2 finish for the British-based German team. Hamilton extended his lead over team-mate Rosberg in the driver’s championship by 7 points after the German was forced to complete a heroic comeback drive through the field.
Rosberg had attempted to take the lead from polesitter Hamilton at turn two and made it past, but at the expense of a hugely-flat spotted pair of front Pirelli tyres when he locked up and had no choice but to pit for fresh rubber. It was the start of a stunning 52 lap run on his second set of tyres that saw him battling past slower runners and the Williams of Valtteri Bottas, dispelling the myth that he cannot handle wheel-to-wheel action.
Bottas had shadowed Hamilton in the first stint but just couldn’t find the extra speed to overcome the terrifyingly-dominant Mercedes cars, securing a nevertheless impressive 3rd place ahead of the McLaren duo of Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen, who put their team well clear of Force India in the battle for 5th in the constructors title race.
Red Bull and Ferrari struggled compared to their rivals and could score only minor points, while hometown hero Daniil Kvyat slumped from 5th on the grid to 14th by the chequered flag in his Toro Rosso. Adrian Sutil and Romain Grosjean made contact in their battle for lesser positions which resulted in a 5 second penalty for the Frenchman, but it was the only incident in an otherwise dull race made monotonous by the lack of tyre degredation and the crushing form of Mercedes. Hamilton – who committed an etiquette faux pas by failing to remove his cap for the Russian national anthem pre-race – now sits 17 points clear of Rosberg at the top of the driver’s championship with three races remaining.
CLASSIFICATION – Race – Russian Grand Prix – 12th October 2014
|7||Ricciardo||AUS||Red Bull||6 Pts|
|8||Vettel||DEU||Red Bull||4 Pts|
|10||Perez||MEX||Force India||1 Pt|