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Hamilton Wins 2018 Russian Grand Prix On Team Orders


What was slowly winding its way to another 1-2 Mercedes snoozer of a Formula One race got a little extra drama and spice when Mercedes ordered their pole-sitter and race leader Valtteri Bottas to move aside on Lap 25 to allow teammate Lewis Hamilton to win the 2018 Russian Grand Prix. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finished third.

Bottas started on the pole and was set to win the race with Vettel languishing in third and unable to mount any decisive challenge on either Mercedes in what was appearing to be another easy 1-2 finish for Mercedes but on Lap 25, Mercedes ordered Bottas to move aside for Hamilton and did not order them to swap positions at the end – ostensibly to give Hamilton seven more points in his already commanding season driver’s lead over Vettel.

The only other drama consisted of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who started in 19th position, possibly trying to make his soft tires last all 53 laps and steal a victory from both Mercedes, but Verstappen finally pitted on Lap 43 and was never a factor for the podium after that.

With the win, Hamilton extends his lead over Vettel with 306 points to Vettel’s 256 points. Vettel’s Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen also benefits from Mercedes’ decision to hold back Bottas as Raikkonen holds a slim three-point advantage over Bottas with 189 points to Bottas’ 186.

2018 Russian Grand Prix Top 10

1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:27:25.181
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes +2.545 seconds
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari +7.487
4 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari +16.543
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull +31.016
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull +80.451
7 Charles Leclerc Sauber +98.390
8 Kevin Magnussen Haas +1 Lap 4
9 Esteban Ocon Force India +1 Lap 2
10 Sergio Pérez Force India +1 Lap 1

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