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Bottas for the win, Hamilton's pre-race shambles: Winners and Losers from Russian GP

2020-09-30 04:30

Charlen Raymond

valtteri bottas,f1,formula 1,mercedes

Valtteri Bottas (TeamTalk)

• Valtteri Bottas was the biggest winner at the 2020 Russian GP.

• Lewis Hamilton's troubles began even more the race began.

• Charles Leclerc finished a strong sixth for Ferrari.

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This past weekend's Russian Grand Prix had its fair bit of drama and excitement.

It saw a massive crash at the start of the race, as well as championship leader, Lewis Hamilton, being on the receiving end of two simultaneous penalties.

We look at some of the winners and losers from the 2020 Formula 1 Russian GP.

Winners:

Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas registered his second win in 2020 and the ninth of his career when he took victory ahead of Red Bull's Max Verstappen and his Mercedes team mate, Hamilton. Bottas was right on the button from Friday's practices but was beaten to the punch by Hamilton and Verstappen when the final moments of qualifying came around.

But the Finnish driver got a good start and benefitted from the two penalties that befell Hamilton. By taking the win, Bottas decreased the points gap to Hamilton to 44, while increasing the points difference to Verstappen who is third in the championship race.

At the end of the race, Bottas had a rather unique message for his critics. Have a listen below:

Charles Leclerc

As is common knowledge in 2020, Ferrari is way off the pace and is currently the sixth fastest team. But while Sebastian Vettel is struggling to extract the maximum performance from his racecar, his team mate Charles Lerclerc always seems to find himself in the action. 

Russia was no different. After qualifying in 11th place, Leclerc drove a brilliant race to pull his Ferrari up to sixth place at the end of the race. In the 2020 championship standings, Leclerc is currently in seventh place on 57 points. Not bad for someone driving an underperforming car.

Losers:

Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton came into the race poised to take the win, but F1 proved again that it can be a cruel mistress. When drivers pulled out of their garages making their way to the starting grid, Hamilton (and his team) decided it would be a good idea to do a practice start at the end of the pit lane. This was deemed dangerous by race stewards, and Hamilton breached two rules. He was handed a five-second penalty for each, which he served during his pit stop.

The extra 10 seconds spent stationary in the pit box put him way down the order, but after all the drivers made their stops as well, Hamilton was third - behind Bottas, now in first, and Verstappen. In addition, Hamilton was handed an extra two penalty points to his super license, which put him two points away from an automatic race ban. However, the Mercedes-AMG F1 team took the blame for the transgressions, which saw the Hamilton escape the two penalty points and the team being fined.

Carlos Sainz Jr.

After qualifying, McLaren driver Sainz solidified a strong starting position for the race - sixth. But things almost immediately took a literal turn for the worst when the Spanish driver misjudged his entry into Turn 2. It forced him to take evasive action through the bollards, but he carried too much speed into the tight space and knocked his left front wheel into oblivion.

This brought out the safety car and team mate Lando Norris questioning over the team radio why Sainz had to be a hero.

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