Hamil­ton checks Fer­rari resur­gence

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Sport -

Sochi: Lewis Hamil­ton claimed his first win in four races on Sun­day when he rode his luck to end Fer­rari's win­ning streak with a well-judged strate­gic vic­tory for Mercedes in a roller-coaster Rus­sian Grand Prix.

The de­fend­ing five-time cham­pion came home 3.829 sec­onds ahead of his team-mate and near­est cham­pi­onship ri­val Valt­teri Bot­tas as Mercedes took full ad­van­tage of Fer­rari's re­li­a­bil­ity and tac­ti­cal prob­lems by de­liv­er­ing a solid Sil­ver Ar­rows onetwo. Se­bas­tian Vet­tel, who led from lap one, suf­fered a me­chan­i­cal fail­ure and re­tired af­ter lead­ing, gift­ing Mercedes a chance to ex­tend their Sochi supremacy to six wins in suc­ces­sion.

Fer­rari's Charles Le­clerc came home a frus­trated third af­ter start­ing from pole and los­ing his ad­van­tage to Vet­tel on the open­ing lap in a race punc­tu­ated by two Safety Car in­ter­ven­tions and one use of the Vir­tual Safety Car. Hamil­ton's win was his first since the Hun­gar­ian Grand Prix on Au­gust 4, his ninth in 16 out­ings this year and the 82nd of his ca­reer, lift­ing him 73 points clear at the top of the driv­ers' ti­tle race.

He scored an ad­di­tional point for fastest lap. Red Bull's Max Ver­stap­pen fin­ished fourth, hav­ing started ninth, ahead of team-mate Alex Al­bon, who had started from the pit lane. Car­los Sainz was sixth for McLaren ahead of Ser­gio Perez of Rac­ing Point, Kevin Mag­nussen of Haas, Lando Nor­ris in the sec­ond McLaren and Re­nault's Nico Hulken­berg. Vet­tel, who ig­nored Fer­rari team or­ders af­ter snatch­ing the lead on the open­ing lap, was forced to re­tire af­ter 28 with a power fail­ure.

Getty Images

Race win­ner Lewis Hamil­ton cel­e­brates on the podium in Sochi on Sun­day

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