Hamilton eases to win after Rosberg failure

By on Sunday, October 11, 2015
Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Lewis Hamilton put one hand on the 2015 championship as he claimed victory at the Russian Grand Prix after an early retirement for team-mate Nico Rosberg.

Rosberg suffered a throttle problem during the early stages of running, after which Hamilton cruises uncontested to victory, ahead of Sebastian Vettel.

Sergio Pérez prevailed in a thrilling battle for the podium positions to secure third place for Force India, after Kimi Raikkonen hit Valtteri Bottas on the final lap.

Update: Raikkonen penalised for collision, Mercedes champions

Rosberg maintained his lead from pole position at the start, holding the inside line into Turn 2 and leaving Hamilton with no choice but to slot into second.

The Safety Car was deployed as Nico Hülkenberg spun at Turn 2 and collected Marcus Ericsson, with Max Verstappen sustaining a puncture in the incident.

Rosberg led away at the restart but immediately reported a problem with his throttle pedal, which caused him to go wide at Turn 2 a few laps later and relinquish the lead to Hamilton.

Rosberg held second but the problem proved to be terminal and he slowed exiting Turn 13, pulling into the pits to retire at the end of the lap.

The Safety Car was called again a few laps later when Romain Grosjean suffered an enormous crash at Turn 3, as he lost control of his Lotus and slammed into the barriers; he was able to walk away from his substantial wreckage.

Hamilton cruised away at the restart while Vettel moved ahead of fast-starting Räikkönen and closed the gap on Bottas, jumping up to the back of the Williams driver before he pitted for fresh tyres on lap 26.

Vettel stopped on lap 31 and a quicker stop enabled him to emerge from the pits in front of Bottas, though the Finn was able to fend off Kimi Räikkönen when the Ferrari driver pitted a lap later.

Hamilton duly made his stop for Prime tyres on the following lap and emerged with a comfortable buffer at the head of the pack.

Pérez and Daniel Ricciardo occupied third and fourth on account of stopping during the second Safety Car period, a couple of seconds ahead of the duelling Bottas and Räikkönen.

Bottas eventually got past Ricciardo on the approach to Turn 2 with eight laps remaining and began to hunt down Pérez.

Bottas trailed Pérez but only got through on the penultimate lap with a late move into Turn 13, while the pursuing Räikkönen followed him past.

Räikkönen pursued Bottas and dived up the inside into Turn 4 on the final lap but pitched the Williams driver into the wall, with the Ferrari also sustaining damage.

Pérez was thus promoted into third place at the expense of the pair, while Felipe Massa inherited fourth as Räikkönen cruised around the last lap with damage to take fifth.

Daniil Kvyat took sixth place at his home race after a late suspension failure for Ricciardo, while Felipe Nasr collected a strong haul of points in seventh.

Pastor Maldonado was eighth while both McLaren drivers scored points in ninth and 10th, Jenson Button ahead of Fernando Alonso.

Verstappen was able to recover only to 11th, while Bottas was still classified in 12th, ahead of Roberto Merhi and Will Stevens.

Carlos Sainz Jr. had recovered to the top 10 after his practice crash but he suffered a brake failure late on and retired.

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