HAMILTON ON COURSE FOR THE TITLE
After his victory at Sochi and Rosberg’s retirement the British driver is on course for his third world title, while Mercedes has already clinched the constructors’ world championship.*
A big step
Although Nico Rosberg set pole position in front of Hamilton, the German never had the opportunity to display his skills as he suffered accelerator pedal problems leading to his retirement on lap 8. Hamilton’s ninth victory of the season has given him a 73-point lead over his team-mate with 100 points still up for grabs. The British driver now looks set to wrap up his third world title, while Mercedes has clinched the first leg of another double as the team has already won the constructors’ trophy.
Vettel in the runner-up spot?
Sebastian Vettel scored his 11th top-3 finish of the season overtaking Nico Rosberg in the overall classification. The German can spoil Mercedes’ perfect season if he manages to stay in front of his fellow-countryman. This further underlines his superb debut at Ferrari, the only team able to take the fight to the Silver Arrows this year.
Perez on the podium
Sergio Perez finished in the top 3 for the fifth time in his career thanks to a well-timed pit stop during the second race neutralisation and a long stint on soft tyres. It’s Force India’s second podium finish since its creation.
Daniil does the job
Daniil Kvyat’s great fifth place on home turf even though he started from eleventh on the grid saved Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s bacon, while his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo retired (suspension). Romain Grosjean (Lotus F1 Team) quit the dance on lap 12 after an accident.
Christian Horner (Team Principal, Infiniti Red Bull Racing):
“A real shame for Daniel. With the early safety car we took a risk to go for an early stop switching him to the harder tyre and thereafter he made it work fantastically well, keeping the faster cars of Bottas and Raïkkönen behind him until losing time with a backmarker, which allowed Bottas to get past him. Shortly after that, the car developed what we suspect is a suspension issue, which caused his retirement. When the safety car came out, we elected to cover our options and with Dany we went for a more conventional strategy. Finishing P5, having started 11th, is a respectable result in his home race.”
Next round: United States of America Grand Prix (Austin – 25 October)
*Subject to the publication of the official results by the FIA.