Lewis Hamilton wins the Russian Grand Prix, his 100th in total! He regains the lead in the driver standings too!
Righto folks, that’s us for today. Check back presently, for our report will be up here and on the site. Thanks for your company – ta-ra.
Hamilton shares a laugh with Norris, saying he also didn’t want to come in – “He’s right there,” he says to him and of him. It’s great to see McLaren doing so well, he notes, and isn’t sure he’d have won without the rain. He wasn’t sure where he’d be coming out after his first pit but it worked out well and he congratulates Verstappen’s effort on moving from last to second – “mega damage-limitation”, he says, and that they’ll be hard to beat as they’ve got the fastest car, but he and his team will try.
Toto Wolff says Mercedes struggled with the DRS and isn’t sure they’d have won today without the rain. His weather man was certain it was coming in, so they went for it.
Horner says that Verstappen benefitted massively from the weather and they’d have taken a swing of 20th to P2. He congratulates Hamilton on his “insane” tally of 100 wins and hopes the surface in Turkey will have “weathered in” after being relaid last year. He thinks the race for the title will go all the way to Abu Dhabi and it’s going to be a “phenomenal competition”.
Andreas Seidl, the McLaren principal, notes that the team could’ve overruled Norris but didn’t, and that there are many positives to take away from the weekend – he just wants the next race now.
Ah man, Norris looks haunted, but finds his smile, saying he “Unhappy, devastated in a way”. He made the wrong call to stay out not change onto slicks and takes responsibility for it – he’s felt capable of winning a race for a while, but not winning this one is “heartbreaking”. He was told the rain wouldn’t get heavier, and when it did his strategy was ruined, but everything until then was great; he hopes not to make the same mistake again.
He’s so likeable and was doing his best to keep calm, but by the looks of things he’s gone off for a big cry, and understandably so.
1 Hamilton (Mercedes)
2 Verstappen (Red Bull)
3 Sainz Jr ( Ferrari)
4 Ricciardo (McLaren)
5 Bottas (Mercedes)
6 Alonso (Alpine)
7 Norris (McLaren)
8 Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo)
9 Pérez ( Red Bull)
10 Russell (Williams)
11 Stroll (Aston Martin)
12 Vettel (Aston Martin)
14 Gasly (AlphaTauri)
15 Leclerc (Ferrari)
16 Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo)
17 Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)
18 Mazepin (Haas)
19 Latifi (Williams) DNF
20 Schumacher (Haas) DNF
Sainz Jr reckons he got a good launch, tucking in behind Norris, but the race started to go bad with the rain, which came at the worst-possible time for him. He fought back well though, and is happy with his P3.
Verstappen says it was tricky to decide when to pit, but they got the call to go to inters right and it’s “very very good” to come from last to second. The rain helped them make the final jump, he reckons, and when he woke up this morning, he definitely didn’t expect this result.
Hamilton thanks the crowd, saying he wasn’t sure 100 would ever come, then pauses to hug Norris on a fine job. He notes how well he’s driving, thanks his team for making the right call at the end, and he’s incredibly grateful to all the men and women here and in the factory. Last night, he wasn’t “the happiest” with the job he did yesterday, saying he made slight errors, but waking up with pain in his neck he was determined to get it done, also saying that Versatappen must’ve done a brilliant job to come from last to second. He thinks it would’ve been hard to get by Norris without the rain, but he’s delighted to have the points.
Hamilton – and Mercedes’ – composure and calm won them that race today. They hung in there, then made the right calls at the right moments, and seriously, one hundred wins, more than anyone else, what an absolute hero. But let’s also celebrate Norris and Verstappen, who were brilliant today.
Poor old Norris ends up seventh, but with an extra point for setting the fastest lap. His time will come, of that we can all be certain.
Wow! Yet another brilliant race, and how brilliantly Hamilton and Mercedes negotiated it! He thanks his team for the late pit and the call on the tyres, also noting that it’s taken them five races to get to three figures. Well, they’re here now, but Verstappen’s second-place means the overall gap between them is just two points.
Verstappen is second, Sainz third, Ricciardo fourth and Bottas fifth.
Lap 53/53 Lewis Hamilton is going to take the lead in the driver standings, but Veratappen would’ve taken a five-point deficit before the race and this is so set-up it’s ridiculous.
Lap 52/53 Visibility is really poor now, Hamilton extending his lead, and Norris pits – can he come out and stay on the podium? Hamilton, though, doesn’t care. If he stays on the track, he wins, and Norris emerges in seventh. Maybe the team made a mistake in misjudging the weather radar, but you can see why he stayed out to tough it out. Ach, and there’s Norris sliding out of bounds, that’s going to be another penalty. How gutting for him, but what a talent!
Lap 51/53 Ach! What a shame for Norris, who floated straight as Hamilton negotiated the corner, and Verstappen is now third, gunning for P2! That looks his from where I’m sitting, and what a season this is!
Lap 51/53 Hamilton’s taking chunks out of Norris, the lead down from 25.721s to 14.995s! I think he’s got enough in reserve, but as I type that the lead is down to 8.424! It’s caning down, shpritz all over the show, and HAMILTON PASSES NORRIS, WHO SLIDES OFF THE TRACK!
Lap 50/53 Hamilton comes in though he doesn’t want to! We learn that more rain is expected as he comes out in second, onto inters and 25.721s behind; “We just need to commit to stay,” Norris declares, and he’s only got to hang in there fir three more laps to record his maiden race-win!
Lap 49/53 It’s stopped raining again and Norris’ team tell him it’s slippy … “Shut up,I know!” he responds! Norris now leads by 2.294 as Ricciardo pits and he tells his team he won’t!
Lap 48/53 Perez passes Sainz and moves into third as we learn that the rain might get worse before it gets better. There’s a yellow flag, then Norris goes really wide, and this is now very difficult for all the drivers! “It’s really slippy but it’s not raining much,” Hamilton tells his team, and Russell and Bottas pit… Hamilton makes like he’s going to, doesn’t, and Norris now leads by two seconds!
Lap 47/53 Hamilton can’t afford to risk spinning out trying to overtake because he needs the second-place points, and Norris’ lead, briefly under a second, is now back over. And now Hamilton is closer, 0.55 away, and he attacks! Norris slides off the track but comes back still ahead – that’s done just about well enough – but Hamilton has DRS and attacks again! The wetness is helping the champ, but Norris hangs in there!
Lap 46/53 I wonder whether the rain will help Hamilton or Norris; in commentary, they reckon the former, and we see the brollies go up. Norris tells his team the rain is here.
Lap 45/53 Norris is doing really well to keep ahead of Hamilton, picking clever lines. The lead is only a second and change now, but isn’t reducing by anything significant, and we can see the rain coming, heavier than initially anticipated.
Lap 44/53 Ultimately, Norris’ McLaren is quicker on the straight than Hamilton’s Mercedes, so manufacturing the overtake is tricky. The lead, though, is down to 1.185s, while Russell – sat in tenth – tells his team he can see some spots of rain.