Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton says that his main rival for the title Max Verstappen in Russia achieved a ‘dream result’ because in addition to the penalty and the start from the last place he reached the second position and leaves Sochi with only two points behind the first-placed Hamilton.
Red Bull and Verstappen are happy to ‘rub their hands’ after the race in Russia in which they won second place even though Verstappen started from the last position. Before the second free practice, team decided to put a new drive unit in the Dutchman, which automatically meant a start from the back.
With this, Verstappen solved the problem of the engine that he carried since Silverstone. Then his new engine was destroyed after Hamilton knocked him out of the race, and the Dutchman was left on 2 engines. The new one he took in Hungary and the old one he started the season with.
Red Bull decided to change the engine in Russia, and the damage when everything is taken into account was minimal. Russia is Mercedes ’track and the Silver Arrows were expected to be fast here, but second place in the race for Verstappen after a penalty, a change of engine and a start from last place is the best possible outcome.
Hamilton and Mercedes hoped to leave Russia with a bigger advantage, especially as they follow tracks that should be more in line with Red Bull’s car, but things didn’t turn out that way. "I can't do anything about who is behind me.
This was a dream result for Max, but I am happy with the points I won, "said Hamilton after the race.
In the second part of the race, Hamilton pressed Norris, who was overtaken about 10 laps before the end of the race.
He tried to overtake him, but Norris defended himself very well. But 5 laps before the end of the race, it started to rain. McLaren and Norris misjudged the conditions and were late with the change of tires, which Hamilton and Mercedes used to record the victory.
Hamilton says it would have been hard for him to overtake Norris if he had stayed dry. "It would be very difficult to overtake Lando. He had great speed and the fastest lap. I would hardly overtake him, only if I caught him in a crowd or if he made a mistake, which he did not do."
"Then it started to rain and we took the opportunity. As I said, the team did a great job and I thank them, "added Hamilton. Hamilton otherwise recorded his 100th victory in his F1 career in Russia and became the first driver in history to reach a three-digit victory figure.