Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Lewis Hamilton wins Russian GP ahead of Nico Rosberg

Britain’s Lewis Hamilton dominated the Russian Grand Prix to take his ninth win of the year, his fourth in a row, and extend his championship lead.

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton’s team-mate Nico Rosberg fought back following a first-lap error to take second place, sealing the constructors’ title for Mercedes.

Rosberg trails Hamilton by 17 points with three races remaining and a maximum of 100 points available.

Hamilton equalled Nigel Mansell’s record for most wins by a Briton – 31.

The race was overshadowed by the sport’s concern for Marussia driver Jules Bianchi, who is in a critical condition after a crash during the Japanese Grand Prix last weekend.

There was a tribute to the 25-year-old Frenchman on the grid from both his team and the other drivers.

Marussia decided to run only one car in the race, leaving Bianchi’s fully prepared but on stands in the garage.

The race was attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was instrumental in realising F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone’s 30-year desire to have a grand prix in Russia.

Russia is paying a reputed $50m (£31m) a year for the race, believed to be the the largest hosting fee of any grand prix.

Unusually, Ecclestone stayed until the end of the race, sitting with Putin in the hospitality grandstand.

Putin then joined the drivers in the pre-podium room and on the podium, where he presented Hamilton with the winner’s trophy and Mercedes executive director (technical) Paddy Lowe with that for winning constructor.

Hamilton had looked the superior of the drivers in the dominant Mercedes team throughout the weekend.

“Nico did a great job to recover,” he said. “The car was performing really well. It’s history for us. I feel very proud to be a part of it. To get the first constructors’ championship for Mercedes-Benz is a wonderful day.”

The only time Hamilton looked briefly vulnerable was when Rosberg pulled alongside him into the first proper corner, Turn Two.

But the German braked too late, badly locking up both front wheels and taking to the escape road.

Rosberg held on in front, but was immediately told to hand the place back to Hamilton because he had broken the rules by gaining an advantage through going off the track. He replied saying he would have to pit immediately to change his tyres. BBC