The stewards' decision to hand Kimi Raikkonen a 30-second post race time penalty has confirmed Mercedes as 2015 F1 constructors' champion.

The Brackley outfit needed to score just three points more than main rival Ferrari in Sochi, but appeared to have come up short when Nico Rosberg was forced into retirement after only seven laps while the Scuderia had its two cars running third and fourth.

Sebastian Vettel eventually went on to finish second to Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton - in turn becoming the Briton's closest challenger in the drivers' standings - but Raikkonen put continuation of the teams' battle in doubt when he clattered Valtteri Bottas out of third place on the final lap.

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A lengthy stewards meeting, which included representation from both Ferrari and Williams, eventually resulted in the addition of 30secs to Raikkonen's elapsed race time, dropping him to eighth place and giving Mercedes the points cushion it needed to take the crown.

It is the second year in succession that Mercedes has clinched the teams' title in Russia, having dominated the season with twelve wins from 15 rounds.

Hamilton could now make it a double for the Three Pointed Star by out-scoring Vettel by nine points next time out in Austria, with Rosberg needing to avoid a more than two-point deficit to keep himself in the battle.

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fourteenseven: Does this mean that Rosberg will be 'allowed to race Hamilton' now[\blockquote]
Nico will be 'allowed' to race and Lewis will be 'allowed' to race as well.
Status Quo maintained.

Kimi not only had a Maldonado moment, he has given a Maldonado excuse.