Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes – 9

Another step closer to his sixth F1 world title with one of his most opportunistic victories of the season. Hamilton starred in qualifying to split the faster Ferraris before making his long first stint on Mediums work well, giving him the chance to pit under the Virtual Safety Car and get the jump on Leclerc. He may not have been the outright quickest driver, but keeping the Ferraris in sight was crucial to his 82nd career win.

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes – 6

P2 flattered Bottas’ performance in Russia, having been a step behind his teammate all weekend along. The Finn qualified 0.6s off Hamilton on Saturday before losing out to Carlos Sainz off the line, meaning he was a distant 13 seconds back by the time the VSC was called. Bottas did well to keep Leclerc at bay in the closing stages, but struggled at a circuit that is meant to be among his strongest.

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari – 9

The biggest fault of Sebastian Vettel’s weekend came in qualifying, when he was beaten by Leclerc for the ninth race in a row, slipping to P3 on the grid. But it inadvertently helped him for the start as he gained a slipstream to take the lead. He laid down a mighty pace early on, giving him an excuse to defy Ferrari’s orders to give up the position to his teammate, and would have been pushing to re-pass Leclerc after the pit stops had his MGU-K not failed.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari – 9

Dominant in qualifying with his fourth straight pole position, Leclerc didn’t look so good in the race. He may have been racing on the assumption he would get the place back from Vettel, yet he struggled to get close enough to his teammate. The VSC hurt Leclerc, who then couldn’t find a way past Bottas for second in the final 20 laps, leaving him a disappointing P3.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull – 8

Fourth was about the best Max Verstappen could have hoped for in Russia following his grid penalty, leaving him P9 for the start. It took him 17 laps to clear the midfield runners, by which point the leaders had already cleared off, and a lack of Soft tyres meant he could not match them for strategy after the Safety Car.

Alexander Albon, Red Bull – 7

Also braced for a grid penalty for an engine change, Alexander Albon didn’t help his cause by crashing out in qualifying on Saturday, resulting in a pit lane start. But he flourished in the race, picking his way up the order despite nursing a brake problem. He ultimately rose to fifth, matching his best F1 finish and maximising the result on offer. A clean weekend at Suzuka would be a good way to gauge his true progress, though.

Daniel Ricciardo, Renault – 5

A tricky weekend for Daniel Ricciardo, who conceded on Saturday he felt a step behind teammate Nico Hulkenberg in Sochi. Ricciardo qualified P10 for Renault before getting caught up in a clash with Antonio Giovinazzi and Romain Grosjean at Turn 4 on the opening lap, leaving his car with damage that would ultimately force his retirement.

Nico Hulkenberg, Renault – 6

Hulkenberg looked capable of a decent points haul after qualifying sixth for Renault, only for a poor start to set off a difficult race. After dropping back to ninth, Hulkenberg lost more time with a slow pit stop before the VSC helped his midfield rivals, leaving him stuck in a train for the closing stages. A pass on Lance Stroll gave him a point for P10, but more was definitely on offer.

Kevin Magnussen, Haas – 7

Scoring Haas’ first points since Germany, Kevin Magnussen put in a good shift in Sochi despite appearing to lack the outright pace of teammate Romain Grosjean through the early part of the weekend. Magnussen started well to rise up to P10, and didn’t drop out of the points, pitting under the VSC. A five-second time penalty dropped him to ninth after the FIA judged Magnussen had not followed procedure at the Turn 2 run-off, but still a hard-earned result.

Romain Grosjean, Haas – 6

Grosjean’s yo-yoing form continued as he put in a strong qualifying display, reaching Q3 and starting eight before getting caught on the outside of Turn 4 when Giovinazzi’s Alfa Romeo was squished between the Haas and Ricciardo’s Renault. A good opportunity that went begging.

Carlos Sainz, McLaren – 10

F1’s resident smooth operator strikes again. Sainz topped the midfield in qualifying before a stunning start saw him overhaul Bottas and even get close to jumping Hamilton at Turn 2. He didn’t have the pace to keep the recovering Red Bulls back, but looked comfortable ahead of his midfield rivals, bringing home eight points for sixth. Very nice.

Lando Norris, McLaren – 7

Norris wasn’t quite on a par with Sainz through the Russia weekend, but still looked good to back him up at the head of the midfield prior to the VSC, which allowed many of the cars behind to get the jump and run on fresher tyres. Norris was stuck in P10 for the final stint after being seventh before pitting, and only gained a place thanks to Magnussen’s penalty.

Sergio Perez, Racing Point – 9

A really terrific display from Perez. He may not have reached Q3, but a good start to run eighth in the first stint put him in the mix for points. The Safety Car left him under pressure from the later pitters, but moves on Magnussen and Norris on the return to green paved the way for him to grab seventh for Racing Point.

Lance Stroll, Racing Point – 6

Lance Stroll had a quiet weekend in Sochi, qualifying 14th and finishing 11th. He spent much of the race running toward the rear of the midfield fight, and struggled to make any gains in the final stint despite pitting under the VSC.

Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo – 5

This will be a weekend Kimi Raikkonen will want to forget quickly. A Q1 exit was followed by a jump start – strange for the most experienced man in the field – with the resulting penalty leaving him well down the order. The Safety Car helped him get in sight of the midfield again, but Alfa Romeo didn’t have the pace this weekend to realistically expect points.

Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo – 5

Giovinazzi qualified strongly in Russia, taking P12 on the grid, but saw his race effectively end at Turn 4 in the clash with Grosjean and Ricciardo. His car was left with damage that compromised his performance through the rest of the race, leaving him a lowly P15 at the flag.

Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso – 8

Given he only took full part in FP2 and start last on the grid, Daniil Kvyat put in a good effort to come close to the points for Toro Rosso. He started well, battled hard with teammate Pierre Gasly, and was unfortunate to get stuck at the back of the midfield train in the final stint. P12 still marked a good recovery.

Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso – 5

Toro Rosso didn’t look capable of points in Sochi, but It was Kvyat who was the quicker of its drivers on Sunday. Gasly qualified well before dropping back due to a grid penalty, and struggled to recover, eventually crossing the line P14.

George Russell, Williams – 6

A full 1.1 seconds clear of Robert Kubica in qualifying, George Russell continued his perfect Saturday record over his teammate before a mechanical issue caused his car to go straight on and into the barrier in the race.

Robert Kubica, Williams – 5

By his own admission, this was one of Robert Kubica’s toughest weekends of the season. Adrift from Russell in qualifying

 

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