Valtteri Bottas took advantage of a penalty for Mercedes Formula 1 teammate Lewis Hamilton to win the Russian Grand Prix.

Bottas claimed his second victory of the season, and first since the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix, after Hamilton was hit with a 10-second time penalty for making two illegal practice starts before the race.

Polesitter Hamilton was given two separate five-second time penalties for the double violation and subsequently dropped from the lead down to 11th after serving the penalty during his pit stop.

The Briton recovered from the setback to complete the podium in third place, behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Bottas, who capitalised on a rare error from Hamilton to end his winless streak of eight races with an untroubled drive to the flag.

It was a much-needed victory for Bottas, who has reduced what had been a 55-point deficit to Hamilton in the championship down to 44 points with seven rounds remaining of the 2020 season thanks to his 11-point swing.

Hamilton had held off Bottas’ attack at the start to lead a chaotic opening stint which was interrupted by a Safety Car on the opening lap following separate incidents which eliminated both McLaren’s Carlos Sainz and Lance Stroll, who was tagged and spun around into retirement by Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari.

But Hamilton, who was frustrated by the penalty and ignored Mercedes team orders to pit, finally relinquished his lead after stopping at the end of Lap 16 as he fell down the order.

Hamilton was able to recover to seal the final podium spot but missed out on the chance to equal Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 grand prix victories.

Sergio Perez took his best result of the season with a strong fourth place for Racing Point, ahead of Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo and Leclerc, who recorded Ferrari’s highest finish since claiming fourth at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.

Esteban Ocon successfully fended off a late-charging Daniil Kvyat to take seventh by just seven-tenths, with the second AlphaTauri of Pierre Gasly taking ninth.

Alex Albon recovered from his gearbox-related grid drop and starting 19th to complete the top-10 and record the final point on offer as the last classified finisher on the lead lap.

FULL 2020 F1 RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX RACE RESULTS.

 

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