Lewis Hamilton scored his 70th career victory today in Formula One – his eighth of the 2018 season and third at the Sochi circuit. Valtteri Bottas finished the race in P2 – taking his 20th podium finish with Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport and third for Seb Vettel and fourth for Kimi Raikkonen. Now it’s time to look ahead to the next Grand Prix, which takes place this coming weekend in Suzuka.
Rain before the start caught everyone’s attention, as a few drops fell on the grid, while the sun still shone. The thermometer indicated that air temperature was 24 and the track was at 27.
Valtteri was an incredible gentleman today. Honestly, it’s the strangest day I can remember having in the sport in my career. I remember, we have crossed this situation and discussion before. It’s always felt super uncomfortable, I was like ‘Look, I want to win the right way’, that’s always how it is for me. I would say ‘Look, as racing drivers we exist to win, and if you tell us we can’t win, it’s like you are taking our air away, our life away’. It’s that deep. I would never wish it upon anyone else and would never ask for it, ever. I made sure when we were in a meeting before, I was like ‘Just so you know, I’ve never gone to Toto and those guys, this is not how I want to win’. Obviously, the team took the decision when they saw that my tyres were blistered and Vettel was charging from behind. There are stronger heads in the team who are like ‘We have to win, it’s all about the win. We have got to win both Championships, we don’t care who finishes ahead’. I think ultimately, it’s really important right this second to first acknowledge Valtteri, because as I said he was just the ultimate gentleman. It is very weird to feel down but we’ve also got to feel grateful to the guys back at the factory. So many people are working flat-out to make sure we have a 1-2 like this, the team have just done an incredible job this weekend. We have to really embrace the moment still, but it’s definitely a victory on my list of wins that I am least proud of.
Lewis Hamilton (306 points) leads the Drivers’ Championship by 50 points from Sebastian Vettel (256 points) with Valtteri Bottas (189 points) in P3
Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport (495 points) leads Ferrari (442 points) by 53 points in the Constructors’ Championship