Lewis Hamilton wins in Russia after team orders

Lewis Hamilton took a giant step towards a fifth world championship with victory in the Russian Grand Prix.

Hamilton benefited from team orders as Mercedes told his team-mate Valtteri Bottas to let him by at half distance to protect against rival Sebastian Vettel.

But Hamilton had to overtake Vettel on track to get into a position to benefit from the orders after being passed at the pit stops.

The Briton is now 50 points ahead – a lead that means Vettel no longer controls his own destiny, the four-time champion could win the remaining five races but still finish second in the standings.

For a short time around the pit stops, it appeared as if Vettel might have got himself in a position to claw back some championship points on Hamilton.

Bottas led away from pole position, and the Finn’s slipstream enabled a slow-starting Hamilton to fend off Vettel’s attack into the first corner.

They circulated in grid order until the first pit stops – when Mercedes’ plans began to go awry.

Bottas stopped first, on lap 12, with Vettel following a lap later.


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