Lewis Hamilton won the Russian Grand Prix and achieved his 100th Formula One Grand Prix victory in Sochi amidst treacherous rain on Sunday. The seven-time world champion reached the unprecedented century in his Mercedes after being stuck on 99 since the British Grand Prix in July. Hamilton also took over the championship lead from Max Verstappen, who finished second after starting the race last on the grid. It was heartbreak for Lando Norris, who was just three laps away from his first F1 win but rain ended his dream in a cruel manner and he ended up in the seventh place.
Carlos Sainz finished in the third spot while Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas completed the top five in the race.
Norris had fended off Hamilton for long and drove beautifully but started struggling in the last three laps and with Hamilton having fresher tires and the rain falling down, the Mercedes driver overtook Norris in the 51st lap and took it home.
Hamilton thanked the crowd for the turnout and while he was talking after the race, Norris very sportingly even came to him and congratulated him on his 100th.
“Big thank you to the crowd, it’s not been the best of weather but thank you. The 100th has taken a long time, wasn’t sure if it would come (Lando Norris comes and congratulates Hamilton). Lando did so well, bittersweet to see my old team ahead," Hamilton said.
Hamilton admitted he was not happy with his qualifying race but was determined to do his best on Sunday. He did say the rain helped him and thanked his team for the perfect tactics.
“Going to bed last night, I wasn’t happy with what I had done. I watched the race again and again and there were subtle mistakes but came determined to do the best I could. Lost a lot of ground in the start but hung on. Obviously Max did a great job to finish second from last.
“Would have been tough to overtake Lando, he was fast and wasn’t making any mistake. But then the rain came and the team did a great job. Delighted with the point," he concluded.
Verstappen was also extremely happy with his race and admitted that he did not expect the result before the start.
“To come from last to second, it’s very, very good. The race was not easy, was not easy to pass and once you got stuck, it was tough. But the rain helped.
“With the penalty we had, to lose just one spot basically, it’s not too bad. When I got up in the morning, I definitely didn’t expect this result.
“Especially from the back, a lot of things happen. You have to stay out of trouble and stay clean. It all worked out," he said.
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