2017 Formula 1 Vtb Russian Grand Prix
It’s race day and we’re now getting ready for the Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix with LIVE updates as they happen.
Announcement – The rumours have proved to be true with Sauber confirming today, that they will be “joining forces with Honda” from 2018 onwards.
Drivers are now taking part in the track parade as you can see below – image is from Mercedes AMG F1 Twitter.
Even though the two are battling – there’s respect between the two drivers which is always nice to see.
Vettel – “It’s a great feeling for the whole team, we have been working on this as a whole and Mercedes have been a force. It’s nice that myself and Kimi are on the front row.”
Ricciardo – “We should be able to stay 5th – that’s where the battle is at the moment between me, Massa and Max. I hope we can have fun out there today – the track is crazy so it’ll be fun.”
Teams are now finalising things on the cars and drivers are all getting ready as it’s nearly time for the pit lane to open.
Pit Lane is OPEN – Russian Grand Prix
Drivers are now making their way onto track.
Perez – “We have a lot of potential today and we are going to try and move forward.”
Drivers are now getting in their cars and getting ready for the race – they all seem motivated and focused.
Russian Grand Prix
Team to Alonso – “Try again Fernando.”
Alonso – “I’ve tried 3 times already – try yourself.”
Drivers are now on their formation lap – Alonso manages to get away too.
Alonso reporting on more problems – he might have to retire from the race.
Fernando has stopped – he’s gotten as far as he could and parked on the pit-lane entry, he’s gotten out and walking away.
ANOTHER Formation Lap is taking place to clear Fernando Alonso’s car!
It was a great start with Ferrari getting away well but out of the blue – Bottas makes his way past the Ferrari!
There’s a battle between Hamilton and Raikkonen also being joined by one of the Red Bull’s.
Palmer and Grosjean have come together.
The incident between Palmer and Grosjean will be investigated.
Safety Car is in this lap.
It’s Bottas leading – Vettel, Raikkonen and Hamilton.
Hamilton – “Is there anything I can do for the restart?”
Team to Hamilton – “There’ll be plenty of opportunities.”
Even though Bottas is considered as “the slower car” he’s in the front and leading the race – he’s looked stronger than his team-mate this weekend and does love this circuit
Bottas leading the race – he’s had a good start.
Team to Perez – “Caution on your front right”
Bottas has had a fantastic getaway – he’s getting the gap set between himself and the Ferarri.
Hamilton seems to be a little slower and is further away from Raikkonen – losing pace in the last sector too!
Ricciardo – “I think my rear brake is on fire”
Daniel Ricciardo is slowing down – being told by his engineers to “come into the pits slowly, we have a problem with the rear brakes“
Ricciardo is now in the pits.
The team are checking the car but it doesn’t look good.
There’s now 16 cars taking part – Bottas is leading the race.
Hamilton – “I’m getting a cut-out in power”
He seems to be struggling with this track, his team mate seems to be doing a lot better. He’s in the lead and currently unchallenged.
McLaren say that they had an ERS Failure for Alonso.
Verstappen’s engineers are monitoring his brakes too after he reported a couple of issues and questions.
Hamilton – “Is something wrong?”
Hamilton’s engineers are monitoring his car in terms of cooling and saying there’s nothing to worry about at the moment.
Bottas still leading the race, he’s looking stronger.
Ferrari are behind but not looking extremely fussed about Bottas at the moment.
Team telling Magnussen to ignore the penalty and focus on the race as they can reach the points.
Team to Hamilton – “We are borderline on temps (temperature) keep doing what you’re doing” as he’s closing the gap to Raikkonen.
Hamilton – “I’m trying to race!”
He’s getting frustrated.
Bottas leading the race.
Everyone seems to be monitoring their cars and keeping their distance from one another without compromising on times.
Team to Hamilton – “We are hot on temps.”
Hamilton – “Why is my car heating guys?”
Hamilton is still in 4th place.
Team to Hamilton – “The other cars are struggling as well, it’s not only ours.”
Vettel now sets the fastest lap time.
It seems that he’s starting to put the pressure on Bottas now.
Bottas now setting a fastest lap time.
They’re testing the tyre guns down at Ferrari’s garage.
Team to Bottas – “That was a good lap”
After setting the fastest lap time after Vettel set his.
Hamilton – “The temperatures are going back up?”
He’s now closing the gap to Raikkonen.
Hamilton – “Is the car OK?”
Team to Hamilton – “The car is on the limit Lewis, keep doing what you’re doing”
They have started to find more pace but they can’t push to the maximum.
Team to Hamilton – “Lewis, both cars are struggling. The only difference with Bottas is that he’s in clear air.”
Could Ferrari start putting the pressure on Mercedes now?
Verstappen – “The left front is definitely opening up a bit more”
Wehrlein comes into the pits.
Team to Hamilton – “Keep doing what you’re doing Lewis, the temperatures have started to come to us and starting to drop.”
Vettel has now started to put the pressure on Bottas, it looks like he’s closing the gap slightly.
Hamilton is still taking care of his car but starting to push that tiny bit more.
Raikkonen also managing things – everyone seems to be keeping their distance without much compromise.
Bottas leading the race.
Ferrari are now putting the pressure on Mercedes – they’re closing the gap and quickly.
Bottas makes his way past the Toro Rosso.
Bottas doesn’t pit.
Vettel doesn’t pit.
Bottas is now coming into the pits.
Vettel now leads the race.
Bottas should come out behind his team-mate.
Team to Vettel – “Push now, we need everything”
Alonso is watching the race from McLaren – he seems to be shaking his head at Ferrari’s decision.
Raikkonen is reporting an issue with his tyres “The rear is going, the rear is going”- will he have to wait for his team-mate to pit first? Vettel is trying to get past the back-markers.
Kimi Raikkonen PITS – leaving his team-mate out.
Team to Hamilton – “Box, box – Box, box”
Hamilton will be coming into the pits.
Mercedes have brought in both their cars.
Vettel is still out.
Bottas now sets the fastest lap time.
Raikkonen now sets the fastest lap time.
Vettel – “We are staying out, the pace is good.”
Raikkonen is putting in great lap times.
Raikkonen – “How are we behind Bottas?”
Team to Raikkonen – “He was leading the race, Kimi.”
Raikkonen – “Ah ok – I thought it was the other way around.”
Team to Vettel – “Box, box Sebastian”
He doesn’t come in to the pits.
Team to Vettel – “Stay out – Stay out.”
Not entirely sure with what’s going on there.
Team to Bottas – “It’s critical that you get past Kvyat (back marker) as quickly as possible.”
That’s to cover off Raikkonen who seems to be finding incredible speed.
Vettel now pits.
Bottas leads the race again.
It’s Bottas, Vettel and Raikkonen in the lead – Hamilton in 4th still.
Hamilton hasn’t got great pace – he can’t really challenge for the top 3 and looks like 4th will be his best bet.
Raikkonen also saying that he’s having a slight problem with the brakes.
Bottas has had a massive lock-up which will cause a problem.
Team to Vettel – “He (Bottas) went wide – he now has a big flat-spot on his tyre.”
Vettel has now started to pick up the pace.
Hamilton is asking for the times of the front drivers – the team are reporting to him but it looking at his pace, he can’t battle with the front 3.
Hulkenberg now comes into the pits.
10 laps to go.
Vettel putting the pressure on Bottas – Bottas is managing things well.
Massa has just come into the pits again.
Vettel really closing the gap – they’ve made their way past most of the back markers.
Team to Bottas – “Press the overtake button a bit earlier.”
Bottas – “I want less talking”
Bottas leading the race with Vettel right behind – the pressure is there but both drivers are motivated and focused.
He’s been consistent with his times since the big lockup he had.
Vettel has closed the gap – they’re now matching on lap times and the pressure is on.
Bottas is focused.
Vettel now sets the fastest lap time He’s really putting the pressure on and is nearly within DRS range.
Vettel is pushing and Bottas can see the Ferrari right behind him.
Vettel sets another fastest lap time.
Kimi Raikkonen now sets a fastest lap time.
DRS is open for Vettel – Bottas is ahead and trying to keep his cool.
2 laps left.
It’s so close between the two.
Bottas seems to have a grip problem with his tyres – he’s losing grip on the rears.
Bottas makes his way past Massa and Vettel is stuck behind Massa.
Vettel now gets past Massa but it looks like there’s more room between the front two.
It seems like it’s worked for Bottas.
This is the final lap.
Valtteri Bottas WINS his first grand prix!
He wins the Russian Grand Prix!
Brief Driver Reaction – Russian Grand Prix
Bottas – “This is amazing. I’ve been waiting for a while now and without this team, it wouldn’t be possible.”
“We had a tricky beginning of the year and again today, things were very close.”
Vettel – “I lost a bit more time than I hoped for – this is the man of the race, it’s his day and it’s a big day.”
“I had fresher tyres in the end and we just decided to extend things as much as possible – we tried everything but we lost the race at the start. I had a good start but Bottas gained a lot more and by the time we approached the braking – he was able to shut the door on me and did a superb first stint with no mistakes.”
Raikkonen – “I am very happy that I am here and for all the support. We could only get 3rd place but we will try again for the next race to get better.”
Images – Kym Illman F1