Mercedes team orders give Lewis Hamilton Russian GP win

The Briton finishes ahead of teammate Valtteri Bottas to extend his championship lead to 50 points with five races remaining

SOCHI, RUSSIA - SEPTEMBER 30: Valtteri Bottas driving the (77) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes WO9 and Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes WO9 battle for position during the Formula One Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom on September 30, 2018 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Lewis Hamilton benefitted from team orders at Mercedes-GP to win the Russian Grand Prix and extend his lead in the Formula One drivers' championship to 50 points with five races remaining.

Valtteri Bottas was ordered by the German marque to slow and allow the Briton to pass him mid-race, and the Finn obeyed the request.

Bottas had led the first stint of the race until his pit stop, but with Hamilton struggling with a blister on one of his tyres, the decision was made to swop positions to ensure they took the one-two finish and Hamilton boosted his hopes of a fifth world title, and a fourth in five years.


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Hamilton's title rival Sebastian Vettel had to settle for third place. He had briefly got ahead of Hamilton during the pit stops, but the Briton passed him to regain the position.

Kimi Raikkonen was a fourth in the second Ferrari, with Max Verstappen, who led much of the race as he drove a long first stint on the soft Pirelli tyres, coming through to take fifth after he had started 19th due to grid penalties for engine changes.

Daniel Ricciardo was a distant sixth in the second Red Bull.

The next race is in Japan on October 7.