Nico Rosberg made in seven wins in a row to equal the records set by Michael Schumacher and Alberto Ascari, despite a fighting performance from teammate Lewis Hamilton.
Hamilton crossed the line second behind Rosberg, after fighting back from 10th on the grid, however the three-time World Champion still remains 43 points behind Nico Rosberg.
Remarkably, Hamilton closed Rosberg down by 7 seconds throughout the middle section of the race, but was pegged back after his team told him his car had a water pressure issue, and Hamilton was instructed to protect his engine late on. Hamilton’s pace was much quicker than Rosberg after the Mercedes pair pitted, despite the Mercedes team suggesting Rosberg was stuck in traffic.
“There wasn’t a doubt in my mind I could win it. I had the pace, but then I had the problem with the engine again and I had to back off.” – Hamilton told the BBC.
— Formula 1 (@F1) May 1, 2016
Kimi Raikkonen took third place to complete the podium, however his teammate Sebastian Vettel encountered more problems as he crashed out on just the second corner, after being hit twice by Red Bulls Daniil Kvyat. This comes just two weeks after Kvyat caused Vettel to sustain front wing damage in China on turn one.
The race started in dramatic fashion, with Rosberg getting away quickly and Hamilton taking a few places to move closer to his German teammate. Sebastian Vettel’s race was ended after two corners as Daniil Kvyat first came into the side of Vettel’s Ferrari, before smashing into the rear of him leaving the German planted into the wall. Vettel was quick to let out his frustration down the team radio with some colourful language, before having words with Red Bull’s team Principal Christian Horner after his retirement.
Vettel reflected after the race: “These things happen obviously but it’s harsh. The race is very long; you can make progress on the first lap but you can also end your race. “It was not my fault – there was nothing I would do differently.
“I don’t dislike Kvyat. I think he did a mistake two weeks ago and I think he did a mistake today.” Vettel told the BBC.
This was the second time in two races that the young Russian, who was appearing at his home Grand Prix, had collided with Vettel, and consequently picked up a 10 second stop-go penalty. The collision involving Raikkonen and Vettel caused by Kvyat in China went down as a race incident, and no direct blame can be attached to the young Russian, however his actions in Sochi can be fairly criticised.
— Formula 1 (@F1) May 1, 2016
There was some long awaited good news for McLaren, and Fernando Alonso in Sochi. Alonso, who was involved in a horrific incident on the opening race weekend in Melbourne, finished 6th following a flying start from the Spaniard. The start from Alonso saw him rise from 14th to 7th. Alonso’s McLaren teammate Jenson Button recovered from a disappointing start to finish just inside the points in 10th.
Romain Grosjean continued his impressive form as he guided Haas to another points finish, as he crossed the line in 8th, behind Renault’s Kevin Magnussen – who also had a successful race in Sochi.
1. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 53 laps
2. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, +25.022
3. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, +31.998
4. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, +50.217
5. Felipe Massa, Williams, +1:14.427
6. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, +1 lap
7. Kevin Magnussen, Renault, +1 lap
8. Romain Grosjean, Haas, +1 lap
9. Sergio Perez, Force India, +1 lap
10. Jenson Button, McLaren, +1 lap
11. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, +1 lap
12. Carlos Sainz, Toro Rosso, +1 lap
13. Jolyon Palmer, Renault, +1 lap
14. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, +1 lap
15. Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull, +1 lap
16. Felipe Nasr, Sauber, +1 lap
17. Esteban Gutierrez, Haas, +1 lap
18. Pascal Wehrlein, Manor, +1 lap
Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso, Not classified
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Not classified
Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Not classified