A virtual safety car handed Lewis Hamilton a surprise win in Sochi after the Englishman had dropped down to third place on the opening lap. In line with Ferrari’s plan, Vettel used the tow from pole-sitter Leclerc to pass Hamilton into turn 1, but then – not so much to plan – also used it to pass Leclerc and take the lead.
From there it was the Vettel of old, defying team orders to hand the position back to Leclerc, and opening up a comfortable lead on his rivals. But sadly it was not to be for Vettel, as he retired immediately after his pitstop – and the resulting safety car allowed Hamilton to pit and get back out ahead of the field. From there, Hamilton held on easily for the win, taking a point for fastest lap along the way. Bottas second, Leclerc third.
For the second weekend on the trot, Gearhouse Broadcast was with the Whisper team, supporting their transmission package for Channel 4.
Mathematically, Hamilton can’t win title number six at the next race in Japan, but his lead is now 73 points so it can only be a matter of time – perhaps as early as Mexico on October 27th.