2016 Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix

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Sochi, Russia -

The Formula 1 season persists with excitement as the Russian Grand Prix was filled with intensity. With problems plaguing Lewis Hamilton, who started 10th due to reliability issues, and Sebastian Vettel with a five-place penalty for swapping a gear box, things continue going in the way of Nico Rosberg, who was the pole setter by three quarters of a second. 

The race began smoothly through turn one, but turn two present an entirely different scenario. Under breaking on behalf of Vettel, Daniil Kvyat rear ended the German and Vettel was again under fire from the Russian through turn three sending him into the wall and ending his race. Kvyat pitted under caution and went about his day, though a penalty. 

The mayhem obviously created some position changes including Kimi Raikkonen which granted him a second place behind Rosberg and Hamilton scratched his way up to fourth. Raikkonen, suffering from understeer, lost positioning from Bottas and subsequently Hamilton on lap 7, and fell back to 4th.

Meanwhile, Rosberg continued to be on cruise control gaining over a 14 second lead over a battling Bottas and Hamilton for P2. Raikkonen pitted on lap 20, and though a slow release from his crew, he was able to get ahead of Bottas, taking third position. Lewis Hanilton was down to only a 7.5 second gap when he was notified of a water pressure issue. The gap behind Nico then fell back to 12 seconds rather quickly. 

Exciting turn of events were unfolding for Maclaren Honda's Fernando Alonso, who worked his way into the points along with Haas Racing's Romain Grosjean, who began in 15th position. Even Jensen Button was flirting with 10th for much of the race, finally taking the last point-acquiring position with less than 10 laps to go.  Grosjean was able to beat out Sergio for 8th even though the Mexican was pressing in his rear view mirror for quite a while. 

The 53-lap race was completed by a grand slam by Rosberg (pole, fastest lap, winner) who has now one 7 races in a row dating back to last season, and becoming only the 4th driver in history in doing so (Ascari 1952-53, Schumacher 2004, Vettel 2013). Hamilton finished in P2 but over 20 seconds behind. Raikkonen grabbed third, but some exciting results as aforementioned by Alonso, Grosjean & Button.  

Photo: Associated Press

Photo: Associated Press