Russia
Sergio Perez (MEX) Racing Point F1 Team RP19 and Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Renault F1 Team RS20 at the start of the race. Russian Grand Prix, Sunday 27th September 2020. Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Credit: Renault media site

Sunday’s Russian Grand Prix produced a surprise (ish) result as Lewis Hamilton failed to equal Michael Schumacher’s win record thanks to a ten-second penalty.

There were some good moments of action over the race – Perez’s overtake was one of the best of the season – and here we look at the top five moments of the weekend.

It was easier to put together this week, although whether that was due to more action on track or better coverage from the F1 twitter community, who knows?

Shake and bake

Starting with a banger. Sergio Perez had a quietly brilliant race, for the most part staying out of the action but with consistent pace that saw him finish only eight seconds behind Hamilton.

The exception to that rule was his superb overtake on Daniel Ricciardo for a key fifth place before the pitstops.

He effectively did a double-switchback on the Australian, first attempting to go around the outside of turn two, then feinting a move to the outside on the exit of the corner before hugging the inside of the long bend to blast ahead.

Losing the race before it’s began

Hamilton’s push to match Michael Schumacher’s win record at Russia was over before it even got underway, as he did two practice starts in the fast lane of the pitlane.

He was given two five-second penalties for the indiscretions, and complained afterwards about the decisions.

Several drivers flew past – the reason the rule’s in place is to stop crashes with high-speed differentials – and if any of them had resulted in contact there could’ve been a very nasty crash.

 

Battle for the future

The Rookie of the Year office battle between Lando Norris, George Russell and Alex Albon has clocked over two million views on F1’s YouTube channel, but before this weekend we’d not had chance to see the three young stars fighting on track.

The trio found themselves together early in the race at Sochi though, had a pretty good scrap through the last and first sectors of the autodrome.

It was also a chance to see the three fastest engines in F1 going head-to-head, similar in a way to the Hamilton-Gasly drag race at Brazil last year.

Mercedes won this round and Lando Norris was relegated to the back of the group, albeit hindered by a compromised exit from turn 18 and lack of DRS.

 

Russian GP: Bottas coasts to win after Hamilton pitlane time-penalty

Russian GP – Hamilton survives Q2 crisis to take pole at Sochi

F1 championship standings

Lights out and away we go

Valtteri Bottas has been lambasted for his tentativeness at races like the British Grand Prix, but he gave it a good go into Turn 2 at Sochi.

He got a good start, jumping Max Verstappen and then tucking in behind Hamilton on the run down to the braking zone.

He looked to have got ahead but just ran too wide and had to cede the position.

Further back Daniel Ricciardo also challenged Verstappen before the jollities were brought to a halt by the safety car for Carlos Sainz’s crash.

Turning point of the weekend?

While not the biggest crash of the weekend, Vettel’s shunt created high drama in qualifying with Hamilton having to rush out and get his lap in after the red flag.

The German – who’d had some decent practice sessions up until this point – got on the kerb at Turn 4 and spun off, hitting the barrier and losing his front wing.

The onboard from Charles Leclerc is probably more scary – a very near miss.

The Biggest Crash of the Weekend

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