F1 Grand Prix of Russia
  • F1 Grand Prix of Russia
  • SOCHI, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 12: Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP locks up approaching turn two next to Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP during the Russian Formula One Grand Prix at Sochi Autodrom on October 12, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Mark Thompson via Getty Images
AUTO-PRIX-RUS
  • AUTO-PRIX-RUS
  • Mercedes' German driver Nico Rosberg (L) brakes in front of teammate Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton to take the lead during the inaugural Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom in Sochi on October 12, 2014. AFP PHOTO / DIMITAR DILKOFF (Photo credit should read DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: DIMITAR DILKOFF via Getty Images
AUTO-PRIX-RUS
  • AUTO-PRIX-RUS
  • Mercedes' German driver Nico Rosberg (L) takes the lead at the start of the inaugural Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom in Sochi on October 12, 2014. AFP PHOTO / DIMITAR DILKOFF (Photo credit should read DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: DIMITAR DILKOFF via Getty Images
Russia F1 Gp Auto Racing
  • Russia F1 Gp Auto Racing
  • Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg of Germany, right, goes off the track as his teammate Lewis Hamilton of Britain steers his car to win the Formula One Russian Grand Prix at the 'Sochi Autodrom' Formula One circuit, in Sochi, Russia, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
  • Image Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
Russia F1 Gp Auto Racing
  • Russia F1 Gp Auto Racing
  • Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg of Germany, right, goes off the track during the Formula One Russian Grand Prix at the 'Sochi Autodrom' Formula One circuit, in Sochi, Russia, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
  • Image Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
AUTO-PRIX-RUS
  • AUTO-PRIX-RUS
  • Williams' Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas (L) and McLaren Mercedes' British driver Jenson Button take the first corner during the inaugural Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom in Sochi on October 12, 2014. AFP PHOTO / DIMITAR DILKOFF (Photo credit should read DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: DIMITAR DILKOFF via Getty Images
F1 Grand Prix of Russia
  • F1 Grand Prix of Russia
  • SOCHI, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 12: Daniil Kvyat of Russia and Scuderia Toro Rosso drives during the Russian Formula One Grand Prix at Sochi Autodrom on October 12, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Mark Thompson via Getty Images
F1 Grand Prix of Russia
  • F1 Grand Prix of Russia
  • SOCHI, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 12: Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Williams drives during the Russian Formula One Grand Prix at Sochi Autodrom on October 12, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Mark Thompson via Getty Images
F1 Grand Prix of Russia
  • F1 Grand Prix of Russia
  • SOCHI, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 12: Kimi Raikkonen of Finland and Ferrari drives during the Russian Formula One Grand Prix at Sochi Autodrom on October 12, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Mark Thompson via Getty Images
F1 Grand Prix of Russia
  • F1 Grand Prix of Russia
  • SOCHI, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 12: Daniil Kvyat of Russia and Scuderia Toro Rosso drives next to Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Infiniti Red Bull Racing and Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Infiniti Red Bull Racing during the Russian Formula One Grand Prix at Sochi Autodrom on October 12, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Mark Thompson via Getty Images
F1 Grand Prix of Russia
  • F1 Grand Prix of Russia
  • SOCHI, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 12: Kevin Magnussen of Denmark and McLaren drives during the Russian Formula One Grand Prix at Sochi Autodrom on October 12, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Clive Mason via Getty Images
F1 Grand Prix of Russia
  • F1 Grand Prix of Russia
  • SOCHI, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 12: Kevin Magnussen of Denmark and McLaren, Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Infiniti Red Bull Racing, Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Infiniti Red Bull Racing and Jean-Eric Vergne of France and Scuderia Toro Rosso drive during the Russian Formula One Grand Prix at Sochi Autodrom on October 12, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Paul Gilham via Getty Images
F1 Grand Prix of Russia
  • F1 Grand Prix of Russia
  • SOCHI, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 12: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP drives during the Russian Formula One Grand Prix at Sochi Autodrom on October 12, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Paul Gilham via Getty Images
F1 Grand Prix of Russia
  • F1 Grand Prix of Russia
  • SOCHI, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 12: Sergio Perez of Mexico and Force India and Felipe Massa of Brazil and Williams drive during the Russian Formula One Grand Prix at Sochi Autodrom on October 12, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Clive Mason via Getty Images
F1 Grand Prix of Russia
  • F1 Grand Prix of Russia
  • SOCHI, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 12: Fernando Alonso of Spain and Ferrari and Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Infiniti Red Bull Racing drive during the Russian Formula One Grand Prix at Sochi Autodrom on October 12, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Clive Mason via Getty Images
F1 Grand Prix of Russia
  • F1 Grand Prix of Russia
  • SOCHI, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 12: Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Infiniti Red Bull Racing and Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Infiniti Red Bull Racing drive during the Russian Formula One Grand Prix at Sochi Autodrom on October 12, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Clive Mason via Getty Images
F1 Grand Prix of Russia
  • F1 Grand Prix of Russia
  • SOCHI, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 12: Jean-Eric Vergne (top) of France and Scuderia Toro Rosso and Daniil Kvyat of Russia and Scuderia Toro Rosso drive during the Russian Formula One Grand Prix at Sochi Autodrom on October 12, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Paul Gilham via Getty Images
F1 Grand Prix of Russia
  • F1 Grand Prix of Russia
  • SOCHI, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 12: Fernando Alonso of Spain and Ferrari drives during the Russian Formula One Grand Prix at Sochi Autodrom on October 12, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Clive Mason via Getty Images
F1 Grand Prix of Russia
  • F1 Grand Prix of Russia
  • SOCHI, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 12: Marcus Ericsson of Sweden and Caterham drives during the Russian Formula One Grand Prix at Sochi Autodrom on October 12, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Mark Thompson via Getty Images
AUTO-PRIX-RUS
  • AUTO-PRIX-RUS
  • Red Bull Racing's German driver Sebastian Vettel (L) is chased by Toro Rosso's French driver Jean-Eric Vergne during the inaugural Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom in Sochi on October 12, 2014. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER NEMENOV (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: ALEXANDER NEMENOV via Getty Images
AUTO-PRIX-RUS
  • AUTO-PRIX-RUS
  • Mercedes' German driver Nico Rosberg drives during the inaugural Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom in Sochi on October 12, 2014. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER NEMENOV (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: ALEXANDER NEMENOV via Getty Images
AUTO-PRIX-RUS
  • AUTO-PRIX-RUS
  • Sauber's German driver Adrian Sutil (L) spins by Lotus' French driver Romain Grosjean during the inaugural Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom in Sochi on October 12, 2014. AFP PHOTO / DIMITAR DILKOFF (Photo credit should read DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: DIMITAR DILKOFF via Getty Images
AUTO-PRIX-RUS
  • AUTO-PRIX-RUS
  • Mercedes' German driver Nico Rosberg drives during the inaugural Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom in Sochi on October 12, 2014. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER NEMENOV (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: ALEXANDER NEMENOV via Getty Images
AUTO-PRIX-RUS
  • AUTO-PRIX-RUS
  • Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton drives during the inaugural Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom in Sochi on October 12, 2014. AFP PHOTO / YURI KADOBNOV (Photo credit should read YURI KADOBNOV/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: YURI KADOBNOV via Getty Images
AUTO-PRIX-RUS
  • AUTO-PRIX-RUS
  • Toro Rosso's Russian driver Daniil Kvyat (L) and Toro Rosso's French driver Jean-Eric Vergne drive during the inaugural Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom in Sochi on October 12, 2014. AFP PHOTO / YURI KADOBNOV (Photo credit should read YURI KADOBNOV/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: YURI KADOBNOV via Getty Images
AUTO-PRIX-RUS
  • AUTO-PRIX-RUS
  • McLaren Mercedes' British driver Jenson Button (L) leads Scuderia Ferrari's Spanish driver Fernando Alonso drives during the inaugural Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom in Sochi on October 12, 2014. AFP PHOTO / YURI KADOBNOV (Photo credit should read YURI KADOBNOV/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: YURI KADOBNOV via Getty Images
AUTO-PRIX-RUS
  • AUTO-PRIX-RUS
  • McLaren Mercedes' Danish driver Kevin Magnussen leads Toro Rosso's French driver Jean-Eric Vergne during the inaugural Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom in Sochi on October 12, 2014. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER NEMENOV (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: ALEXANDER NEMENOV via Getty Images
AUTO-PRIX-RUS
  • AUTO-PRIX-RUS
  • Mercedes' German driver Nico Rosberg leads Williams' Brazilian driver Felipe Massa during the inaugural Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom in Sochi on October 12, 2014. AFP PHOTO / DIMITAR DILKOFF (Photo credit should read DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: DIMITAR DILKOFF via Getty Images
AUTO-PRIX-RUS
  • AUTO-PRIX-RUS
  • Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton wins the inaugural Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom in Sochi on October 12, 2014. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER NEMENOV (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: ALEXANDER NEMENOV via Getty Images
AUTO-PRIX-RUS
  • AUTO-PRIX-RUS
  • Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton raises his arm after winning the inaugural Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom in Sochi on October 12, 2014. AFP PHOTO / DIMITAR DILKOFF (Photo credit should read DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: DIMITAR DILKOFF via Getty Images
F1 Grand Prix of Russia
  • F1 Grand Prix of Russia
  • SOCHI, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 12: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates on the podium next to Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP, Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Williams, Mercedes Technical Executive Director Paddy Lowe and Russian President Vladimir Putin after victory in the Russian Formula One Grand Prix at Sochi Autodrom on October 12, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: Mark Thompson via Getty Images
AUTO-PRIX-RUS
  • AUTO-PRIX-RUS
  • (L-R) Second placed Mercedes' German driver Nico Rosberg, Mercedes co-team boss Paddy Lowe, winner Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton and third placed Williams' Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas wave on the podium after the inaugural Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom in Sochi on October 12, 2014. AFP PHOTO / YURI KADOBNOV (Photo credit should read YURI KADOBNOV/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Image Credit: YURI KADOBNOV via Getty Images
  • Image Credit: F1.com
The Sochi International Street Circuit used to host the Russian Formula One Grand Prix has a few things in common with the Valencia Street Circuit that was used to host the European Grand Prix. Both are built among existing infrastructure used for other events, both contain long, narrow stretches run between concrete walls and chain link fencing, and both are, shall we say, not exactly exciting.

We wouldn't know that after qualifying, though, when Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes AMG Petronas finally put in a mistake-free Saturday to line up first on the grid, ahead of teammate Nico Rosberg in second. Valtteri Bottas got his Williams closer than anyone expected, blistering the first two sectors but falling apart in the third and ending up third on the grid. Behind him, Jenson Button impressed in the McLaren in fourth, Daniil Kvyat even more impressive in the Toro Rosso, taking fifth in front of his home crowd. Kevin Magnussen put the second McLaren in sixth, Daniel Ricciardo was the first Infiniti Red Bull Racing in seventh ahead of a Ferrari duo who knew they'd have a hard time, Fernando Alonso in eighth and Kimi Räikkönen in ninth. Jean-Eric Vergne made sure to keep himself in the news with tenth position.

When the lights went out, the most exciting events of the entire race happened in just sixty meters of the braking zone going into Turn 2.
2014 Russian Grand Prix.

That's when Rosberg, who'd got ahead of Hamilton after the Turn 1 kink down the long drag to Turn 2, locked up his wheels like he was mad at them, overshot the exit of the turn and blasted through the runoff area to stay ahead of his teammate. Rosberg's engineer soon told him to give the position back, having gained an unfair advantage, Rosberg replying that he had to come in and pit anyway since the flat-spotted tire was causing vibrations.

That set Hamilton free to win the race. Although he only put a few tenths into Bottas every lap, he didn't ever struggle, and he put at least a second per lap on everyone behind Bottas. Until the last lap, the only time we saw Hamilton was when we got a replay of him locking up slightly into the technical Turn 13. The only time we heard him was when he'd tell his engineer, "Everything's fine here." And that was your race. It's possible the most exciting part of his day was having Vladimir Putin hand him his trophy.

2014 Russian Grand Prix.

Almost. At any other track on the calendar, Bottas would have come in second and Button in third, but the grippy Sochi surface and conservative Pirelli tire choice meant that tires didn't wear out. So Rosberg, who pitted at the end of the first lap and grabbed a set of medium compounds, the harder of the two on offer, drove the remaining 52 laps on that set. And because he was in a Mercedes, the Bayern Munich of F1 teams sent to compete with lesser squads, he simply weaved his way through the field from 21st after his pit stop to second on Lap 31. No one expected it, not even Rosberg, who said after the race he was sure he'd have to pit again. When Bottas dropped to third after his pit stop, his engineer told him he'd get Rosberg when the German pitted, but that never happened. When Button's engineer told Button he thought Rosberg would go the whole distance, Button replied, "From when he pitted on the first lap?!" Yes.

So Rosberg claimed the runner-up spot, followed by Bottas, followed by Button.

2014 Russian Grand Prix.

Magnussen came in fifth, moving up one spot from his grid position when Kvyat's Toro Rosso started going backwards as soon as the race began. Alonso took sixth, after having run as high as fourth for much of the race due to some leap-frogging at the start, but a botched pit stop meant he got released after Magnussen buzzed past the pits and he couldn't get around him again.

Ricciardo came seventh ahead of teammate Vettel, passing his teammate during the pit stops when he couldn't do it on track, Räikkönen and Sergio Perez in the Force India – who'd qualified 13th – rounded out the top ten.

For a better measure of how 'stable' the race was, on Lap 32 of 53, the race order was Hamilton, Rosberg, Bottas, Button, Magnussen, Alonso, Ricciardo, Vettel, Esteban Gutiérrez in the Sauber and Räikkönen, and the only reason Gutiérrez was in there was because he hadn't pitted yet. Once he did, on Lap 39, Perez moved up and that was your race finish.

2014 Russian Grand Prix.

The win throws another 25 points on Hamilton's Driver's Championship lead, putting him 17 points ahead of Rosberg, 291 to 274. He's also won nine races this year, including two stretches of four-in-a-row, and with 31 wins in his career ties the number of wins earned by British legend Nigel Mansell. The only other two drivers to win four-in-a-row twice in a season, Michael Schumacher in 2004 and Sebastian Vettel in 2013, both won the championship - but they didn't have double points at the last race to contend with. Ricciardo, with 199 points, is now eliminated from mathematical contention of winning the title.

2014 Russian Grand Prix.

Mercedes' ninth one-two of the season gives it 565 points and the trophy for the Constructor's Championship, the first in its history. Red Bull sits a comfortable second with 342 points, and even though Williams only got one car in the points to get to 216 points, it put more distance between it and Ferrari with 188 points. Before Japan Alonso said that Ferrari would pass Williams in the constructor's battle, but with two of the three races left giving the benefit to power, we wonder about that prediction. Finally, McLaren did a number on Force India; the two teams were just a point apart not so long ago, but after Russia McLaren has 143 points and Force India has 123. Regrettably, it seems Vijay Mallya's squad is doing its end-of-season fade again.

The next race comes to you from Circuit of the Americas in three weeks. We'll see you then.

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