Did Russia ever belong to Hamilton?

F1 Grand Prix of Russia
Hamilton celebrating his win
Waleed Shamsi
Modified 01 Oct 2018

Russian Grand Prix 2018 gave quite shocking and bizarre moments. The start was one of the most beautiful starts we could possibly see. Vettel chased Hamilton and almost passed him when Hamilton took the inside line on Turn 2 making Vettel to let go of the attack momentarily.

Then again around Turn 3 Vettel attacked but Hamilton defends his position again but this time pushing Vettel off the track at Turn 3. This momentarily created a gap between Vettel and Hamilton. The Duel between both ended for the time being at Turn 4.

The first five laps of the 2018 Russian Grand Prix gave goose bumps in the most spectacular way. Verstappen started from 19th place and was at 6th place behind Charles Leclerc at the end of fifth lap and eventually passed him the next lap. Leclerc showed some heroic moves giving him the best ever for Sauber, 5th place. By the end of fifth lap Torro Rosso lost both of their drivers and ending their weekend in a total DNF.

The Drama started to build up when Hamilton pitted in for a tyre change at lap 15. He exited the pit lane in Vettel's time window. Vettel got ahead of Hamilton. Frustration for Hamilton started from here.

At lap 16 Hamilton attacked Vettel on straights before turn 3 but Vettel managed to keep Hamilton behind him and both drivers almost touched each other in the heat of the situation. After miraculously avoiding a crash on the straight, Hamilton attacked Vettel again towards turn 4 from outside and this time got ahead of him at Turn 4 by getting the inside line.

By lap 24 Hamilton had blisters on his tyres and Vettel on his back kept defending his position from his rival. On lap 25 his 'wingman' Bottas got a message on radio:

You need to let Lewis pass by turn 13 this lap

In lap 25 what we get to see is Bottas giving his position to Lewis Hamilton by letting him pass at Turn 13. When Hamilton passed Bottas, he got another radio message which added

Valtteri its James, we had a risk with Lewis against Vettel. He has a small blister. I had to do this to make sure we get this.
Bottas letting Hamilton pass at Turn 13 as ordered
Bottas letting Hamilton pass at Turn 13 as ordered

The most awful presentation of sportsmanship! What a cowardice act it was. As we saw in Baku when Verstappen took on Riccardo and both drivers ultimately crashed. Red Bull could have intervened and stopped both drivers from getting on each other but they let their drivers 'Race'. Here we saw Silver Arrows selfishly taking Bottas' win just to make sure they get One Two on podium extending their lead on Ferrari.

After the race Totto Wolf gave a radio message to Valtteri:

This is Totto. Difficulty for you, difficulty for us, lets discuss it together after the ceremony

Despite of claims made by FIA of banning team orders long ago, we saw a driver loosing a race due to team orders. Will FIA take action about it?

Published 01 Oct 2018, 13:19 IST
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