September 29, 2019 / 9:58 PM / 16 days ago

Team by team analysis of the Russian Formula One Grand Prix

(Reuters) - Team by team analysis of Sunday’s Russian Grand Prix in Sochi, round 16 of the 21-race Formula One season (listed in championship order):

Formula One F1 - Russian Grand Prix - Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia - September 29, 2019 Ferrari's Charles Leclerc is seen in the pit. Yuri Kochetkov/Pool via REUTERS

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MERCEDES (Lewis Hamilton 1, Valtteri Bottas 2)

Hamilton started on the front row and took his ninth win of the season, his fourth in Sochi and 82nd of his career. The Briton is 73 points clear of Bottas, Mercedes 162 ahead of Ferrari. This was the team’s eighth one-two of the year. Hamilton also set a record of 143 races led, one more than Michael Schumacher. He pitted and kept the lead when Vettel’s retirement triggered a virtual safety car.

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FERRARI (Charles Leclerc 3, Sebastian Vettel retired)

Leclerc started on pole position for the fourth race in a row, but lost out at the start to Vettel who slipstreamed past in an agreed move to put Hamilton behind the Ferraris. Vettel then sped away rather than hand back the lead immediately, with the positions eventually reversed in the pitstops. Vettel stopped on track with a problem in a hybrid part of the power unit, bringing out the virtual safety car.

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RED BULL (Max Verstappen 4, Alexander Albon 5)

Verstappen moved up from ninth on the grid while Albon started from the pit lane after crashing in qualifying and having a power unit change. Both made some good overtakes and felt the placings were the best they could have done.

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MCLAREN (Carlos Sainz 6, Lando Norris 8)

Sainz dropped a place from his grid position, as did Norris, despite making a good start. The points haul equalled McLaren’s best of the season. Norris gained a place at the end thanks to Magnussen’s time penalty. The team have scored more than 100 points in a season for the first time since 2014.

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RENAULT (Nico Hulkenberg 10, Daniel Ricciardo retired)

Ricciardo tangled at the start with Grosjean, picking up a left rear puncture and suffering floor damage that led to his retirement on lap 25. Hulkenberg had started sixth but lost three places at the start. A slow first pitstop dropped him out of the top 10 before he fought his way back. McLaren are now 33 points clear of Renault, whose hopes of fourth are receding.

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TORO ROSSO (Daniil Kvyat 12, Pierre Gasly 14)

Both started at the back of the grid after engine penalties, but on different tyre strategies. Gasly made his pitstop one lap before the virtual safety car was deployed. Kvyat pitted during the safety car period but had to make a second stop after the team detected a tyre pressure problem.

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RACING POINT (Sergio Perez 7, Lance Stroll 11)

Perez hailed this as one of his greatest races, even if he was nowhere near a return to the podium and was unlucky with the safety car period. The Mexican overtook Magnussen for seventh in the closing laps. Stroll had a difficult afternoon and said he struggled with sliding rear tyres.

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ALFA ROMEO (Kimi Raikkonen 13, Antonio Giovinazzi 15)

Raikkonen was handed a drive-through penalty for a jumped start while Giovinazzi damaged his front wing after being squeezed between Grosjean and Ricciardo. The Italian pitted at the end of the opening lap.

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HAAS (Kevin Magnussen 9, Romain Grosjean retired)

Magnussen was given a five second post-race time penalty for going off track and gaining an advantage, which he felt overly harsh as he had lost out to Perez already. Without that, he would have been eighth after starting 13th. Grosjean lined up eighth on the grid but retired at the start.

Slideshow (4 Images)

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WILLIAMS (Robert Kubica and George Russell retired)

The team’s first double retirement of the season. Russell locked up and went into the barriers in a crash that brought out the safety car for the second time. Kubica’s car was retired by the team to conserve parts for the long-haul races to come.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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