* Just as he did in 2017 – his first Formula 1 victory – Mercedes driver
Valtteri Bottas won in Russia from third on the grid. The Finn took the lead
after his team mate Lewis Hamilton served a 10-second penalty during his pit
stop. Bottas on Yellow Medium stopped 10 laps later, switching to White hard
* Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who finished second, used exactly the same
strategy as Bottas, making his sole stop a lap earlier. They were the only
drivers who qualified in the top 10 of the grid to start the race on the
Yellow medium tyre.
* Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, who finished third, ran a soft-hard
strategy, but his tactics were dictated by Q2 yesterday (when he set his
best time on the soft) and having to serve his penalty during the race. He
rejoined in P11 and made his way back up to the final podium.
* Three drivers (McLaren’s Lando Norris, Red Bull’s Alex Albon, and Williams
driver George Russell) took advantage of a safety car on the first lap to
change onto the hard compound. Only one of them – Norris – attempted to get
to the finish on this compound, but was forced to come off them in the
closing stages and switch to medium, after 46 laps on the same set of hards.
* Daniil Kvyat (AlphaTauri) finished his home grand prix in eighth, as the
highest placed of just two drivers to start the race on the hard compound.
The other, Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen, completed a 35-lap opening stint on
HOW EACH TYRE PERFORMED
HARD C3: Used by the top seven for the final stint, with some very long runs
also seen on this compound. Bottas set the fastest lap of the race on
25-lap-old hard tyres with two laps left to go. Hamilton also did 37 laps on
the White hard.
MEDIUM C4: Most drivers outside of the top 10 selected the medium to start
the race with. A key ingredient in the race strategy of the top two drivers,
who started on the medium.
SOFT C5: Only eight drivers used this to start the race: one of them was
Hamilton from pole. Racing Point’s Sergio Perez used the same soft-hard
strategy as Hamilton to finish fourth.
MARIO ISOLA - HEAD OF F1 AND CAR RACING
“On a hot day in Sochi, with ambient temperatures in excess of 30 degrees,
we saw a variety of strategies, as a result of bringing compounds that were
a step softer than last year. In the past, Sochi has been mainly a one-stop
race, and this was generally the case again but with all three compounds
coming into play as part of the different strategies. Managing thermal
degradation was key, especially on the soft, but we also saw some
particularly long stints on the hard. Congratulations to Valtteri Bottas and
also to Mercedes – which keeps up its unbeaten record at the Russian Grand