Ferrari Shows Its Speed At Russian Grand Prix

This race weekend has proven that this year’s Formula One season is going to be the best one in a long time.  Mercedes finally has a capable competitor.  Ferrari qualified first and second sending the two Mercedes drives to the second row.

The race itself was Vettel’s to lose and he did at the first turn.  Bottas squeezed by him in the long run to the first corner and stayed ahead of him after that.  Hamilton tried to get past Raikkonen but was unable to make it stick.  The race continued like this until Bottas came in for fresh tires and Vettel stayed out.  And stayed out.  And stayed out.  Both started on the ultra soft tires which are usually good for about 12 to 15 laps.  Here at the Sochi Autodrom, the smoothness of the track allowed Vettel to go 28 laps before retiring his set of ultra softs for the mandated super softs.  This gave him fresher tires near the end and he needed them in his chase to overtake Bottas for the win.

Unfortunately, it was not to be.  He brought the gap down to just over .6 seconds but was not able to make a run at Bottas’s Mercedes as they made their way through slower traffic.  Valteri Bottas scored his first Formula One win in just over eighty starts.  Sebastian Vettel came in second and Kimi Raikkonen came in third.  Lewis Hamilton came in fourth after having some issues trying to keep his car cool while following Kimi.  Now Sebastian Vettel leads the drivers’ championship by 13 points over Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes leads the manufacturers’ championship by one point.

In two weeks the race will be in Barcelona for the Spanish Grand Prix.  I’m looking forward to it!