Russian F1 Grand Prix 2014 Results: Winner, Standings, Highlights and Reaction

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistOctober 12, 2014

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)
Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton won the first ever Russian Grand Prix with a dominant performance around the Sochi circuit. The result was confirmed on Twitter by Sky Sports F1:

Sky Sports F1 🏎 @SkySportsF1

BREAKING: @LewisHamilton wins the #RussianGP in another Mercedes 1-2. More: http://t.co/flZSXMY8VX #SkyF1. http://t.co/qzndE2atGL

The Mercedes driver’s lead was rarely under threat, although Nico Rosberg almost edged out Hamilton into the first corner. But the German overcooked his move into Turn 1, locked up his tyres and was forced to pit. He recovered superbly, though, and eventually finished in second place.

The Mercedes one-two means they're the 2014 constructors' champions too, as confirmed on Twitter:

Mercedes-AMG F1 @MercedesAMGF1

#Teamwork at its finest! To everyone in Brackley, Brixworth and Stuttgart - congratulations! #F1 #W05LDCHAMPIONS http://t.co/mguXvU2Vvo

Joining the pair on the podium was Williams' Valtteri Bottas. Here are the updated world championship standings and full race results:

Formula 1: World Championship Standings
1Lewis HamiltonBritishMercedes291
2Nico RosbergGermanMercedes274
3Daniel RicciardoAustralianRed Bull Racing-Renault199
4Valtteri BottasFinnishWilliams-Mercedes145
5Sebastian VettelGermanRed Bull Racing-Renault143
6Fernando AlonsoSpanishFerrari141
7Jenson ButtonBritishMcLaren-Mercedes94
8Nico HulkenbergGermanForce India-Mercedes76
9Felipe MassaBrazilianWilliams-Mercedes71
10Kevin MagnussenDanishMcLaren-Mercedes49
11Sergio PerezMexicanForce India-Mercedes47
12Kimi RäikkönenFinnishFerrari47
13Jean-Eric VergneFrenchSTR-Renault21
14Romain GrosjeanFrenchLotus-Renault8
15Daniil KvyatRussianSTR-Renault8
16Jules BianchiFrenchMarussia-Ferrari2
Formula 1: Russian Grand Prix Results
144Lewis HamiltonMercedesWinner1
26Nico RosbergMercedes+13.6 secs2
377Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes+17.4 secs3
422Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes+30.2 secs4
520Kevin MagnussenMcLaren-Mercedes+53.6 secs11
614Fernando AlonsoFerrari+60.0 secs7
73Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing-Renault+61.8 secs6
81Sebastian VettelRed Bull Racing-Renault+66.1 secs10
97Kimi RäikkönenFerrari+78.8 secs8
1011Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes+80.0 secs12
1119Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes+80.8 secs18
1227Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes+81.3 secs17
1325Jean-Eric VergneSTR-Renault+97.2 secs9
1426Daniil KvyatSTR-Renault+1 Lap5
1521Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari+1 Lap13
1699Adrian SutilSauber-Ferrari+1 Lap14
178Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault+1 Lap15
1813Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Renault+1 Lap21
199Marcus EricssonCaterham-Renault+2 Lap16
Ret10Kamui KobayashiCaterham-Renault+32 Laps19
Ret4Max ChiltonMarussia-Ferrari+44 Laps20

In the first ever race in Russia, getting pole position was perceived as vital by many, and it was Hamilton who started at the front of pack. Ahead of the race, the Mercedes man spoke of the significance of starting on pole, per James Galloway of Sky Sports: "Pole position is a great place to start; it was an amazing job from the team to keep on improving. It's a beautiful place; I'm really enjoying driving this track. It's been done really nicely."

SOCHI, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 11:  SOCHI, RUSSIA - OCTOBER Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP looks on in the garage during final practice ahead of the Russian Formula One Grand Prix at Sochi Autodrom on October 11, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo b
Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Prior to the race, the drivers stood in unison on the pit straight to show support for Jules Bianchi, who suffered a terrible injury at the Japanese Grand Prix, per Sky Sports F1:

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Sky Sports F1 🏎 @SkySportsF1

The F1 world paying tribute to @Jules_Bianchi ahead of the #RussianGP: http://t.co/flZSXMY8VX #SkyF1 http://t.co/He5gwSe3Xr

The run down into the first turn is the longest on the Formula One calendar, and as such, the start to the race was hotly anticipated. When the lights went out, it was Hamilton who initially got away the better of the two Mercedes men, but Rosberg found a nice slipstream and eased in front going into the first turn.

Luca Bruno/Associated Press

But the German had misjudged his move, resulting in a spectacular lock-up and a wide run into Turn 1. Disappointingly for Rosberg, the subsequent vibrations meant that he had to yield first place and then pit; he was faced with a daunting proposition for the rest of the race, per F1 Racing on NBC:

F1 on NBC Sports @F1onNBCSports

Rosberg: "What's the strategy now?" Engineer: "We think we need to go to the end on this set Nico" - a huge ask #F1onNBC

The drama of the move was captured here, courtesy of Sutton Images:

SUTTON IMAGES @suttonimages

@nico_rosberg locks up heavily as he out brakes his @MercedesAMGF1 team mate @LewisHamilton #RussianGP #F1 http://t.co/PQI7fwLKCo

As noted by Literal F1, at this juncture, Rosberg needed a miracle to get back into the race:

Literal F1 @LiteralF1

Rosberg needs a safety car in the next few laps to save his championship hopes. Or a Hamilton mechanical retirement #F1

There were no other major bumps on the opening lap, allowing Hamilton to extend his lead at the front of the pack from Williams’ Bottas. But we were treated to some fantastic racing early on, as the drivers started to feel their way around a new track. Turn 3 in particular really caught the eye, as cars were often three abreast at full speed around the corner.

SOCHI, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 12:  Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP drives ahead of Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP during the Russian Formula One Grand Prix at Sochi Autodrom on October 12, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Clive Mason/G
Clive Mason/Getty Images

Hamilton was looking imperious at the front of field, and consequentially, the eyes turned to some of the more closely fought battles farther back. Red Bull teammates Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo were separated by less than a second in the early stages, but the Australian was unhappy about the pace of his teammate, as noted here by Sky Sports F1:

Sky Sports F1 🏎 @SkySportsF1

Ricciardo: "I'm losing a lot of time." He's battling with his team-mate Vettel for P6: http://t.co/flZSXMY8VX #SkyF1 http://t.co/ZS7uWEB1UR

Meanwhile, after a disastrous start to the day, Rosberg’s engineers felt they were still in with a chance of getting on the podium come the end of the 53 laps, per Sky Sports F1:

Sky Sports F1 🏎 @SkySportsF1

Message to Rosberg: "We think we are in position for a podium." Now up in P11. http://t.co/flZSXMY8VX #SkyF1 http://t.co/ayx2q1psfD

And on Lap 20, he was back in the points scoring positions, as the German easily passed Sergio Perez into Turn 2 to take 10th place. But with more than half the race remaining, it would be intriguing to see just how Rosberg managed a set of degrading tyres. 

Indeed, not long after passing Perez, the Mercedes man admitted he felt as if his tyres were beginning to go. But his teammate—who was still cruising at the front of the pack—had no such concerns, per F1 Racing on NBC:

F1 on NBC Sports @F1onNBCSports

Rosberg reporting a lot of degradation, Hamilton says he's not getting much at all. New fastest lap from Lewis at the front #F1onNBC

But the German continued to put drivers under pressure and scythe through the field. After the majority of drivers had conducted their own round of pit stops, Rosberg found himself in second place, circa 20 seconds back from the leader. With a host of drivers banking on the Mercedes' tyres falling off a cliff, we were set for an enthralling end to the race.

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 Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images

It was a gamble worth taking for Rosberg given his deficit in the world championship, but with 10 laps to go, it was on a knife edge as to whether it was going to pay off.

Rosberg began to push from second place, setting fastest lap after fastest lap in a blistering spell. The initial thoughts were that he was looking to build up a gap and pit again. But when a conversation with the Mercedes engineer emerged, remarkably, the German suggested he could yet go all the way to the end, per F1 Racing on NBC:

F1 on NBC Sports @F1onNBCSports

Engineer: "Do you think you can get these tires to the end of the race?" Rosberg: "Yes, easy. Well, not easy, but they're good for now"

And as it transpired, Rosberg drove magnificently in the latter stages of the race. Although his teammate ran away with the eventual victory, the manner in which the German nursed the tyres around an unfamiliar circuit for 52 laps was majestic.

Bottas also did wonderfully well to get on the podium, and the Fake Charlie Whiting Twitter account paid tribute to his efforts:

Fake Charlie Whiting says ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ @charlie_whiting

A fantastic podium for @WilliamsRacing @ValtteriBottas. Wonderful.

As for Hamilton, he won't get many afternoons easier than this one.

He wasn't threatened throughout the 53 laps and looked extremely comfortable. The 2008 world champion has the momentum going into the latter stages of the season, and it's going to take a mighty effort from the German to salvage his faltering title charge.

Rosberg can't get desperate though, as he did in the opening stages here. He has shown himself to be capable of matching Hamilton when he drives sensibly, and the first few seconds aside, he was sensational in Russia. Now he needs to be patient, wait for his opportunities in the last few races and be clinical when they arise. Otherwise, his teammate will run away with this championship.

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