Russian F1 Grand Prix 2018 Results: Lewis Hamilton Wins 3rd-Straight Race

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 30, 2018

Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton steers his car during the Formula One Russian Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom circuit in Sochi on September 30, 2018. (Photo by Andrej ISAKOVIC / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images)
ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton won his third Formula One race in a row on Sunday as he topped the standings in the 2018 Russian Grand Prix in Sochi.

His Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas—who started on pole but was ordered to let Hamilton past—finished second while Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel rounded out the podium places as he slipped to 50 points behind championship leader Hamilton.

"It's actually quite a difficult day," said Hamilton after the race, per F1's official Twitter account. "Valtteri was a real gentleman to let me through. To have a one-twousually we'd be elated. Valtteri deserved to win, but today it was a real team effort."

It was an excellent day for Red Bull duo Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, who started at the back due to grid penalties but managed to finish fifth and sixth, respectively.

Here's the order of finish from the race:

A strong start from Vettel saw him run Hamilton close at the start, but the German couldn't quite get past his rival:

Verstappen—on his 21st birthdaygot off to an incredible start, climbing 12 places over the first five laps to take him into seventh, while team-mate Ricciardo rose to 12th.

It was a day to forget for Toro Rosso, though, as Brendon Hartley and Pierre Gasly had to retire after just six laps.

As he did in Singapore, Vettel attempted to undercut Hamilton with an early pit stop, and once again he prompted an immediate response from the Mercedes man. However, on this occasion the tactic worked for Ferrari and Hamilton emerged from the pit lane behind the German on Lap 14.

His lead would not last long, though, as the Englishman dove inside him on Turn 4 just two laps later to regain his position ahead of him. 

In front of them, Verstappen continued his phenomenal effort to take the lead in the race:

The Dutchman continued to hold P1 until the 43rd lap, when he finally came in to pit and reemerged on ultrasoft tyres.

It was not pole-starter Bottas who superseded him when that happened, though, as he had been ordered to let Hamilton past:

The move handed Hamilton a buffer between himself and Vettel, and it ultimately allowed Hamilton to take the victory.

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