Hamilton goes wire-to-wire in Sochi for fourth straight win


Lewis Hamilton has taken a huge step towards winning his second Formula 1 world championship after claiming a fourth straight victory in today’s Russian Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom circuit.

The British driver went unchallenged en route to his ninth win of the season after teammate and title rival Nico Rosberg was forced into making an early pit stop after a mistake at turn two on the first lap. Although he did manage to fight his way back up into second place, he has fallen further back in the standings after yet another defeat at the hands of Hamilton.

However, the result does mean that Mercedes has won the 2014 Formula 1 constructors’ championship, marking the German team’s first title in the sport.

In a spirited effort, Valtteri Bottas secured his fifth podium finish of the season in third place ahead of McLaren drivers Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen.

The start in Russia saw Rosberg make a superb getaway to run up alongside Hamilton heading through the first corner, and although he did manage to move into the lead, it came at a huge price.

Locking up into the heavy braking zone at turn two, Rosberg ran wide and across the run-off area, leaving him with a flat-spotted tire and heavy vibrations on his Mercedes.

After handing the position back to Hamilton, Rosberg took to the pits at the end of the first lap for a new set of tires which his engineer ambitiously told him to make last until the end of the race. He was now running down in 20th position, with his championship hopes taking another hit.

Towards the front, Hamilton began to put his foot down, leading from Williams’ Valtteri Bottas. Jenson Button benefitted from Rosberg’s stop to run third as Fernando Alonso and Kevin Magnussen made goods starts to run fourth and fifth. However, home favorite Daniil Kvyat struggled to continue his good form from qualifying, dropping to the lower reaches of the top ten in the first few laps.

In the battle for the small points, Red Bull teammates Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo scrapped for position, with Ricciardo appearing to ask to be let past by telling his engineer that he was “losing too much time”. He soon dropped out of Vettel’s dirty air by pitting, falling down to 18th position.

However, the early pitters hoped to make up the places when the cars ahead came in for a fresh set of tires. Rosberg had fought his way up the order and back into the points on the medium tire. When Jenson Button pitted from P3 and came out behind Rosberg, the German driver looked on course for a podium finish, but reported that he was suffering from high degradation on his tires after making his early stop. He continued to push on though, moving into the top five after passing Kimi Raikkonen.

Hamilton was looking comfortable at the front, though. The Briton even had the luxury of pitting and retaining his lead ahead of Sebastian Vettel, who was yet to stop at this point and had Bottas and Rosberg for close company. When Vettel did pit and return to the track in eighth place, Rosberg made the most of his DRS to pass Bottas and get back up into second place. The recovery was complete, but he now had to defend the position.

With his tires coming back to him, Rosberg began to look at ease once again in second place, monitoring the gap to Bottas in third place. Through the pit stops, Fernando Alonso had dropped back from Button, allowing Kevin Magnussen to move up to fifth as the Spaniard dealt with a chasing Daniel Ricciardo.

At the head of the field, Hamilton went unchallenged, going wire-to-wire to claim his fourth consecutive Formula 1 victory, becoming the first winner of the Russian Grand Prix in 100 years. The slip up from Rosberg at the beginning of the race proved to be costly, and once again, it was Hamilton who was there to pick up the pieces.

Given his early pit stop, Rosberg performed admirably to finish second behind Hamilton, and the optimist may see it was damage limitation. Bottas will know that he missed an opportunity to finish higher than third, but with this result he moves above Fernando Alonso into fourth place in the drivers’ standings.

McLaren moved up to fifth in the constructors’ championship with a fine team performance in Sochi, with Jenson Button finishing fourth ahead of Kevin Magnussen at the flag. As both drivers fight for their F1 future, it was a much-needed result.

Fernando Alonso managed to fend off Daniel Ricciardo to finish just ahead in sixth place, with Sebastian Vettel trailing his Red Bull teammate home in P8 ahead of future Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen. Sergio Perez rounded out the points for Force India.

For Hamilton, this win sees him pull 17 points clear in the drivers’ championship, and leaves Rosberg searching for pace as the F1 circus takes a two week break before the next race: the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.

Peacock to stream all Supercross and Motocross races in 2023, plus inaugural SuperMotocross Championship

Peacock Supercross Motocross 2023
Feld Entertainment, Inc.

NBC Sports and Feld Motor Sports announced that Peacock and the NBC family of networks will stream all 31 races of the combined Monster Energy Supercross, Lucas Oil Pro Motocross and the newly created SuperMotocross World Championship beginning January 7, 2023 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California and ending October 14 in the place where Supercross was born: the Los Angeles Coliseum.

The combined series will create a 10-month calendar of events, making it one of the longest professional sports’ seasons in the United States.

The agreement is for multiple years. The season finale will air live on Peacock and the USA Network.

Peacock will present live coverage of all races, qualifying and heats across both series. The 31 total races will mark a record for the combined number of Supercross and Pro Motocross events that NBC Sports will present in a single season.

NBC, USA Network and CNBC will provide coverage of all races, including the SuperMotocross World Championship Playoffs and Final, through 2023 and beyond. For more information about the Peacock streaming service, click here.

“With our wide array of live and original motorsports offerings, Peacock is a natural home for Supercross and Pro Motocross races,” said Rick Cordella, Chief Commercial Officer, Peacock. “We’re looking forward to providing fans with an easily-accessible destination to find every race all season long, including the exciting finish with the newly formed SuperMotocross World Championship.”

MORE: A conversation about media rights created the new SuperMotocross World Championship Series

The NBC family of networks has been home to Supercross for the past several seasons and this is a continuation of that relationship. The media rights for both series expired at the end of 2022, which allowed Supercross and Motocross to combine their efforts.

In fact, it was that conversation that led to the formation of the SuperMotocross World Championship (SMX).

The SMX series will begin on September 9, 2023 after the conclusion of the Pro Motocross season. Points will accumulate from both series to seed the SMX championship, which creates a record number of unified races.

“The SuperMotocross World Championship adds a new dimension to the annual Supercross and Pro Motocross seasons that will result in crowning the ultimate World Champion,” said Stephen C. Yaros, SVP Global Media and Supercross for Feld Motor Sports. “We are thrilled to be extending our relationship with NBC Sports so our fans can watch all the racing action streaming live on Peacock and the option to also watch select rounds on NBC, USA Network and CNBC.”

Complete 2023 coverage schedules for Supercross, Pro Motocross and the SuperMotocross World Championship on Peacock, NBC, USA Network and CNBC will be announced in the near future.