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.

Seattle Supercross by the numbers: Three riders separated by 17 points


Three riders remain locked in a tight battle with 17 points separating the leader Cooper Webb from third-place Chase Sexton and these are only a few Supercross numbers to consider entering Seattle.

Seattle Supercross numbers
Chase Sexton made a statement in Detroit with his second win of 2023. – Feld Motor Sports

For the fifth time in 10 rounds. Sexton, Webb, and Eli Tomac shared the podium in Detroit. Between them, the trio has taken 23 podiums, leaving only seven for the remainder of the field. Jason Anderson, Ken Roczen and Justin Barcia have two each with Aaron Plessinger scoring the other.

Webb and Tomac won the last four championships with two apiece in alternating years, but they were not one another’s primary rival for most of those seasons. On the average, however, the past four years show an incredible similarity with average points earned of 21.0 for Webb and 21.3 for Tomac. With five wins so far this season, Tomac (23 wins) leads Webb (19) in victories but Webb (43) edges Tomac (41) in podium finishes during this span.

Tomac has won two of the last three Seattle races and those two wins in this stadium are topped only by James Stewart. Fittingly, if Tomac gets a third win this week, he will tie Stewart for second on the all-time wins’ list. Tomac tied Ricky Carmichael for third with 48 wins at Oakland and took sole possession of that spot with his Daytona win.

Sexton still has a lot to say and after winning last week in Detroit, he is speaking up. The Supercross numbers are against him entering Seattle, however, because a points’ deficit this large after Round 10 has been erased only once. In 1983 David Bailey was 47 points behind Bob Hannah, and like Sexton he was also in third place. Bailey took the points’ lead with one race remaining.

The seven points Sexton was penalized last week for jumping in a red cross flag section in Detroit could prove extremely costly.

In fact, it has been a series of mistakes that has cost Sexton the most. In the last two weeks, he lost 10 points with a 10th-place finish to go with his penalty. Erase those, and all three riders hold their fate in their hands.

Plessinger’s heartbreak in Detroit is still fresh, but the upside of his run is that was his best of the season and could turn his fortunes around. Prior to that race, he led only seven laps in three mains. He was up front for 20 laps in Detroit with five of those being the fastest on the track.

Last week’s win by Hunter Lawrence tied him with his brother Jett Lawrence for 17th on the all-time wins’ list. With the focus shifting to 250 West for the next two rounds, Jett has a great opportunity to pull back ahead. The real test will be at the first East / West Showdown in East Rutherford, New Jersey on April 22.

Last Five Seattle Winners

2022: Eli Tomac
2019: Marvin Musquin
2018: Eli Tomac
2017: Marvin Musquin
2014: Ryan Villopoto

2022: Hunter Lawrence
2019: Dylan Ferrandis
2018: Aaron Plessinger
2017: Aaron Plessinger
2014: Cole Seely

By the Numbers

Anaheim 2
San Diego

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Power Rankings after Detroit
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Results and points after Detroit
Chase Sexton wins in Detroit, penalized seven points