Event: Russian Grand Prix
Track: Sochi Street circuit

First corner after the start of the 2021 Russian F1 GP

Weather: dry/wet  17.4°C
Tarmac: dry/wet  19.0°C
Humidity: 72.1%
Wind: 0.3 m/s N
Pressure: 1023.1 bar

Lewis Hamilton scored his 100th race win today. The British champ won the Russian F1 GP for the 5th time. It was also his 5th race win of the 2021 season. The Mercedes driver started from P4 and kept his head cool when the rain came, and took the lead from Norris just three laps before the finish. It was the 120th race win for Mercedes.

Race Report 2021 Russian F1 GP

At the start of the race the track was dry, although the weather predictions showed the chance of rain was still huge. All cars were fitted with dry slick tyres, the top 5 had chosen for the medium tyres. The back of the grid with Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc, Red Bull championship leader Max Verstappen and Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas all had chosen for the hard tyre.

The top three of the grid with Lando Norris (McLaren) on pole, Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) 2nd and George Russell (Williams) third, all had never won a GP. The last time the top three of the start grid had never won a race, was back in 1975.

All cars got away clean and the top 3 had a great getaway. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton did not have a good start again, but was able to get a great tow behind the McLaren of Daniel Ricciardo who had passed him at the start towards turn 1. Hamilton also got a tow of Lando Norris, who started from P1, but could not make the most of it, because Norris blocked him. Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz was able to make the most of his P2 start and past Norris to snatch the lead coming on to turn 2.

Alpine driver Fernando Alonso had to go wide at turn 2 to avoid a collision with Russell in the braking zone of turn 2, he slammed the gas on the escape road and got back on track as 5th. In lap 1 Hamilton was a bit to cautious and ended up as 6th.

Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll had a great first lap and won 3 places to run around on P4. Championship leader Max Verstappen who started as death last also had past several cars and was driving on P17 after the first lap.

Max Verstappen driving the (33) Red Bull Racing RB16B Honda during the F1 Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom

In lap 2 Hamilton overtook Alonso for P5 and Verstappen overtook Haas driver Nikita Mazepin for P15. One lap later Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas drove the fastest lap of the race up till then. The Finn who started from P16 had a strong start of the race but wasn't able to hold of charging Red Bull Racing driver Verstappen for long and saw him come along side in lap 6 to overtake him for P14.

The Dutchman was on a mission to get to the podium and passed is old teammate Pierre Gasly in the AlphaTauri for P13 in lap 9. Meanwhile a battle for the lead was going on between Norris and Sainz, Norris was able to use DRS now, but still wasn't able to pass his former teammate.

In lap 10 Verstappen almost lost his front wing, when Aston Martin driver Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari driver Leclerc had a fierce fight for P10. His amazing reaction time saved his front wing, when Leclerc almost pushed him into the wall. The Dutchman was patient enough and avoid a collision and overtook Leclerc at turn 13 a few moments later.

One lap later Norris did all he could and even drove the fastest lap of the race to get in front of Sainz. In lap 13 the other Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll was the first to pit for a fresh set of tyres. The Canadian driver switched from Medium to Hard tyres and lost 10 places and return to the track as 15th. At the same moment Norris passed Sainz for the lead at turn 13 with DRS. On the same lap Verstappen passed Vettel for P10 at the same corner.

One lap later P3 started George Russell pitted with the Williams still from P3. He also switched from the Mediums to the Hard tyres and dropped back to P15. Sainz did the same one lap later, but came back to the track on P13 right in front of Stroll. One lap after that Verstappen clocked the fastest lap of the race with a 1:40.295 min.

the other McLaren driver Ricciardo had a slow pitstop to get a set of hard tyres and dropped from P2 to P14 in lap 23. Verstappen was complaining the next lap about his car on the radio and said he was having trouble to turn the car.

Ricciardo who had a new set of tyres clocked the quickest lap at the same time to lift it up to 1:39.124 min. Hamilton and Verstappen did their one and only pitstop of the race. Hamilton switched from medium to hard, while Verstappen switched from hard to medium tyres a few moments later on the same lap. Hamilton was dropped back from P2 to P9 and Verstappen dropped back from P6 to P12.

Hamilton was now just behind Sainz Ferrari. Race leader Norris did his pitstop a few lap later in Lap 28 and also swtiched from mediums to hard tyres. He only lost 3 places and got back on the track on P4.

The other Mercedes driver Bottas made his pitstop in lap 29 to switch from hard to medium and dropped back to P16 again, while Verstappen clocked the fastest lap again.

Now Hamilton was flying around the Sochi street track and  passed Sainz for P6 in lap 30 and got Gasly one lap later for P5. Ricciardo who was also going strong overtook Stroll for P8 in lap 32, the Australian couldn't do nothing about Hamilton getting fastest lap, who clocked a 1:38.009. Verstappen followed Ricciardo's example and also passed Stroll to get P9 in the same lap.

After his pitstop Hamilton was 13 sec. behind the the virtual race leader Norris, but in lap 32 the 7 times champ had reduced his gap to only 6s.

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M, leads Sir Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12 entering corner

In lap 34 Gasly did his pitstop to go from medium to hard tyres and Mick Schumacher was asked to retire the Haas car with a technical problem. On the track Hamilton was powering down his gap to Leclerc and passed the Monegasque Ferrari driver for P4. Leclerc had enough and did his pitstop to also switch from the Hard tyres to the Mediums. His pitstop was a bit slow and took 4.8 sec. He dropped from P4 to P13. Alonso and Perez followed his example and also made their pitstop. Alonso had a quick good stop of only 3s. while Perez his stop took 8.9s and dropped back to P15.

The race went on and all drivers seem to settle a bit to save fuel and tyres when Leclerc told his team on the radio he experienced light drops. Norris was still able to drive the quickest race lap of the race. The gap between him and Hamilton now had shrunk to only 1.2 sec., his fellow countryman was sniffing for an opportunity, but couldn't get close enough to overtake Norris.

The rain was clearly on the horizon, but it wasn't until lap 43 when Russell told his team he saw raindrops in turn 10. Perez overtook Ricciardo for P4 in this lap. Two laps later in lap 46, you could see the crowd reach for their umbrellas and raincoats. All driver still were driving on dry weather slick tyres, but Norris did go wide at turn 10 and Hamilton now was right on his tail.

Perez was going great and in lap 48 the Mexican now even had passed Sainz for P3. The rain got heavier each second, but Norris and Hamilton still didn't pit for intermediate tyres, while several driver did. One lap later in lap 49 Hamilton did listen to his team and pitted for a set of intermediate tyres.

Lewis Hamilton crossing the finish line for his 100th grand prix win

Race leader Norris refused and gave his team a "NO", when they asked him to pit for intermediates. The young driver had it wrong and drove into a wall of water a few moments later. Hamilton who now was driving on a set of new intermediates took the lead, while Norris spun on his slicks at turn 4. Norris now was even struggling to the power down.

Verstappen who also pitted for intermediates at a perfect moment passed a lot of cars and drove on P3, was also on the tail of Norris at the end of lap 51. When Norris pitted the Dutch driver who start as death last on P20 now moved up to finish as second.

Classification 2021 Russian GP

PNoDriverTeamTimeLapsGridPts
144United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton
Germany Mercedes01:30:41.00153
4
25
233Netherlands Max Verstappen
Austria Red Bull01:31:34.27253
20
18
355Spain Carlos Sainz Jr.
Italy Ferrari01:31:43.47653
2
15
43Australia Daniel Ricciardo
United Kingdom McLaren01:31:46.60853
5
12
577Finland Valtteri Bottas
Germany Mercedes01:31:48.53453
5
10
614Spain Fernando Alonso
France Alpine01:32:02.32253
6
8
74United Kingdom Lando Norris
United Kingdom McLaren01:32:08.22553
1
7
87Finland Kimi Räikkönen
Switzerland Alfa Romeo01:32:09.95653
13
4
911Mexico Sergio Pérez
Austria Red Bull01:32:11.07753
8
2
1063United Kingdom George Russell
United Kingdom Williams01:32:21.55253
3
1
1118Canada Lance Stroll
United Kingdom Aston Martin01:32:37.19953
7
0
125Germany Sebastian Vettel
United Kingdom Aston Martin01:30:42.25652
10
0
1310France Pierre Gasly
Italy AlphaTauri01:31:17.8190
11
0
1431France Esteban Ocon
France Alpine01:31:30.74452
9
0
1516Monaco Charles Leclerc
Italy Ferrari01:31:38.66052
19
0
1699Italy Antonio Giovinazzi
Switzerland Alfa Romeo01:32:03.51352
17
0
1722Japan Yuki Tsunoda
Italy AlphaTauri01:32:22.48852
12
0
189Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin
United States Haas01:30:57.02451
15
0
DNF6Canada Nicholas Latifi
United Kingdom WilliamsCollision damage47
18
0
DNF47Germany Mick Schumacher
United States HaasTechnical32
14
0

Penalties:

  • Lance Stroll, Aston Martin (no.18) - 10 second time penalty - Causing a collision

Fastest lap: 1:37.423 min by Lando Norris, McLaren (no.4) in lap 39 @216.096 km/h

2021 Russian F1 GP Results
FP1 2021 Russian F1 GP
FP2 2021 Russian F1 GP
FP3 2021 Russian F1 GP
Quali 2021 Russian F1 GP
Startgrid 2021 Russian F1 GP

✅ Check out F1 Standings 2021 Championship
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✅ Check out F1 2021 Calendar

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38 F1 Fan comments on “Race Results 2021 Russian F1 Grand Prix

  1. Jax

    Sochi GP victory done n dusted; as predicted(pop collar). Win #101 up next.

    Luckiest driver of the day.....Max.
    Dumbest driver decision of the year so far.....Lando Norris.

    Reply
    • True Post

      Actually, Jax, Lewis wanted to stay out, just like Lando, but he was ordered in. You might say that Lewis was actually the luckiest driver of the day.

      Of course, someone like you would say that working from P20 to P2 was all luck, which, objectively, is just bunk.

      Dream on!

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    • JJ75

      Luckiest? Max? Ah c'mon, from back of the grid to 2nd..that's pure skill and good team strategy.
      It's a bit harsh to say Lando was dumb, naive? Extremely..did he learn a valuable lesson, u bet he did..you've got to feel for him, the pressure in the last few laps must have been intense..what a race!!

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      Reply
  2. Jere Jyrälä

    Norris, Perez, and Leclerc threw away big or decent points.
    Hamilton got the WDC lead back, but things can swing in either direction. Nevertheless, finally, a win #100, so now only WDC #8 left.

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  3. Jax

    Well somebody felt froggy and took a leap! Lol. Listen True Post my spring chicken friend. What were Merc gonna do if Lewis hadn't listened? Spank him, put him in the naughty corner? Lol. At the end of the day it's the driver's decision. He could've been stubborn like Lando but thought better of it as he has more to lose. Don't confuse "ordered" with insistent son.
    As to Max. Had it not been for rain those failing mediums would not have put him on podium; hence, lucky! Hammer would've finished at least second with a bigger points lead otherwise.
    How's this for objectivity?!

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    Reply
    • True Post

      Right, Daddy Jax.

      If, if, if, sure Jax, Max is some lucky guy: he gets a blowout in the lead, then Lewis shunts him twice! Then he gets to start P20, and 1973 retiree Jackie Stewart has advice for him. Yet he is only two points behind Lewis.

      Some lucky guy, ya ya, but wait, could it be that he is an exceptional driver?

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  4. shroppyfly

    For Giovinazzi’s team-mate Kimi Raikkonen it was a more positive afternoon, marking his return after two races away with a P8 finish, only his second points-scoring Sunday of the season.

    It was a result which he said was made possible by the “right call” to switch to intermediate tyres when the rain fell.

    “I would much rather be a bit higher up, but generally we had a good start and gained some positions, and then followed the Alpine most of the race,” he said.

    “I felt the car was behaving well, but we are a bit too slow to really make progress. I felt I had more speed, but when the straights opened up I had no pace to overtake.

    “Then luckily we made the right call, I felt that it was too wet already and we were one of the early ones to come in to change tyres, and it paid off in the end.”

    Wow Kimi, hes a changed man saying all that after a race, he needs a holiday more often...

    Reply
  5. Jax

    Lol so wait a minute. Hammer actually won the race aided by a foolish decision from the driver in front of him, retakes the points lead but it's his luck that has jumped ship?? Wtf😂 Were you being sarcastic again?! Lol.
    Folks, let Old fella be a prime example that ageing doesn't necessarily foster wisdom. And I initially thought he was the smarter of the two Cornballs. My bad smh. I feel sorry for some of ya. No....wait, I'm lying Lol.

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    Reply
  6. bent spanner

    A Race of daring do skills spills spins and cockups, Elation for some, heartbreak for others.THATS racing and why we are fans of F1,More of the same please Racing Gods,

    Reply
  7. Jax

    "topsy turvy race in which things went well, then less well, then well again. Why did you stop so early for tyres, because it seemed it put you back out into traffic and how did Alonso get past, towards the end?

    MV: No, I had to… my tyres were done, just fighting and being in traffic… like so many cars. The left front was just done so in hindsight maybe it would have been better to start on the mediums, I don’t know, but I also didn’t expect the hard tyre to give up so quickly. In a way I think today was just very difficult on tyres, especially when you had to come from the back and then you have to clear slower cars, you open up your tyre and then basically once that is the case, you are just stuck, you can’t do anything but the pit lane here is so slow and you lose so much time that you can’t really put a two-stop into play so I was just very limited with my tyre options so I boxed and I knew it was going to be very hard to the end but also don’t forget that I have Charles, for example, before I boxed, very close behind and he was properly stuck in some traffic because I think at one point he was 14th so I don’t think we did anything wrong with the strategy, we just… the tyres were very limiting today in terms of what you could achieve. So even if the rain didn’t come and I would have finished seventh or sixth, I would have been like, well, that’s what it is because with the tyres we had today, the graining, there was not much more I could have done, coming from the back so all in all, then with the rain, we made the right calls but… It was fine. That’s what it is. And Fernando, yeah, he overtook me. He had better tyres, my left front was dead." End quote.

    Again, Luckiest driver of day! And this is the last of his luck as he likely will not regain the lead of the championship. Ignore my predictions at your own risk haters, as it will be to my amusement. You were warned!

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    • Ian

      It’s taken a while and some near misses to finally quell criticism of of the halo.
      Now, with the rumour that that the horn is being seriously considered as a new safety feature, we will see whether howls of protest ensue.
      The logic seems to be that it will replace the lack of engine noise when the transition to fully electric happens. Aural drama has always been a big part of F1
      It is also believed that it will deter the type behaviour we have been witnessing from Hambone and Maxi.
      Introduction is being touted to happen at the inaugural Delhi GP in 2023
      Middle finger and up yours!

      Reply
      • ReallyOldRacer

        Watch out, Shrop', Ian is coming to challenge for the sarcasm podium. lmao Ian. Is that New Delhi, or old Delhi? I can just see it now, 17 new rulebook pages dictating the decibel rating and specific tone of the horn. Totster and the doc will have a field day with protests. And let the "I didn't hear the horn" excuses begin.

        Reply
        • shroppyfly

          Thatll be Alonso with the french horn and Toto with the Vienna horn, he has to have the biggest one, Toto being Toto, he stole it off Marko, or won it in a poker game, if we are getting silly lets fit indicators to f1 cars too then, ah Ian , yes but hes a long way to go yet, I see Jax is back, more delightful bullshit no doubt

          Reply
          • ReallyOldRacer

            Thought you drove Jerkwad Jax to the home. Oh well, just 7 more of his inane recaps and then blessed silence. No on your blinkers idea. Too much confusion re I'm going left and you pass me on the left. Protest bait.

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