Lewis Hamilton penalty hands Russian Grand Prix win to Valtteri Bottas

Bottas’ win means he cuts Hamilton’s championship lead to 44 points. He was on the better strategy – starting on the medium tyres while Hamilton was on softs after a chaotic qualifying session for the Briton – and was tracking Hamilton in the early laps waiting for the race to play out. But two five-second penalties, each for practice starts in the wrong place on the reconnaissance laps before the cars go to the grid, took Hamilton out of the equation. Bonnington confirmed that he could, and Hamilton drove down to the end of the pit lane, just before it rejoins the track. When told of the penalty, Hamilton complained: “Where is that in the rules?”. Hamilton now has 10 penalty points – and 12 in a calendar year means an automatic race ban.

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