Russian GP: Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel ignores teams orders to give Lewis Hamilton win in Russia.


Lewis Hamilton’s first win in his past four grands prix drew him closer to a sixth world title and came soon after Ferrari’s chances of winning fell apart following a controversy over Leclerc’s team-mate Sebastian Vettel disregarding teamvs instructions.

The pre-race plan Ferrari had was for Leclerc to tow Vettel down into the first corner to eliminate the risk of Hamilton, starting second, taking the lead.

Leclerc played accomplished his side of the bargain, but once Vettel was in the lead, he ignored the demand to permit his team-mate back past him.

After a number of intense conversations over the radio, Ferrari decided to suspend the swap and Leclerc recovered first place when he was pitted four laps earlier, allowed to benefit from fresher tyres.

Along the line, Vettel’s engine developed a l fault in its hybrid system on his first lap out of the pits, as such was told to park the car, which led to the virtual safety car being deployed.

It was not a good time for Ferrari, because it meant that Hamilton who had advanced into the lead by Ferrari’s pit stops could stop under the VSC and lose far less time than under racing conditions, allowing him to maintain the lead.

Subsequently, Leclerc then lost second place as well when George Russell had a crash with an apparent braking problem just as the VSC was about to end, bringing out the safety car.

In response, Ferrari decided to pit Leclerc again to change his medium tyres for softs, which was the same as the Mercedes drivers, and that dropped him to third behind Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

Despite his attempts, Leclerc could not quite meet up to attack Bottas, giving Mercedes the chance to deliver their first one-two since the British Grand Prix back in mid-July.

Hamilton was awarded an extra point for achieving fastest lap and his championship lead bow stands at 73 points.

On paper, it’s not feasible for him to win the title at the next race in Japan, but with a good performance can achieve it in Mexico.

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