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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 October 2018

Mercedes team orders give Lewis Hamilton Russian GP win

The Briton finishes ahead of teammate Valtteri Bottas to extend his championship lead to 50 points with five races remaining

Valtteri Bottas, bottom of picture, and Lewis Hamilton tussle during the Russian Grand Prix. Hamilton would take the win ahead of his Finnish Mercedes-GP teammate. Getty Images
Valtteri Bottas, bottom of picture, and Lewis Hamilton tussle during the Russian Grand Prix. Hamilton would take the win ahead of his Finnish Mercedes-GP teammate. Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton benefitted from team orders at Mercedes-GP to win the Russian Grand Prix and extend his lead in the Formula One drivers' championship to 50 points with five races remaining.

Valtteri Bottas was ordered by the German marque to slow and allow the Briton to pass him mid-race, and the Finn obeyed the request.

Bottas had led the first stint of the race until his pit stop, but with Hamilton struggling with a blister on one of his tyres, the decision was made to swop positions to ensure they took the one-two finish and Hamilton boosted his hopes of a fifth world title, and a fourth in five years.

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Hamilton's title rival Sebastian Vettel had to settle for third place. He had briefly got ahead of Hamilton during the pit stops, but the Briton passed him to regain the position.

Kimi Raikkonen was a fourth in the second Ferrari, with Max Verstappen, who led much of the race as he drove a long first stint on the soft Pirelli tyres, coming through to take fifth after he had started 19th due to grid penalties for engine changes.

Daniel Ricciardo was a distant sixth in the second Red Bull.

The next race is in Japan on October 7.