British Sky Sports reporters appreciated the performance of the riders at the Russian Grand Prix …
Valtteri Bottas: 8.5
Valtteri Bottas did not win for nine races, and the success in Sochi came just in time. At the same time, Bottas noted that at the Russian Grand Prix he had an advantage over his partner.
It is likely that Valtteri would have been ahead of Lewis Hamilton anyway, due to a more profitable tire strategy in the first segment. However, thanks to his partner’s penalty, Bottas won without too much difficulty, creating a comfortable advantage over Max Verstappen.
Bottas insists that the fight for the title is not over for him, because for the remaining seven races 182 points will be played, and he is only 44 behind Hamilton. Winning the next stage at the Nurburgring is simply necessary for Valtteri to maintain the chances of success in the championship.
Max Verstappen: 9
If not for the penalties of Lewis Hamilton, it is unlikely that Max Verstappen would have been able to finish ahead of the reigning champion. Before the start of the weekend, Max himself and his team believed that they would fight in the middle group of teams, and not challenge Mercedes, but it turned out that Verstappen had one of his best stages of the season.
In qualifying, Max rode a second faster than his partner Alex Elbon and easily outstripped one of the Mercedes drivers. The race was not so bright, but no less impressive. He rode the distance steadily and finished eight seconds behind Valtteri Bottas, although at one point the team told him over the radio that the Mercedes drivers were six tenths faster on straight.
Max is no longer involved in the fight for the title, although in some races he can cause trouble for Mercedes.
Lewis Hamilton: 7.5
Michael Schumacher’s record for the number of victories in Formula 1 remained unsurpassed, because Lewis Hamilton did not have the best weekend, which is a rarity for him. The most surprising thing was that Lewis again won the qualification with a huge advantage, although in the second session it seemed that he would not make it to the final.
The payment for reaching the final was the need to start on Soft tires, which seemed to be a serious obstacle on the way to victory. However, Lewis lost the chance of success in the race, receiving a 10-second penalty for practicing the starting procedure in an unauthorized place.
For the second time in the last three races, Mercedes and Hamilton broke the rules, which is unusual for them. There is no doubt that in the next races they will try to win back in order to remove the question of the championship.
Sergio Perez: 9
Just imagine what result Sergio Perez could have achieved if all new items were on his car. On the previous version of the RP20 car, Sergio was faster than his partner throughout the weekend, and then, in his usual style, he had a stable race. He was not attacked by rivals behind, and closer to the finish line he reduced the gap from Lewis Hamilton to seven seconds.
After the race, Sergio noted that he could have achieved more if he had new items, which he will now definitely receive at the next stage in Germany. If some teams need a fast and stable driver for 2021, then Sergio is the first choice.
Daniel Riccardo: 8.5
For the fourth time in a row, Daniel finished in the top six, which significantly improved his chances in the fight for fourth place in the individual competition. After the free races, it seemed that Daniel would take a higher place at the start than fifth.
In the race, Riccardo received a five-second penalty for incorrectly returning to the track in the second corner after being missed by Esteban Ocon. When the team informed the rider about the penalty, he replied that he would now go faster. To Daniel’s credit, he kept his word and canceled the fine.
Charles Leclair: 9
Thanks to pole positions and victories in 2019, Charles Leclair attracted the attention of everyone in Formula 1, but this year, behind the wheel of a slow Ferrari, he deserves no less praise. On Sunday, he showed a strong performance, thanks to which he remained in the fight for the fourth place in the championship.
Although Charles was unable to keep five seconds behind Daniel Riccardo, sixth in Sochi was Leclair’s best result since Silverstone.
Esteban Ocon: 7
The first lap was Esteban’s best moment in the race. He got off to a great start and was ahead of Daniel Riccardo and Sergio Perez. Unfortunately, further progress of Esteban was stalled due to a lack of tire grip.
First, Ocon was overtaken by Perez, then at the request of the team, Esteban let Riccardo go ahead, and in the end he was overtaken by Charles Leclair.
Daniil Kvyat: 8
In 2020, Daniil Kvyat did not reach the heights of Pierre Gasly, but in Sochi, Daniil earned points for the third time in a row – in all the years of his performances in Toro Rosso / AlphaTauri, Kvyat was able to do this only once.
In the home race, Kvyat earned four points thanks to the long first run on Hard tires. After the pit stop, Daniel went faster, but still not so fast as to get ahead of Ocon, behind whom he was driving in the DRS zone for about 20 laps. Nevertheless, a good weekend for a driver whose future in Formula 1 remains in question.
Pierre Gasly: 7.5
After a nightmare race in Mugello, in Sochi, Pierre Gasly returned to the top ten, although he finished behind his team-mate, who was ahead in qualification.
After the pit stop, Pierre was in traffic, which ruined his race. However, he was able to recoup and climb to ninth place. Another good weekend for the winner of the Italian Grand Prix.
Alex Elbon: 5
Not such a result was expected from Alex in Sochi after the podium in Mugello. Throughout the weekend, Albon, according to team leader Christian Horner, wasted time relative to his partner in all corners – this led to the fact that in qualifying he lost almost a second to Max.
The loss of five positions at the start for replacing the gearbox only made it difficult for Alex. He spent several overtaking, but this time he barely managed to win back the position. Albon finished one and a half minutes behind Verstappen – better results are expected from him.
Antonio Giovinazzi: 7
Antonio Giovinazzi squeezed everything out of the race in Sochi, given the start from 17th place. In the race, he looked more competitive than in qualifying.
Partly the 11th place was made possible thanks to the retirements of Sainz and Stroll, but Antonio during the race had several bright overtakes – Roman Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen. As a result, Giovinazzi posted his second best result of the season.
Kevin Magnussen: 7
Chaos on the first lap moved Kevin Magnussen up to ninth place, even though he started 18th. Despite the lack of speed, the Haas racer held the position for quite some time.
After the finish, Kevin noted that he did his best, and the sheer speed of the car did not allow him to finish so high.
Sebastian Vettel: 5
Sebastian Vettel started 250 times in Formula 1, and if you do not take into account performances in Toro Rosso, only three times finished thirteenth or lower. Two of those three times have happened this season, including in Sochi.
Despite a promising pace in the free heats, Vettel was slower than Leclerc in qualifying before his accident. In the race, the problems continued, but at least he held back his rivals, which helped his partner to break away. Sebastian was disappointed that he could not overtake Magnussen and Giovinazzi on fresher tires.
After the finish, Sebastian noted that he was not fast enough and could not count on more.
Kimi Raikkonen: 6
Kimi Raikkonen repeated Rubens Barrichello’s record for the number of starts in Formula 1, but could not earn points. This was partly a consequence of a qualifying error that made him start 19th.
Raikkonen was the last to hold a pit stop, but towards the end he got stuck behind the three Giovinazzi-Magnussen-Vettel and could not overtake them, although he had an advantage due to the tires.
Lando Norris: 6
Tough weekend for McLaren and Lando Norris. In qualifying, he lost to Carlos Sainz for the fifth time in a row and started eighth. In the second corner, Lando had to slow down to avoid an incident with his rivals and a relegated teammate. Norris then went to the pits, where he switched to Hard tires to try to drive them to the finish line.
Despite his best efforts, Lando missed Gasley and Elbon, and the final pit stop robbed him of his last chances to score points.
Nicholas Latifi: 7
In qualifying, Nicholas lost more than a second to George Russell, but on Sunday for the second time in the last three races finished ahead of his team-mate. This is the only positive outcome of the weekend for Latifi.
Roman Grozhan: 6
Roman Grosjean spent the entire weekend struggling with the problems of his car. In qualifying, he was ahead of his team-mate, and at the start he broke through to 10th place, but then only rolled back. After the finish, Roman called his car uncontrollable.
George Russell: 6
“A difficult day with a lot of mistakes on my part,” commented George Russell of the race. Quite an objective assessment from the pilot, who is desperately trying to perform well not only in qualifications, but also in races.
The sixth qualifier of the season highlighted Russell’s obvious talent, but the first lap of the race was difficult and he ended up in the pits three times.
Lance Stroll: 7
Lance Stroll believes that he could have earned a lot of points in the race, and he is understandable. He started on Medium, broke through on the first lap from 12th to 7th, but Charles Leclair pushed him off the track.
Technical problems in qualifying and retirement in the race – Stroll’s unsuccessful weekend in Sochi.
Carlos Science: 6
Carlos Sainz rarely makes mistakes, but in Sochi the Spaniard had no choice but to apologize to McLaren for hitting the wall in the second corner. Carlos missed the opportunity after qualifying sixth.