/Hamilton: From Russian With Love

Hamilton: From Russian With Love

russia1 at Hamilton: From Russian With Love

Last weekend saw black skies and an even darker cloud overshadow Hamilton’s Suzuka victory – the terrible accident of the popular Marussia driver Jules Bianchi. Although he remains in critical condition, he is said to be stable.

However, after taking pole at the Russia’s inaugural Grand Prix and watching on as his teammate, Nico Rosberg over-cooked the first corner, the Brit took the win, dedicating it to the much-loved Bianchi.

russia2 at Hamilton: From Russian With Love

Hamilton wasn’t the only display of support to the 25-year-old star, as every car showed their own support with various decals, including their drivers’ helmets and racing overall patches. Before the race, all of the drivers gathered on the grid in honour of Jules, even the start/finish painted with: “Jules We Are All Supporting You”.

Follow the Twitter threads and show your support at #ForzaJules #PrayForJules

Despite his condition, Bianchi’s team, Marussia prepared his car and parked it in his garage as a mark of respect. Instead of finding a replacement driver, they decided on racing a single car, his teammate Max Chilton taking to the track. This show of respect in running a single car hails back to the days of Damon Hill in 1994, when he took his lone Williams out after the death of his teammate, the late and great Ayrton Senna.

russia3 at Hamilton: From Russian With Love

The last time I considered any news of a Russian Grand Prix, the media overshadowed what should’ve been an exciting prospect by focussing more on the politics involving Toro Rosso’s signing of the young Russian (see the connection?) Daniil Kvyat.

Thanks to Sochi’s great 3.5-mile setup, a circuit boasting both a long and fast sweeping bend and a street track section, the Russian Grand Prix and the young Danill Kvyat proved that Russia have Formula One well and truly covered.

russia4 at Hamilton: From Russian With Love

It wasn’t all Mercedes this time out either; Williams bought a particularly fast car to Russia, Valtteri Bottas clinching third in qualifying and Felipe Massa only losing out on a potential pole because of a fuel problem.

Bottas transferred his pace over to race day, mirroring his third place in qualifying by taking the last step up onto the podium. The Finn was looking good for second place, until Rosberg passed him on lap 30 – Rosberg not only managed a staggering 51 laps on one set of medium tyres, but he also recovered from 18th after flat-spotting his tyres going into the first corner.

“I was in a battle with Lewis and I messed up,” he told the BBC. “It was a bad mistake too. It was my corner – or I thought it was – but it was the first time arriving there at full speed with full fuel. I thought I wouldn’t get into the top 10 after that but the car was amazing.”

russia5 at Hamilton: From Russian With Love

Fernando Alonso made a customary good start, eventually finishing sixth for Ferrari, one place ahead of Red Bull’s Ricciardo – the Aussie suffered a poor getaway but fought his way back to seventh via an alternative team strategy. This meant an early stop on lap 11, which put him ahead of teammate Vettel, who finished in eighth.

McLaren put in a great performance, Jenson Button finishing fourth ahead of teammate Kevin Magnussen. If McLaren continue like this for the rest of the season, and with Alonso currently without a 2015 drive, I wonder if we’ll see the Spaniard standing outside Ron Dennis’ office at the end of the season.

russia6 at Hamilton: From Russian With Love

Kimi Raikkonen and Sergio Perez snapped up the last of the points in ninth and tenth respectively.

Hamilton’s win puts him 17 points clear of Rosberg in the drivers’ championship. With only three races remaining, 100 points still up for grabs, and the likes of Williams and McLaren showing some form, I expect a great mix up.

Just to ensure us fans have something to look forward to, Rosberg also told the BBC: “Looking ahead to the last three races, I need to continue to attack and I need to look to win them. All the next three races are my favourites.”

Next up, USA.

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(Journalist) – James is a published fiction and article writer from London (UK) with a serious penchant for Ferrari F1, anything with an engine, and English Pointers.