Formula One F1 - Russian Grand Prix - Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia - September 26, 2021 Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton is interviewed after winning his 100th race REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

Hamilton Takes 100th F1 Victory at Sochi

Lewis Hamilton has taken his 100th victory in Formula One, after a late rain shower denied Lando Norris what looked to be his maiden win. The Mercedes driver was able to take the lead off of the back of the safety car and then pull away from Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who finished second on home soil. It was an emotional race for both Lewis Hamilton and Williams’ Robert Kubica, who retired with five laps remaining.

Hamilton won the race ahead of Leclerc and Vettel, with Max Verstappen finishing fourth for Red Bull. The Dutchman was unable to close the gap on title leader Gasly after starting from pit lane due to a qualifying shunt. In fact, it was Honda-powered Toro Rosso who had an impressive opening weekend of the German Grand Prix, with Sean Gelael and Alexander Albon finishing inside of the top ten.

After a dry first few laps, rain began to fall on lap twelve and continued sporadically until about half distance. This led to teams making some strategic choices as they tried to work out tyre management on the drying track compared to those who were happy to stay on wets until the end. The race was halted with five laps remaining when Robert Kubica, who has returned to F1 this year after eight years away, appeared to lose control at the Sachs curve.

The Pole’s Williams had aquaplaned off track onto a grass verge and he did not have enough traction to get back onto the track. He was airlifted to hospital for precautionary checks but, given his injuries in 2011 forced him out of F1 for many seasons, he will be grateful to have escaped without another serious injury.

The safety car came out three laps previous before Kubica crashed so debris was cleaned up quickly upon its arrival back into the pit lane. This, combined with Hamilton’s superior tyre wear compared to his rivals meant he was able to take the race lead ahead of Leclerc and Vettel.

Lewis will now head into Hungary nine points clear in the drivers’ championship with Mercedes extending their advantage over Ferrari in constructors’ standings. The next round of the championship takes place on the Hungaroring this weekend.

Results of German Grand Prix 2019

1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 2 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 4 Max Verstappen Red Bull 5 Pierre Gasly Red Bull 6 Kevin Magnussen Haas 7 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 8 Carlos Sainz Jr Renault 9 Lando Norris McLaren 10 Sergio Perez Racing Point 11 Alexander Albon Toro Rosso 12 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 13 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 14 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 15 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 16 Lance Stroll Racing Point 17 Romain Grosjean Haas 18 George Russell Williams 19 Robert Kubica Williams 20 Sergio Sette Camara McLaren