Nico Rosberg continued his good form in the Russian Grand Prix to take his fourth win in a row this season as world champion Lewis Hamilton battled back impressively to finish second.
Hamilton, 31, started 10th after an engine failure in qualifying but after repairs, he drove a superlative race to limit the damage to his title hopes, however he couldn’t prevent another victory for Mercedes teammate Rosberg who extended his championship lead to 43 points.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel crashed out on the first lap after being hit twice by Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat.
Hamilton had dispatched Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen with a dive down the inside into Turn Five on lap seven and, after passing Williams driver Valtteri Bottas to take second on lap 19, he began to claw back Rosberg’s advantage.
First it was by small margins, but in six laps from lap 30 he reduced it from 12.1 seconds to 7.5, but had to back off when told that the engine had a water-pressure issue.
After stabilising over a handful of laps, the Briton cruised to finish in second, watched by the late-arriving Russian President Vladimir Putin, comfortably able to hold off Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen who took the final podium position ahead of counterpart Bottas