Vettel: ‘Bring back the f*cking V12s’

Mark Scott

“Bring back the f*cking V12s,” said Sebastian Vettel over team radio after his retirement from the Russian GP. He made quite the statement…

Here is how race day unfolded in Sochi…

The banter just doesn’t stop when it comes to Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo.

But if it’s serious you’re after, Bernie ‘Bond’ Ecclestone was in Sochi.

The sun was shining bright as the drivers prepared for that long run down to the first braking zone at Turn 2.

In a sensational start Sebastian Vettel went from third to first as Charles Leclerc provided the tow, while Valtteri Bottas dropped to P5 behind Carlos Sainz.

The Safety Car was out that lap though after Romain Grosjean ended up in the barriers, while Ricciardo had a puncture. Antonio Giovinazzi was the meat in the sandwich wiping out both.

Vettel was being ordered to allow Leclerc back into the lead, but he wasn’t having any of it.

Kimi Raikkonen jumped the gun at the start, a drive-through penalty was his punishment.

Vettel was risking punishment himself as Ferrari switched to plan c, and Leclerc wasn’t happy to hear that the swap was on hold until later in the race. So much for no longer criticising on team radio.

Leclerc was the first Ferrari driver to stop as he fitted the medium tyres, could he repeat the undercut which Vettel performed on him a week ago?

With two Mercedes between him and his team-mate though, the signs weren’t good.

Further down the points, this one was personal…

After complaining for several laps that the rears were dropping off, Vettel pitted on Lap 26.

The German came out behind Leclerc, the undercut worked again. Was that plan c all along to sneak Leclerc back into the net lead?

It soon got even worse for Vettel after he pulled off the track, the MGU-K had gone.

Mercedes used that VSC to perfection, pitting Hamilton who still retained the race lead.

The full Safety Car then came out as George Russell ploughed into the barriers. This time Grosjean wasn’t to blame.

Leclerc was in the pits again to bolt on the softs as Ferrari looked to salvage this race.

Sadly nothing could be salvaged for Williams as they retired Kubica, fearing he could have the same issue as Russell.

Hamilton nailed the restart to keep his lead, while Bottas just about held off Leclerc.

Leclerc was asking for whatever power Ferrari could give him, but there remained no way past Bottas.

Hamilton would take victory in Russia – Mercedes’ 100% record of wins at the Russian GP remains as Hamilton increases his gap over Bottas in the Drivers’ Championship to 73 points.

Welcome back Ferrari.

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