Sochi, May 1 (IANS) Nico Rosberg dominated and won the Russian Grand Prix as team-mate Lewis Hamilton fought his way up from 10th on the grid to secure a team Mercedes one-two finish here on Sunday.
Team Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen completed the podium in third.
It was Rosberg’s fourth win of the season and his seventh in succession, and gives him a 43-point lead over Hamilton at the head of the driver standings.
The race started in dramatic fashion, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel crashing out at Turn 3 after contact with team Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat, bringing out the safety car as Rosberg led from Raikkonen and team Williams’ Valtteri Bottas.
Racing resumed on lap 4, with Bottas immediately pouncing to pass Raikkonen and Hamilton doing likewise on team Williams’ Felipe Massa.
With a margin of around 13 seconds, and with Hamilton hampered by a water pressure issue, the German was never really threatened and controlled the second half of the race to come home 25 seconds clear.
Bottas took fourth place ahead of his Williams team-mate Massa, while team McLaren’s Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button both scored their first points of the year in sixth and tenth spots, respectively.
Kevin Magnussen did similarly for team Renault in seventh, as Haas’s Romain Grosjean and Force India’s Sergio Perez rounded out the top ten.
Other than Vettel, three other men failed to finish. Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg retired on lap one after being hit by team Haas’s Esteban Gutierrez and team Manor’s Rio Haryanto was another victim of the first-lap melee.
Max Verstappen pulled off track on lap 34 with reported engine problems on his Toro Rosso car.