Vettel needs Suzuka surprise to stay in title race

Vettel needs Suzuka surprise to stay in title race

Vettel needs Suzuka surprise to stay in title race

As on previous occasions, Russian leader Putin was on hand to present Hamilton with this trophy on Sunday, and the pair were overheard sharing a joke about Hamilton's exuberant celebrations from back in 2015, when he appeared.

He added: "You never know what happens".

"I think we need to take a step back and after Sochi, fly back home and analyse what have we learnt from a day like today".

Bottas said he did not understand why he was moved aside after being told to attack Max Verstappen, who was leading the race on old tyres because he had not made a pitstop at that point.

'That's how it goes, but I am also looking forward to starting a new season.' Hamilton's eight victory of the campaign means that he needs only to finish second in the remaining rounds, starting at Suzuka, Japan, this weekend, to be assured of a fifth world title.

Maurizio Arrivabene has accepted that "something was missing" for Ferrari at Formula 1's Russian Grand Prix as it fell to a third straight defeat.

Wolff went on to say that it was a.harsh reality. for the Mercedes team, but they needed the extra seven points to be even safer. "I think we have a good vehicle, we need to make sure we keep improving it".

The reality is that there are now only five grands prix remaining of this long 21-race season.

Verstappen eventually took a superb fifth place to mark his 21st birthday behind the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen, with his Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo in sixth.

But, it is not beyond the realms of possibility, given Ferrari's overall pace is still very close to that of Mercedes, that Vettel could win the final five races of the season.

Vettel was encouraged unexpectedly by Ferrari's performance on Sunday when he followed Hamilton and Bottas.

Hamilton can allow for the German to do that. It's not nice to ask them hard questions and I think for the team it doesn't make a difference who wins and for the drivers' championship it does.

"We have a strong package going into the weekend and should be quite competitive there, so I hope that we will be able to see some good results and score more points." .

The Red Bull driver had excelled in the opening phase, moving up nine places from his position of 19th on the grid in a little more than two laps.

That gap would have only been 43 points had Mercedes not asked Valtteri Bottas to let Hamilton pass him for the lead on Lap 25.

Hamilton then reported hesitations in his engine, and his blister - both ailments clearly hampered his raw pace and forced him to manage his auto as he chased Verstappen. The Finn will move to Sauber for the next two seasons at least.

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