'Verstappen has been lucky, Hamilton could have finished higher in Russia'

29-09-2020 14:41
by GPblog.com
F1 News
'Verstappen has been lucky, Hamilton could have finished higher in Russia'

Max Verstappen achieved a great result in Russia last Sunday by finishing second across the finish line. In doing so he straightened out his two outages due to engine failure and also achieved the best result for Red Bull Racing ever in Russia. It wasn't without a bit of luck, however, with penalties for Lewis Hamilton being an important factor.

Trial start in wrong place

Lewis Hamilton started from pole position but was told pretty soon after the start that he had committed an offence by making a test start in the wrong place. The result was a five-second time penalty twice, to be executed during the next pit stop. As a result, Hamilton lost a lot of time and that is what gave Verstappen second place. Without those penalties, Verstappen would have finished third, Auto, Motor und Sport writes in an extensive analysis.

'Between his (Hamilton) stop in lap sixteen and Verstappen's tire change nine laps later, he lost 3.7 seconds on Valtteri Bottas with fresh tires, where the Finn used an older set. At Verstappen he made up for just 0.9 seconds in the same time. The engineers explained this by saying that Hamilton was hopelessly saving the tires more than necessary.'

Penalty after the race

Mercedes said afterwards about the penalty that if it applies to an incident before the race, then the penalty should be awarded after the race and not during. In that case, Hamilton would have had ten seconds on his end time, which would not have allowed him to win. However, he would have been second, although his distance to Verstappen was 15 seconds.

'If he had had a shorter pit stop, he would probably have come ahead of Daniil Kvyat and not behind Vettel. He could have made more speed to get into Verstappen's pit stop window', and so he could still have been a challenge for the Dutchman.

It didn't get that far, purely because of the fact that the penalty had to be served during the race. Verstappen took full advantage of the circumstances, but it could have been completely different if the penalty had been handed out in a different way. Valtteri Bottas also took advantage, he was able to drive to first place without any threat after the Hamilton penalty.

Check out the latest news

You will be logged out and redirected to the homepage