|2019 Russian Grand Prix|
|Race 16 of 21 in the 2019 Formula One World Championship|
Layout of the Sochi Autodrom
|Date||29 September 2019|
|Official name||Formula 1 VTB Russian Grand Prix 2019|
Adlersky City District, Sochi, Krasnodar Krai, Russia
|Course||Permanent racing facility|
|Course length||5.848 km (3.634 mi)|
|Distance||53 laps, 309.745 km (192.466 mi)|
|Time||1:35.761 on lap 51 (lap record)|
The 2019 Russian Grand Prix (officially the Formula 1 VTB Russian Grand Prix 2019) was a Formula One motor race held on 29 September 2019 at the Sochi Autodrom in Sochi, Russia. The race was the 16th round of the 2019 Formula One World Championship and marked the 8th running of the Russian Grand Prix and the 6th time the race was held in Sochi.
Entering the round Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes led the drivers and constructors championships by 65 and 133 points respectively. The size of their leads mean that both would still be leading their respective championships after the race regardless of the race's outcome.
The drivers and teams entered were the same as those for the previous race with no additional stand-in drivers for the race or practice.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (September 2019)
After Daniil Kvyat's car suffered an engine failure in the third practice session, a new engine was fitted and the car was not ready in time to take part in qualifying. During the first qualifying session, Alexander Albon lost control of the rear of his Red Bull at turn 13, sending him spinning into the barriers. Albon was uninjured, and the session was stopped as the car was recovered. The damaged floor of his car was replaced and this meant that Albon would be required to start the race from the pitlane.
|4||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing-Honda||1:33.368||1:32.634||1:32.310||91|
|6||55||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren-Renault||1:34.184||1:33.807||1:33.222||5|
|11||10||Pierre Gasly||Scuderia Toro Rosso-Honda||1:34.456||1:33.950||N/A||161|
|13||99||Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari||1:34.755||1:34.037||N/A||12|
|16||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari||1:34.840||N/A||N/A||15|
|19||23||Alexander Albon||Red Bull Racing-Honda||1:39.197||N/A||N/A||PL3|
|107% time: 1:39.544|
|--||26||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso-Honda||No time||N/A||N/A||194|
Before the lights went out, Kimi Räikkönen made a false start and was later issued a drive-through penalty. As the cars set off, Sebastian Vettel was aided by the slipstream on the straight before turn two, overtaking Lewis Hamilton and pole-sitter Charles Leclerc for the lead. Carlos Sainz Jr. also benefited from this effect, overtaking Valtteri Bottas into the same corner. On the opening lap, Antonio Giovinazzi was squeezed by Romain Grosjean and Daniel Ricciardo going into turn five. Grosjean was launched into the barriers, causing his seventh retirement of the season. Ricciardo and Giovinazzi both took aerodynamic damage in the incident, with Ricciardo also suffering a left-rear tyre puncture, but both cars were able to continue the race for the time being. The safety car was deployed whilst Grosjean's car was recovered, during which Ricciardo and Robert Kubica made pit stops for new tyres. Williams then decided to pit Kubica again on the following lap to switch from hard to medium-compound tyres. The stewards later deemed the three-car collision a racing incident, and no action was taken.
Racing resumed at the end of lap three. During the following few laps, it emerged via team radio that Ferrari had anticipated Vettel would utilise the slipstream to overtake Leclerc at the start of the race. The team's plan was to build a gap to Hamilton in third, and then order Vettel to move aside and allow his teammate to retake the lead. However, Vettel refused to yield, claiming that Leclerc was too far behind and slowing to let his teammate through would risk also letting Hamilton through. Bottas made it past Sainz's McLaren on lap seven, and by lap 17, Max Verstappen had passed Sainz to take fifth place after starting the race in ninth.
After Leclerc had previously told his team over radio that he expected to be swapped with Vettel later into the race, Ferrari brought him in for a pit stop at the end of lap 22. Vettel was left out until the end of lap 26, by which point his tyres had degraded and he emerged from the pits behind his teammate, as Leclerc had requested. At the same time, Ricciardo's car was retired from the race after Renault decided that the damage suffered in the first lap incident was too great to continue. On his out-lap from the pits, Vettel reported the failure of the MGU-K, a part of the car's hybrid power unit. Initially hoping he could make it back to the pits to avoid a safety car being deployed, he was forced to pull over to the side of the track at turn 16 after the team were concerned that going any further would cause more damage to the car. A virtual safety car period was initiated whilst Vettel's car was recovered, during which the two leading Mercedes cars made their pit stops, allowing Hamilton to take over the lead of the race from Leclerc.
On lap 28, during the virtual safety car period, George Russell went straight on at turn nine and into the barriers. Williams later revealed that this was caused by a wheel nut issue. At the end of the same lap, Williams decided to retire Kubica in order to conserve parts for the next race, leading to a double retirement for the team. The virtual safety car was upgraded to a full safety car after Russell's crash. Ferrari brought Leclerc in for a pit stop on lap 30, during the safety car, switching him to soft-compound tyres, the same as the leading Mercedes cars even though it meant Leclerc dropped from second to third place.
The safety car came in on lap 33. During the next 20 laps, Leclerc attempted to catch up with and overtake Bottas, but was ultimately unsuccessful. Kevin Magnussen ran wide at turn two on lap 44 after an overtake attempt by Sergio Pérez. Magnussen failed to drive around both penalty bollards, and was later issued with a 5-second time penalty as a result. This dropped him from eighth to ninth place at the end of the race. Alexander Albon, who started the race from the pit lane and was in ninth place at the safety car restart, fought through the field and overtook Sainz for fifth place on lap 49, equalling his best career finish. Hamilton crossed the line to take victory, marking his and Mercedes's first win since the summer break, and Bottas finishing second resulted in the first Mercedes 1-2 finish since the British Grand Prix.
|4||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing-Honda||53||+14.210||9||12|
|5||23||Alexander Albon||Red Bull Racing-Honda||53||+38.348||PL||10|
|6||55||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren-Renault||53||+45.889||5||8|
|12||26||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso-Honda||53||+1:02.496||19|
|13||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari||53||+1:08.910||15|
|14||10||Pierre Gasly||Scuderia Toro Rosso-Honda||53||+1:10.076||16|
|15||99||Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari||53||+1:13.346||12|
|Ret||5||Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari||26||Power loss||3|
|Fastest lap: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) - 1:35.761 (lap 51)|