Although the seven-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton won his 100th grand prix after acing the race at Sochi. It was Max Verstappen who took a grid penalty this past weekend and had to start the race from the last on Sunday. But as it turns out, Lando Norris’ slip up also helped the Dutchman secure a finish at P2. What could have been a devastating drop in the driver’s standings, the Dutchman is now only a handful of points behind.
After fighting hard in the middle of the pack for majority of the race. It was all about damage limitation for Verstappen. Mercedes remain unbeaten in Sochi, but Hamilton only holds a two-point lead in the World Championship. This gap was expected to be much bigger before the Grand Prix started.
Christian Horner on Max Verstappen
“You can look like a hero or zero at the end of it. It’s a tough call. Max made the call today and he got it right. Checo decided to stick.. thinking that he might be able to get through it and that was the wrong decision. It could have gone either way,” Christian Horner told Sky Sports after the race.
“For Max, in the drivers’ [championship] it’s damage limitation which is fantastic. In the constructors’ we conceded points,” Horner refers to Perez’s ninth-place finish. “Max nailed it. Made the right decision from P20 to P2 is fantastic. The last two venues we knew that historically it’s a Mercedes track. You have to say congratulations to Lewis on his centenary of victories, which is insane.”
“It feels like a victory for us with the power unit penalty and grid penalty. That is hugely valuable,” Horner concluded.