Hamilton wins as Mercedes take constructors' title

Sun Oct 12, 2014 1:53pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

SOCHI Russia (Reuters) - Lewis Hamilton won the inaugural Russian Formula One Grand Prix and extended his championship lead to 17 points on Sunday in a Mercedes one-two that clinched the team's first constructors' title.

The Briton, who started on pole position, chalked up his fourth win in a row and ninth of the season after German team mate Nico Rosberg locked up at the first corner and damaged his tires in a costly error.

With 100 points still to be won from the final three races, thanks to double points in Abu Dhabi, Hamilton has 291 points to Rosberg's 274 with everything still to play for.

Hamilton, the 2008 world champion, also became only the fourth driver in F1 history to win nine races in a single season and equaled Nigel Mansell's British record of 31 career victories.

On a warm and sunny afternoon in the Black Sea resort, Rosberg kept himself firmly in contention with a fine recovery drive from 20th place after his second lap pitstop.

"Nico did a great job to return from his mistake," said Hamilton. "To get the first championship for Mercedes Benz is amazing, a beautiful day.

"It's very cool to have won the first race here."


Russian President Vladimir Putin hands over the trophy the winner Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain as Mercedes Formula One driver Nico Rosberg (L) of Germany  and Williams Formula One driver Valtteri Bottas (R)  of Finland stand next to them after the first Russian Grand Prix in Sochi October 12, 2014.
  REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh