Hamilton's record bid fades after double penalty

27 September 2020 - 14:33
By Reuters
Valtteri Bottas of Finland driving the (77) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W11 and Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W11 battle for position at the start of the race during the F1 Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom on September 27, 2020 in Sochi, Russia.
Image: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images Valtteri Bottas of Finland driving the (77) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W11 and Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W11 battle for position at the start of the race during the F1 Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom on September 27, 2020 in Sochi, Russia.

Lewis Hamilton's bid for a record-equalling 91st career Formula One win took a huge hit at the Russian Grand Prix on Sunday after stewards imposed two five-second penalties for practice start infringements.

Stewards had notified the Mercedes driver, who was on pole at Sochi, before the start that he was under investigation.

"What happened? What happened?," exclaimed the Briton when told of the decision. "Where is that in the rule book?"

Hamilton pitted after 17 laps and dropped from the lead to 11th place.

"This is just ridiculous," he said over the team radio.

Hamilton's team mate and closest rival Valtteri Bottas, 55 points behind in the standings after nine races, was leading.

Hamilton is one victory away from matching the all-time win record of Ferrari great Michael Schumacher.

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