Lewis Hamilton is on the brink of a third world championship after cruising to victory at the Russian Grand Prix following the retirement of Mercedes teammate and title rival Nico Rosberg.
Rosberg was leading in Sochi when problems with his throttle on lap seven ended his race. Romain Grosjean also bowed out early after this spectacular crash at Turn Three left his Lotus in ruins.
Grosjean emerged unhurt from the wreckage. The greater damage was done to Rosberg’s title hopes, with Sebastian Vettel’s second taking the Ferrari driver above his German compatriot in the standings.
Hamilton now only needs to collect 10 more points than Vettel, and two more than Rosberg, from the remaining four races to defend his championship. The United States Grand Prix is up next in Austin.
Force India’s Sergio Perez was third after a manic final-lap collision between Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and Williams’s Valtteri Bottas. Raikkonen recovered to finish fifth, but Bottas had to retire.
Consolation for Williams was Felipe Massa finishing fourth from 15th on the grid. Daniil Kvyat, Felipe Nasr, Pastor Maldonado and McLaren pair Jenson button and Fernando Alonso made up the top 10.
Hamilton’s 42nd Formula 1 victory also secured Mercedes another constructors’ championship. Should he stand atop the podium again next weekend, the Briton could have another reason to celebrate.
Carlos Sainz crash video: Spaniard in 200mph accident at Russian Grand Prix, plans to race in Sochi
Saturday’s Euro 2016 round-up with goal videos: Wales, Italy & Belgium qualify but Dutch in trouble
Didier Drogba goal video: Chelsea legend nets sensational free kick in MLS