SOCHI, Russia — Lewis Hamilton’s toughest opponents in the Russian Grand Prix weren’t even on the track. They were in the stewards’ office.
Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas cruised to the win Sunday after Hamilton, who was leading, was penalized 10 seconds for practicing his starts in the wrong place before the race.
Hamilton came into the race looking to match Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 wins in Formula One but had to settle for third behind Bottas and Max Verstappen. Bottas built a sizable lead over Verstappen with ease and eased to his first win since the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix.
Hamilton was already under investigation by the stewards when he started the race from pole position. Before the race he twice stopped to perform practice starts at the exit of the pit lane, rather than in the