Hamilton to capitalise on Verstappen’s grid penalty

Hamilton to capitalise on Verstappen's grid penalty

Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes needs to target a 1-2 finish at Formula 1’s Russian Grand Prix in order to capitalise on Max Verstappen’s penalty.

Title leader Verstappen will start Sunday’s grand prix from the back row of the grid after taking on a fresh power unit.

Mercedes finished at the front of the field through both practice sessions at Sochi Autodrom on Friday with Valtteri Bottas heading Hamilton.

“It’s a tough year for everyone with reliability, so it’s definitely a shame for him,” said Hamilton.

“But we have to try and capitalise on that naturally and try to get maximum result. A 1-2 would be spectacular for us.”

Bottas, meanwhile, continued his strong form from Monza at a circuit where he has twice previously triumphed.

Bottas’ maiden win came at Sochi in 2017 while last year the Finn took the most recent of his nine career victories.

“I find the flow on this track and I enjoy this type of corners – I really enjoy,” he said. “And when the car works nicely here, then it is very enjoyable.

“From the first run I had good confidence with the car, the balance was actually very good, so all we had to do were minor adjustments during the day.

“I could really just focus on the driving and finding small gains here and there. But I’d say that both in the short and the long runs I was pretty comfortable.”

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