Nico Rosberg celebrates his fourth win of the 2016 Formula 1 season at Sochi
The start of the 2016 season of Formula 1 couldn't have gone any better for Nico Rosberg than it has. Of the four races thus far, Rosberg has won every single one of them, thus increasing his lead at the head of the championship standings. His most recent win came at the Russian GP, where he managed a lights to flag victory at the Sochi Autodrome.
When the race began, Rosberg took advantage of his pole position, and got off to a good start. Behind him, however, chaos ensued. Almost as if continuing their spat from the Chinese GP, Red Bull Racing's Daniil Kvyat ran into the back of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel. Vettel ended up in the wall, something he wasn't all too happy with as was in evidence when his radio message to his team was later broadcast. Kvyat was issued a stop-go penalty for the same, later saying that while the stewards seemed to think that he'd run into Vettel deliberately, that wasn't the case. He had, in fact, just locked his rear wheels, unfortunately at his home grand prix.
The chaos during the first few corners of the race had other casualties too. Nico Hulkenberg in the Sahara Force India went into retirement after being nudged into a spin by Esteban Gutierrez, as was Rio Haryanto. And with the safety car out as the debris was being swept away, it was Rosberg who headed the order, with Kimi Raikkonen second, followed by the two Williams drivers - Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa. Lewis Hamilton, who'd started 10th, had managed to make his way up to fifth place.
When the race restarted, it was Hamilton who was the man on the move, getting past Massa, and then trying to attack Kimi Raikkonen, who had already been passed at the restart by Bottas. Hamilton managed to move into third place on the seventh lap of the race, making a move on the first of the two Finns ahead of him. He then got the jump on the Williams during the first round of pitstops.
Hamilton then began the chase, trying to cut down Rosberg's advantage of 12s. While he seemed like he might be able to make it, there were issues that cropped up. The first was some amount of traffic as the pair made their way past back markers. The second was more technical issues for the driver, who was warned by the team that his car was struggling with water pressure issues, which meant he needed to take things easy.
This meant that Nico Rosberg managed to cross the chequered flag first, with a comfortable 25 second lead over Hamilton. Third place went to Raikkonen, his second trip to the podium in 2016. The Williams drivers took home fourth and fifth place, while Fernando Alonso and Kevin Magnussen each registered their best finishes of 2016 with sixth and seventh. Romain Grosjean took Haas to its third top-10 finish this year, finishing eighth. Sergio Perez and Jenson Button rounded off the top 10.