Hamilton under investigation for pre-race practice start

Tanya Simon
September 30, 2020

After two pointless exits with auto failures, Max Verstappen of Red Bull will be seeking a return to his earlier form.

Lewis Hamilton, pictured celebrating his Tuscan Grand Prix triumph on Sept 13, will bid to tie Michael Schumacher's record 91 Formula 1 wins at Sunday's Russian Grand Prix in Sochi.

In the overall standings of the tournament, Hamilton is in the lead with 205 points, the second place is taken by Bottas (161), the third is Verstappen (128).

But Hamilton was spotted completing a practice start at the very end of the pit exit slip road en route to the grid, passing the kink at Turn 1.

In the nine races so far in 2020 Hamilton has taken the chequered flag six times and he's looking unstoppable in his march towards world championship No.7.

What happened last time out?

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All eyes will be on Hamilton's record pursuit and his past form in Russian Federation bodes well.

Another Mercedes win at the home of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games would also be a record for most successive victories by a team at a single Grand Prix.

Bottas has been despondent after challenging Hamilton at multiple races but being unable to put together a full race weekend to defeat his relentless team-mate.

Verstappen has dropped out of contention too after two straight retirements and will be desperate to get back on the podium. He does have fond memories of this circuit, though, after rallying to finish fifth a year ago from a pit-lane start. Between these, Racing Point along with Renault continue to show noticeable improvements and will expect for much brighter form from the next half of this year. - This season Mercedes have locked out the front row on seven occasions in qualifying, but only converted that to a one-two finish on three occasions. Heck, he has won the most number of races of any driver this year.

The only non-Mercedes drivers to have started on pole in Russian Federation are Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, in 2017, and Leclerc (2019). If that happens again in Russian Federation, it will be their worst run since also going six in a row without a top-three placing in 2016. It will feel more normal for the drivers and teams because there will be 30,000 fans spaced around the track.

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