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Lewis Hamilton wins in Sochi, third crown within grasp

The defending world champion started second on the grid, inherited the lead when Rosberg slowed and then retired, after seven laps, with throttle pedal problems and claimed his ninth win of the season.

With this 42nd career <g data-gr-id="32">win</g> he passed his boyhood hero Ayrton Senna’s tally in the record books.
And crucially it lifted the Briton up to 302 points in the world championship, with Sebastian Vettel, who took second in his Ferrari, now on 236 points, 66 adrift, with Rosberg now 73 points behind on 229.

If the cards fall in his favour Hamilton can clinch the 2015 title in the next race in the United States on October 25 - he needs to beat Vettel by 10 points and Rosberg by two.

“I honestly did not know that, but I am just going to take it race by race and concentrate on that,” he said.

“I don’t take what we have granted, but It’s a special moment for me to surpass Ayrton.” Despite his ill <g data-gr-id="33">luck</g> Rosberg refused to concede the title.


“Formula One is pretty incredible sometimes, how tough it is,” he said.

“I am never going to win a championship like that when normal things break on a day when I should have won the race, but I will come back, as I always do.”

In a race with two safety car interventions, several accidents and a series of retirements, Carlos Sainz who had crashed heavily in his Toro Rosso on Saturday, was passed fit to start from the back of the grid, rose to 10th and retired after spinning off in the closing laps.

An opening lap multi-car collision caused the first safety car.

The second came after 12 laps when Romain Grosjean crashed heavily in his Lotus and climbed out of the wreckage unhurt.
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