- Max Verstappen will start the Russian Grand Prix from the back of the grid
- The Red Bull star has been punished for taking a fourth engine to his car
- The Dutchman, 23, entered the weekend with a three-place penalty
Max Verstappen will start the Russian Grand Prix from the back of the grid for taking fourth engine this season.
The Dutch driver will be thrown to the back of the grid for Sunday’s race after taking on his fourth engine – one more than is permitted for the season.
Verstappen, who was already due to serve a three-place grid drop for taking Hamilton out of the last race in Monza, holds a five-point title advantage.
But his punishment, coupled with Mercedes’ impressive speed, hands the initiative to Hamilton, who is bidding here to claim his 100th career win and just his second from his last 11 appearances.
The omens are good for the seven-time world champion’s team, with Bottas and Hamilton first and second in both practice sessions around the venue for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.
A Mercedes car has won every round staged at Sochi since the race was added to the calendar seven years ago, and the evidence of practice indicates they will be the team to beat once again.