For the second time in three races, Lewis Hamilton is doing what his rivals cannot and is beating himself.
Two time penalties - each of five seconds - gave him too much to do against team-mate Valtteri Bottas and he was unable to equal Michael Schumacher's record of 91 Grand Prix wins.
But with fans back at Sochi there was more than just Hamilton's errors that caught the eye with Bottas' sweary radio rant, Carlos Sainz's September struggles and Charles Leclerc learning to be 'happy' again in a Ferrari among the storylines.
Sportsmail picks out seven of the best from Sunday's race...
Fans returned to the Russian Grand Prix and they were given plenty of big talking points
Stupid errors are all that can stop Hamilton
When everyone goes according to plan, Lewis Hamilton wins every race.
Rivals have no answer and his team-mate is clearly a tier down from him when it comes to raw talent in the same machinery.
Max Verstappen is immensely talented but knows he simply doesn't have the pace for a rat-race against Hamilton every week. And so, Hamilton's biggest obstacle to victory? Himself.
Lewis Hamilton lifted the third-placed trophy (left) but knows he is beating himself with errors
For the second time in three races Hamilton has been left to bemoan penalties. He was in control in Monza before being penalised for entering the pit-lane when it was closed.
If Mercedes were ready to take the wrap for that one, it was Hamilton who had to shoulder the responsibility in Russia for two illegal practice starts outside of the designated area.
The race began with the six-time champion under investigation and two five-second penalties followed. He rallied back to third but was left with a bitter taste of 'bulls***' in his mouth afterwards.
'I'm pretty sure nobody has got two five second penalties for something so ridiculous before,' he said afterwards. 'I wouldn't put anyone in danger. I've done this at a million tracks over the years and never been questioned on it, but it is what it is.
The six-time champion is a class apart when all goes smoothly but he beat himself in Russia
'They (FIA) are trying to stop me aren't they? But it's okay I just need to keep my head down and stay focused and we will see what happens.'
But, whether he thinks they are wrong or not, Hamilton did contravene the rules and it was another cheap error from Mercedes to deprive him another race victory.
If rivals cannot get near him the last thing Hamilton can do is do their job for them by beating himself. With the Eifel Grand Prix in Germany next, the Brit needs to prove a pattern is not developing here.
Critics DO bother Bottas
'To whom it may concern, f*** you,' Bottas mused over the team radio after winning the Russian Grand Prix.
As the man in Hamilton's shadow, accepting a peripheral role with the odd victory may as well come on the job description.
Bottas rarely rocks the boat but after a week where he personally responding to criticisms on Instagram, he had quite simply had enough of being told he's not good enough to drive for Mercedes and he wanted the world to know.
The Finn gets hammered for failing to mirror the success of Hamilton in the same machinery and while his win was fortuitous - Hamilton almost certainly would have won without the penalties - he had earned a weekend to be smug.
Now you have to back it up, Valtteri.
Valtteri Bottas' annoyance with his critics spilled over as he won the Russian Grand Prix
It is just the Finn's second win of the season but he refuses to give up his championship hopes
Sergio Perez proves his Point
Losing Nico Hulkenberg was one thing, but losing a talent like Sergio Perez would be another.
Racing Point have announced he will not continue with the team next season, instead sticking with Lance Stroll, the son of billionaire owner Lawrence Stroll.
That in itself was no surprise to race fans but with seats quickly filling for 2021, it is not yet clear where - or even if - there is a landing spot for the Mexican.
Finishing fourth, the best of the rest outside the podium, and team-mate Stroll suffering a second successive DNF, Perez is more than proving his worth to be on the grid next season.
Sergio Perez is being ditched by Racing Point but he deserves to be on the grid in 2021
Speaking to Marca he teased interest in Red Bull, with doubts remaining over young upstart Alex Albon, and took a shot at Racing Point in the process.
'I need a project that motivates and convinces me, that makes me get up every morning, train and travel all over the world,' he said.
'And the opportunities I have now don't do that at all.'