Russian GP: Bottas fends off Vettel to take maiden F1 win

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Russian GP: Bottas fends off Vettel to take maiden F1 win
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Apr 30, 2017, 1:35 PM

Valtteri Bottas fended off a late charge from Sebastian Vettel to secure the first Formula 1 victory his career in the Russian Grand Prix at Sochi.

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W08, Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H, Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team, Jolyon Palmer, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
Start action
Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team, Jolyon Palmer, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-17, Carlos Sainz Jr., Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12
Jolyon Palmer, Renault Sport F1 Team
Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team VF-17, Jolyon Palmer, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W08, Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H, Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08, Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB13
Lance Stroll, Williams FW40
Fernando Alonso, McLaren
The dummy grid ahead of the start
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari
Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team, retires after a collision
Track action
Lance Stroll, Williams FW40

The Mercedes driver crossed the line just 0.617 seconds ahead of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, with Kimi Raikkonen taking his first podium of the season with third.

Bottas made a blistering start from third on the grid, benefitting from a slow-starting Raikkonen and then passing Vettel on the run to Turn 2 to take the lead.

The race was then neutralised shortly after when the safety car was deployed following Romain Grosjean and Jolyon Palmer's collision at Turn 2.

At the restart, Bottas put the hammer down and gradually went about building up a lead over Vettel that grew to just over four seconds.

Bottas caught traffic ahead of the pitstops, allowing Vettel to cut the deficit to 2.5s before Mercedes called Bottas in at the end of lap 27 to swap ultra-softs for supersofts.

Vettel stayed out for an extra seven laps, with his pace remaining competitive, and rejoined just over four seconds adrift of Bottas following his stop for the supersofts.

Championship leader Vettel slowly chipped away at that deficit, getting the gap down to just under a second at one stage to set up a grandstand finish.

But Bottas, who asked for "less talking" on the team radio in the closing laps, kept his composure to fend off Vettel and take his first victory in his 81st F1 start.

Lewis Hamilton had a frustrating afternoon, making a good start initially but struggling in the second phase of acceleration as he stayed in fourth.

The three-time world champion complained consistently that his car was overheating in the first half of the race and after the stops he was unable to catch Raikkonen and ended up a lonely fourth.

Max Verstappen was out on his own, too, in fifth, well adrift of the leading quartet but comfortably ahead of Force India's Sergio Perez.

Verstappen's teammate Daniel Ricciardo retired after slowing on track with a rear brake problem.

Force India scored points with both cars for the fourth race in succession as Esteban Ocon took seventh.

Renault's Nico Hulkenberg was eighth, with Felipe Massa on-course for sixth before he was forced to make a second stop late on because of a slow puncture that dropped the Williams driver to ninth.

Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz completed the top 10 as rookie Lance Stroll finished his first grand prix, just missing out on a point in 11th.

Grosjean and Palmer's respective races lasted just two corners, with the former trying a pass at Turn 2 down the inside.

The pair touched with Palmer spun round and the Haas of Grosjean pitched into the barrier.

It was a miserable weekend for McLaren, with Fernando Alonso failing to start the race after stopping his car at the entry to the pits on the formation lap.

Honda suspects the loss of power was down to an ERS issue, but is still investigating.

The other McLaren of Stoffel Vandoorne was 14th, ahead of the two Saubers of Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein.

ClaDriverChassisEngineGap
1 finland Valtteri Bottas  Mercedes Mercedes 1:28'08.743
2 germany Sebastian Vettel  Ferrari Ferrari 0.617
3 finland Kimi Raikkonen  Ferrari Ferrari 11.000
4 united_kingdom Lewis Hamilton  Mercedes Mercedes 36.320
5 netherlands Max Verstappen  Red Bull TAG 1'00.416
6 mexico Sergio Perez  Force India Mercedes 1'26.788
7 france Esteban Ocon  Force India Mercedes 1'35.004
8 germany Nico Hulkenberg  Renault Renault 1'36.188
9 brazil Felipe Massa  Williams Mercedes  
10 spain Carlos Sainz Jr.  Toro Rosso Renault  
11 canada Lance Stroll  Williams Mercedes  
12 russia Daniil Kvyat  Toro Rosso Renault  
13 denmark Kevin Magnussen  Haas Ferrari  
14 belgium Stoffel Vandoorne  McLaren Honda  
15 sweden Marcus Ericsson  Sauber Ferrari  
16 germany Pascal Wehrlein  Sauber Ferrari  
  australia Daniel Ricciardo  Red Bull TAG  
  united_kingdom Jolyon Palmer  Renault Renault  
  france Romain Grosjean  Haas Ferrari  
  spain Fernando Alonso  McLaren Honda  
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