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Russian F1 Grand Prix 2017 Results: Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas Wins His 1st Race

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistApril 30, 2017

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland takes a curve followed by Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany during the Formula One Russian Grand Prix at the 'Sochi Autodrom' circuit, in Sochi, Russia, Sunday, April. 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Sergei Grits/Associated Press

Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas won his first race in Formula One at the 2017 Russian Grand Prix on Sunday, ahead of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.

The Finn enjoyed an electric start as he took the lead at Turn 2 on the first lap from third position on the grid, which he held throughout the race despite a tense finish as Vettel closed in.

Vettel's team-mate Kimi Raikkonen wrapped up the podium places, while Lewis Hamilton could only manage a disappointing fourth amid a difficult afternoon in which he suffered problems with his car and failed to trouble those ahead of him.

A delighted Bottas revelled in his maiden win:

Formula 1 @F1

A first ever win in #F1 ๐Ÿ‘ ๐Ÿ“ป BOT: "**** me. Quite a while eh?!? 81 races. But worth the wait!" #RussianGP ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ https://t.co/Fw4xTQ2jSv

Here are the results, via F1's official Twitter feed:

Formula 1 @F1

PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION: A race that @ValtteriBottas will never forget ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ† #RussianGP https://t.co/oPVWVbQP6Y

Here are the standings:

Updated Standings
POSDRIVERNATIONALITYCARPTS
1Sebastian VettelGERFerrari86
2Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes73
3Valtteri BottasFINMercedes63
4Kimi RaikkonenFINFerrari49
5Max VerstappenNEDRed Bull Racing Tag Heuer35
6Daniel RicciardoAUSRed Bull Racing Tag Heuer22
7Sergio PerezMEXForce India Mercedes22
8Felipe MassaBRAWilliams Mercedes18
9Carlos SainzESPToro Rosso11
10Esteban OconFRAForce India Mercedes9
Formula1.com

Recap

There were some early casualties in the race as McLaren's Fernando Alonso failed to startโ€”his first DNS in 12 yearsโ€”while Romain Grosjean of Haas and Renault's Jolyon Palmer were forced to retire quickly amid a good start for Bottas:

Formula 1 @F1

LAP 1/52: YELLOW FLAG GRO and PAL collide at Turn 2 and both are OUT ๐Ÿ’ฅ Meanwhile BOT has moved ahead of VET and RAI into P1 RussianGP ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ https://t.co/96RAQSCJGq

Daniel Ricciardo soon followed the trio out of the race with his right-rear brake on fire.

At the head of the contest, Bottas was pulling away from Vettel early on, per Mercedes' official Twitter account:

Mercedes-AMG F1 @MercedesAMGF1

LAP 10: #VB77 3.1s clear of the chasing VET. Incredible job by the Finn so far ๐Ÿ’ช He had his weetabix this morning! #RussianGP #F1

That lead would grow to more than five seconds, with the German producing his fastest lap of the race at the 17th only for Bottas to do the same immediately after.

However, his team-mate Hamilton was having less success as he struggled for power with an overheating carโ€”an issue that would affect him for much of the race.

Poor pit stops for the Englishman and Raikkonen would lose them further ground on the leaders.ย Hamilton in particular slipped even further back:

Formula 1 @F1

LAP 36/52 1 BOT (1 stop) ๐Ÿ“ธ 2 VET +4.6 (1 stop) 3 RAI +7.6 (1 stop) 4 HAM +22.4 (1 stop) 5 VER +43.9 (1 stop) #RussianGP ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ https://t.co/Imqm925m8d

Vettel was able to reel in Bottas over the final 15 laps or so, with a lock up at Turn 13 on Lap 39 allowing him to close the gap back to three seconds, and that was down to just 1.4 three laps later when the pair had to get past Williams' Lance Stroll.

The German continued to pile on the pressure as the race wore on:

Formula 1 @F1

LAP 46/52: When you're chasing your first ever #F1 win and a four-time world champion is in your mirrors... and closing #RussianGP ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ https://t.co/GcakP71GtG

After helping Vettel close in, traffic come to Bottas' aidย would in the endโ€”the Finn passed Felipe Massa on the final lap while Vettel was held up, allowing Bottas some breathing room as he took the chequered flag.

Even Force India and Williams were among those congratulating him on social media:

Sahara Force India @ForceIndiaF1

Congratulations to @ValtteriBottas and welcome to the F1 race winners club! We're sure @MercedesAMGF1 will throw a big party for you! ๐ŸŽ‰

WILLIAMS RACING @WilliamsRacing

Huge congratulations @ValtteriBottas!! We're all delighted for you ๐Ÿ‘ ๐Ÿ† https://t.co/DSrE4KrIH6

In the standings, Vettel has managed to increase his lead over Hamilton to 13 points, while Bottas is just 10 behind his team-mate thanks to his win.

Bottas has overcome a significant hurdle in winning his first raceโ€”perhaps he can make it a three-way contest for the world title this year with even more impressive performances.

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