First Formula 1 win 'surreal' for Valtteri Bottas

Three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton sadly fell in the fourth place, failing to overtake the veteran and 2007 champion Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari. "I thought there would be an opportunity on the back straight", said Vettel, victor of two of the first three races for his resurgent Italian team.

Bottas is fighting for his career with the German-owned outfit as he only signed to a one-year contract - with it being up to Mercedes to sign him for 2018.

Bottas, who made his F1 debut with Williams in 2013 and spent four seasons racing for the team, says that the long wait to become a victor after his "strange" deal to move to Mercedes following Nico Rosberg's retirement was worth it. 'I had cars outside me. "I'm out of the race now", he replied.

The strongest showings of the day were Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel with 1.33.194 and his team mate Kimi Raikkonen delivering a 1:33.253. He finished 25.3 seconds behind the Finn.

Bottas went for the pit-stop on Lap 28 giving the lead to Vettel, who lingered on the track a while longer going for his pit-stop about ten laps later.




"I've never seen anyone like him, under this pressure, win his first grand prix". Both Force India's of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon took sixth and seventh, respectively, while Hulkenberg finished eighth in his Renault, changing his tires very late in the race.

The result left Hamilton 13 points behind title rival Vettel in the championship. Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived midway through the race before taking his seat in an awkward sandwich between Bernie Ecclestone and Chase Carey, the American who deposed him as the sport's chairman. Bottas concedes that the first win has take a while, but he is now looking forward to more as he has learnt the trick.

Lewis Hamilton has said he is at a loss to explain why he was so far off the pace at the Russian Grand Prix. "Thanks so much to the team and the factory".

"I thought there would be an opportunity on the back straight. Lewis was one of the first ones to congratulate Valtteri on his first race victory". The gap dropped even further in the closing slaps as Vettel started putting in some blistering lap times. I defended the inside, but by the time we approached the braking zone he was in front and shut the door. "That is where he won the race".

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