Bottas wins first ever F1 race

Bottas wins first ever F1 race

SOCHI, Russia (AP) - Valtteri Bottas fended off hard-charging Sebastian Vettel and outshone Lewis Hamilton to claim his first Formula One win on Sunday in the Russian Grand Prix.

This year's victor of the Russian F1 GP is Valtteri Bottas, who joined Mercedes this season coming from Williams.

Mercedes have won 53 of the last 63 Formula One races, since the start of the V6 turbo hybrid era, but the team could still revel in the new arrival experiencing what will surely be the first of many victories.

Vettel remains the leader in the 2017 F1 Driver Standings after the Russian GP with 86 points.

Sebastian Vettel says Felipe Massa did Valtteri Bottas "a favour twice" on the final lap of the Finn's Russian Grand Prix win.

Bottas was the first of the leading pack to pit on lap 27 and Vettel tried to pull clear by staying out to lap 34.

Lewis Hamilton shrugged off a disappointing Russian Grand Prix qualifying on Saturday, with Ferrari sweeping the front row for the first time in almost nine years, as "just one of those weekends".

Hamilton and Rosberg's relationship became increasingly strained as Mercedes teammates, with the pair colliding on a number of occasions as the only realistic championship contenders for three consecutive seasons.

After an aborted start, with Fernando Alonso's McLaren breaking down on the formation lap, Bottas seized the lead from third on the grid.

Hamilton also seemed to have the jump on Raikkonen, briefly edging ahead in the long dash to the first corner, but was squeezed out. It was a unusual opportunity for me to join this team and they (Mercedes) made it possible, so I would like to thank them and the team, it would have not been possible.

Vettel was the overwhelming favourite to claim his third win from the opening four races after securing his first pole position in almost two years, and with Raikkonen alongside him, Ferrari's first front-row lockout since France in 2008. However, further back, Haas driver Romain Grosjean's auto made contact with the Renault of Jolyon Palmer, ending the race for both.

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland steers his auto during the Formula One Russian Grand Prix at the "Sochi Autodrom" circuit, in Sochi, Russia, Sunday, April. Hamilton said his Mercedes team will try and figure out what went wrong this week, and he will need a quick fix with the next round in Spain taking place a week on Sunday.

"I think we tried everything, but obviously we lost the race at the start, which was a bit of a shame".

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