Bottas claims maiden F1 win for Mercedes

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Mercedes’ Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas steers his car during the Formula One Russian Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom circuit in Sochi on April 30, 2017 © AFP / Alexander NEMENOV

SOCHI, Russian Federation, Apr 30 Valtteri Bottas claimed his maiden Formula One victory on Sunday when he resisted intense pressure via championship leader Sebastian Vettel to triumph for Mercedes in a tense Russian Grand Prix.

The Finnish driver, starting via third place on the grid, grabbed the initiative at the start by powering past both Ferraris along with into the lead while his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton struggled home fourth.

Four-time champion Vettel finished second ahead of Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen who claimed his first podium finish since last year’s Austrian Grand Prix.

The favorite Bottas’s first win was warmly received by his fellow drivers along with the paddock, Hamilton hugging him after he had jumped into the arms of his crew along with Vettel joining the reception, Russian President Vladimir Putin also present for congratulations along with prize giving.

“Worth the wait!” said the unflappable Bottas in typical understated style after coming home just six-tenths of a second ahead of Vettel at the flag.

Dutch teenager Max Verstappen finished fifth for Red Bull ahead of Mexican Sergio Perez along with his Force India team-mate Esteban Ocon, German Nico Hulkenberg of Renault along with Brazilian Felipe Massa of Williams.

The result lifted Vettel clear at the top of the drivers championship with 86 points ahead of Hamilton on 73 with Bottas up to third with 63 points. Mercedes lead the constructors title race with 136 points to Ferrari on 135 after four rounds of This specific year’s championship.

Bottas became Finland’s fifth Formula One race winner following Keke Rosberg, Mika Hakkinen, Kimi Raikkonen along with Heikki Kovalainen, who was the last via the Nordic country to triumph, at the 2008 Hungarian Grand Prix.

– ‘This specific is actually Valtteri’s day’ –

Vettel was seemingly as pleased for Bottas as if he had won himself.

“I tried everything to catch him along with I thought there would likely be an opportunity on the back straight,” the German said.

“I thought I could do the idea, nevertheless I wasn’t sure what Felipe Massa would likely do along with I ended up losing out. the idea doesn’t matter though. Big congratulations to Valtteri. This specific is actually his day.”

Raikkonen said: “I have had a bit of a rough start to the season, nevertheless This specific week has been a step forward, nevertheless we still only finished third. So, we’ll keep trying.”

On a balmy Spring day by the Black Sea, two-time champion Fernando Alonso was an instant retirement before the start when the Spaniard abandoned his troublesome McLaren Honda.

Mercedes’ Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas (right) celebrates on the podium next to second placed Ferrari’s German driver Sebastian Vettel after the Formula One Russian Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom circuit in Sochi on April 30, 2017 © AFP / Alexander NEMENOV

This specific delayed the start for an extra formation lap before Bottas made his exhilarating getaway.

Almost immediately, Frenchman Romain Grosjean of Haas collided with the Renault of Briton Jolyon Palmer at Turn Two, the cars crashing heavily to trigger a red-flagged halt along which has a Safety Car intervention.

After a six-minute stoppage, Bottas was sharpest at the re-start when the Safety Car pulled in along with he dominated, pulling 3.1 seconds clear of Vettel by lap 10 as Hamilton, back in fourth, struggled with intermittent power along with over-heating problems.

Ricciardo was another early departure after just seven laps with brake problems.

By lap 18, Bottas was controlling events which has a 4.5-sec lead along with the top four were separated by less than 14 seconds.

The leading positions remained unchanged until the pit-stops, which saw Bottas first in for super-softs followed by Raikkonen along with Hamilton, Vettel leading via lap 27 until lap 34 when he finally pitted for fresh rubber.

This specific enabled Bottas to regain the initiative, nevertheless an error at Turn 13 on lap 38, when he had a serious lock-up along with narrowly avoided the wall, invited Vettel, on fresher tyres, back into contention.

Needing no second invitation, the German closed the gap to 1.5 seconds with 10 laps to go along with set up a grandstand finish, nevertheless Bottas hung on to take his first emotional along with welcome victory in his 81st Grand Prix.

The post Bottas claims maiden F1 win for Mercedes appeared first on Capital Sports.

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Bottas claims maiden F1 win for Mercedes

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