The Finn claimed first victory after 81 races in F1

"Proud" Wolff hails Bottas after first F1 win

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Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has revealed his pride in seeing Valtteri Bottas claim his first win in Formula 1 at the Russian Grand Prix.

The two men have a long relationship, with the Austrian previously a part of the Finn's management team when he was at Williams, though he would step aside from that role following his arrival at the current Constructors' world champions at the start of this year. 

Therefore, knowing the promise and potential Bottas has shown during his F1 career, few were more delighted after he held off Sebastian Vettel to take the checkered flag in Sochi

“I'm very proud,” Wolff told Sky Sports. “At the end, there was a lot of pressure with a four-time world champion behind him, and bar one braking there was no mistake in the final laps.

“I'm very happy about the result and we're going to celebrate, that's for sure because it's his first victory.”

Toto also praised the determination of the entire Mercedes team to come back and beat Ferrari, despite the Italian team being faster for much of the weekend. 

“I'm standing here and taking the credit but I'm taking it for all the guys back at home and here that have sorted out the problem we had on Friday,” he claimed.

“We weren't particularly strong on the long runs, we weren't fast enough on a single lap, and we bounced back on Sunday when it mattered. If I were Niki [Lauda] I would take my hat off to them.

“But in the joy of Valtteri's first win, the result was also a reminder that we still have work to do,” he added.

In contrast, Bottas' team-mate Lewis Hamilton had his worst weekend of the season so far, as problems with overheating and a lack of pace meant the Briton trailed in fourth. 

“Lewis had to manage temperatures from very early on, which meant he couldn't unlock the potential of the undercut around the stops,” Wolff explained.

“After that, it was a question of managing the race and collecting the points. But it's clear we didn't give him the car to do the job this weekend and it is a priority for us to sort this out before Barcelona.

“We hoped for strategy, for a Safety Car, which would have been the only lucky punch to get back to P3, because Kimi's pace was just mind-blowingly fast.

“Once the balance on the car is not 100 per cent right and you're not able to get the tyres in the window, you lack pace and that happened today.”