Bottas celebrates with his Mercedes team post-race

First F1 win "worth the wait" claims Bottas

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Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas claimed it was "worth the wait" to take his first victory in Formula 1 at the Russian Grand Prix.

The Finn, who replaced retired world champion Nico Rosberg at the start of the year, took the lead at the start before holding off Sebastian Vettel after the pit stop phase to take a remarkable win in just his fourth race with the Brackley-based outfit. 

Summing up his emotions on the podium, the 27-year-old was clearly reflective after finally standing on the top step in his fifth season in the sport. 

"Amazing, it took quite a while, more than 80 races for me, but definitely worth the wait and worth the learning curve," Bottas said. 

"This strange opportunity came to me in the winter to join this team, and they made it possible today, so really want to thank the team. Without them it wouldn't be possible. It feels amazing. 

"We've had a tricky beginning of the year. The fight with Ferrari, again today, was very close. We managed to be on top, but we have to keep pushing. We have to keep finishing with both cars all the time one and two. Just very, very happy now." 

The win was also the perfect response following the difficult race in Bahrain and brings him back into the championship picture, only 23 points behind the leader Vettel.

"For me that's the only goal in my career [to win the championship],” Bottas added, as he became the fifth Finnish driver to win in F1. “We'll keep pushing for that.”

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