Race-winner Bottas taking the lead into Turn 2

Vettel: Start cost me Russian GP win

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Sebastian Vettel believes losing out to Valtteri Bottas at the start cost him victory at the Russian Grand Prix.

Starting from pole, the Ferrari driver would fall behind to the fast-starting Finn on the run to Turn 2, dropping into second.

A decision to stay out longer than the Mercedes before making his pit stop would allow Vettel close up in the final third of the race, but he was unable to quite get close enough to attempt a pass on Bottas, as he claimed his first Formula 1 win.

"I think our start was probably a match with Valtteri," the German said.

"Maybe he gained a bit of momentum at the beginning but he had a massive tow, I defended the inside but by the time we approached braking he was already in front and able to shut the door on me.

"So well done, and that's where he won the race, he did a superb first stint, I couldn't stay with him, he was very, very quick all race, no mistakes, so he was the man of the race."

The four-time world champion was left agitated after the race, however, as his last lap effort to catch Bottas was hampered by the 27-year-old's former Williams team-mate Felipe Massa. 

"I tried everything to catch Valtteri, maybe I thought there'd be some opportunity on the back straight," Vettel claimed.

"I was sure Felipe would lift around Turn 3, it's flat out, [I thought] he'd let me by but I think I wasn't sure what he was going to do.

"I ended up losing a bit more than I was hoping for, it doesn't matter, this is the man of the race today, big congratulations to Valtteri, his first Grand Prix win, it's his day."