Bottas became Finland's fifth F1 winner in Sochi

Bottas claims maiden F1 win in Russia after Vettel battle

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Valtteri Bottas kept his cool in the closing laps to fend off Sebastian Vettel and claim his first Formula 1 win at the Russian Grand Prix.

Starting third on the grid, the Finn was able to take the lead into Turn 2 on the opening lap before matching the Ferrari blow for blow and just holding on to take the checkered flag by six-tenths of a second.

Kimi Raikkonen had a solid race in third in the second Prancing Horse, while Lewis Hamilton endured a problematic race with overheating issues and a general lack of pace, having to settle for fourth in his Mercedes.

After claiming their first front row since France 2008, Ferrari would not be able to retain their positions at the start, as the fast-starting Bottas made an excellent launch and utilising Mercedes' top speed advantage to slipstream into the lead on the run to the first braking zone. Lewis Hamilton held off the two Red Bulls and Felipe Massa to maintain fourth.

Vettel and Raikkonen would come close to contact at Turn 2 but escaped unscathed with Hamilton maintaining position ahead of the two Red Bulls and Felipe Massa's Williams.

Towards the back, Jolyon Palmer and Romain Grosjean made contact, with the Renault sliding into the side of the Haas pitching him into the wall and causing a Safety Car.

At the restart, Bottas got the jump on Vettel and would slowly pull out a five-second gap to the German as the race stabilised. It also soon became apparent Hamilton was struggling as Raikkonen consolidated third.

Behind, Max Verstappen led Massa, while the Dutchman's team-mate Daniel Ricciardo would be forced to retire within two laps as the left-rear brake caught fire on his Red Bull.

There would be little action as the field spread out, but strategy would become key as, during the pit-stop phase, Vettel decided to stay out seven laps longer than those around him and with fresher rubber, as well as a pace advantage for Ferrari on the super-soft tyre, the German began to close in on Bottas out in front.

The four-time world champion was unable to stay close enough through the twisty final sector, however, to get DRS on the main straight and that, plus a delay behind Massa on the final lap, would see Bottas to the finish line.

Behind the top four, Verstappen, who had a water leak prior the race, would finish a lonely fifth ahead of the two Force Indias of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon, as a puncture caused Massa to drop to eighth. Nico Hulkenberg was ninth for Renault as Kevin Magnussen completed the top 10.

Down the order, Stoffel Vandoorne gave McLaren their first finish of the year but problems would continue for team-mate Fernando Alonso, who didn't even make the start due to an ERS problem on the formation lap.

Despite missing the win, it was a good day for Vettel in the championship standings, extending his lead over Hamilton to 13 points, with Bottas establishing himself in third albeit 23 adrift.

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