Mercedes pilot Valtteri Bottas has won the Russian Grand Prix ahead of German driver Sebastian Vettel, who had started in pole. The duo delivered an enthralling race after Bottas took the lead on the first lap.
In a spectacular opening lap, Mercedes pilot Valtteri Bottas got off to the perfect start to take an immediate lead. Ferrari had held the top two positions on the grid, but four-time champion Sebastian Vettel and his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen were surprised as third-placed Bottas overtook them straight away.
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Bottas held on to the lead in a dramatic end to the race. With ten laps to go, Vettel began to close the gap and with fresher tires in blistering heat, looked to set to strike.But when Bottas, lapped Felipe Massa, Vettel was slowed down trying to squeeze back past.
Ferrari took second and third as Raikkonen kept Bottas’ Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton at bay as the former champion missed out on a podium place.
Four cars failed to even make it lap seven. Williams’ Lance Stroll spun on the first lap, causing a crash that also took out Jolyon Palmer and Romain Grosjean, who came to blows over the incident. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo also had to retire with engine trouble.
And former World Champion Fernando Alonso had to pull out of the race before it had even started after his McLaren broke down on the formation lap. It meant the two-time champion has yet to finish a race in four attempts this season.