Valtteri Bottas took his first Formula 1 victory in Russia, in what was the dullest race of 2017 so far.
There was drama before the start as Fernando Alonso broke down on the formation lap, meaning he has not finished any races this season.
Bottas, from 3rd on the gird, got off to a great start and overtook both the Ferrari’s into turn 2. Hamilton got a similarly good start, but he got boxed in by Raikkonen and one of the Red Bull’s.
The safety car was then deployed on lap 1 because of an incident between Grosjean and Palmer, ending both of their races. Bottas got the restart perfect, and opened up a 2 second gap between himself and Vettel. Raikkonen was 3rd, with Hamilton in 4th.
The gaps between the top guys extended out, with Hamilton specifically reporting engine temperature problems which would severely hamper his race. Ricciardo then followed the others out of the race with a brake failure.
Bottas was the first to blink, coming in for the super-soft tyres, his 1 and only stop. What followed was a surprising amount of laps before Vettel came in for the same tyres. However, Vettel did not lose out much, as with around 17 laps to go he was 4.6 seconds behind Bottas.
Perhaps a signal that he was feeling the pressure, Bottas suffered a big lock-up and the gap came down below 2 seconds. There was not much action anywhere around the field, with Massa being forced into a pit stop due to a slow puncture the only real action to note.
With 12 laps to go, the gap at the front was just 1.8 seconds. Raikkonen and Hamilton were on there own, with Hamilton suffering from a huge lack of pace.
Despite his best efforts, it wasn’t enough for Vettel as Bottas took his maiden victory in F1, a big landmark for an excellent driver. Raikkonen rounded out the podium while there were quiet races for Hamilton, Verstappen and the Force Indias. Hulkenburg, Massa and Sainz rounded out the top 10.
- Ricciardo (DNF)
- Palmer (DNF)
- Grosjean (DNF)
- Alonso (DNS)
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