Mercedes Valterri Bottas beats Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel to score his maiden F1 win. Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen rounded out the podium places in 3rd with Lewis Hamilton a distant 4th place.
Alonso fails to start
McLaren’s Fernando Alonso will not start the race after an ERS problem made him come to a halt at the pit-lane entry on the formation lap. Alonso, complained on the starting grid before the formation lap that something wasn’t right. This meant that the drivers had to take and extra formation lap for the marshals to remove the McLaren car.
Everyone will start on the Ultrasoft tyre except from Pascal Wehrlein, Marcus Ericsson and Jolyon Palmer who will start on the Supersoft tyre.
The lights go out and its a good start by Sebastian Vettel, the same can’t be said for his teammate Kimi Raikkonen, who has lost a place to Valterri Bottas. Bottas gets into Vettel’s slipstream and overtakes Vettel before turn 2. Vettel follows behind with Raikkonen keeping 3rd ahead of Lewis Hamilton. There’s contact at the back. Its Jolyon Palmer and Romain Grosjean. Grosjean went to the inside of turn 2 with Palmer caught up in the middle with a Sauber car to his right. Grosjean tapped Palmer’s car with Palmer losing control of the car and hitting Grosjean. Grosjean gets airtime before crashing into the barrier. Both are out and the Safety car is deployed.
At the end of lap 1, Marcus Ericsson and Stoffel Vandoorne pit swapping to the Ultrasoft tyre. Behind Lewis Hamilton comes Felipe Massa, Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo, Sergio Perez, Esteban Ocon and Nico Hulkenberg. The Safety Car comes in at the end of lap 3 with Valterri Bottas making a great restart. Lap 5, Ricciardo has slowed on the main straight. There is smoke coming from right-rear brake. He crawls back to the pits and into retirement. The incident at the start of the race between Palmer and Grosjean will be investigated after the race. Kevin Magnussen and Vandoorne are given 5 second time penalties for running wide at turn 1 and not rejoining the track at the right point.
Lap 13, Valterri Bottas has a 3.9 second gap to Sebastian Vettel in 2nd. Vettel has a 3.8 second gap to Kimi Raikkonen who has a 2.1 second gap to Lewis Hamilton in 4th. Lap 17, Bottas sets the fastest lap of the race with a 1:38:404. Hamilton is struggling so far this race with his tyre temperatures with a radio call to his team saying that the “temperatures are going back up.” Lap 22, Felipe Massa, Kevin Magnussen and Daniil Kvyat pit swapping to the Supersoft tyre. Magnussen takes his penalty and has ended up behind Kvyat. Lap 26, Bottas is now navigating his way through traffic with the gap to Vettel is now 2.6 seconds.
Lap 27, Valterri Bottas pits from the lead. He goes onto the Supersoft tyre and emerges out in 4th place. Lap 28, Sergio Perez pits and goes onto the Supersoft tyre as Ferrari tell Vettel to “push now.” Lap 30, Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen pit with both going onto the Supersoft tyre. Sebastian Vettel still leads ahead of Lewis Hamilton, Bottas, Raikkonen and Verstappen. Lap 31, Hamilton pits from 2nd and goes onto the Supersoft tyre. He emerges back out in 4th. Lap 34, Vettel finally pits from the lead. He goes onto the Supersoft tyre and emerges back out in 2nd. Lap 38, Bottas locks-up going into turn 13, he runs wide and the gap to Vettel is now only 2.2 seconds.
Lap 41, Nico Hulkenberg pits from 6th place. He is the last driver to make his pit-stop. He goes onto the Supersoft tyre and emerges back out in 9th place. Lap 42, Felipe Massa makes a emergency pit-stop after Williams detected a slow puncture. He back out in 9th place boosting Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon for Force India up into 6th and 7th. Lap 46, Bottas now leads by only 1.6 seconds to Vettel in 2nd. Lap 48, Hulkenberg is now catching Ocon with Massa behind catching both. Lap 49, Bottas leads by 1.2 seconds as Vettel sets the fastest lap of the race. Tense times for Bottas and Mercedes.
Lap 52, Valterri Bottas has comes up to lap Felipe Massa. He overtakes Massa before turn 2. Sebastian Vettel has to overtakes Massa soon if he wants any chance of winning his race. Vettel has to stay behind Massa throughout the long swooping turn 4. Vettel dives up the inside of Massa into turn 5 with Vettel making a “rude” gesture as he goes past. Bottas comes the final corner to win his FIRST EVER GP WIN IN F1. He becomes the 5th Finnish driver to win a race and he also becomes the 107th Formula One driver to win a race. Vettel finished a close second with Kimi Raikkonen in 3rd.
1.Bottas 2.Vettel 3.Raikkonen 4.Hamilton 5.Verstappen 6.Perez 7.Ocon 8.Hulkenberg 9.Massa 10.Sainz 11.Stroll 12.Kvyat 13.Magnussen 14.Vandoorne 15.Ericsson 16.Wehrlein DNF Ricciardo, Grosjean, Palmer DNS Alonso
- Valtteri Bottas took his maiden F1 win in Russia. The Finn is the 107th different winner in world championship history. Bottas follows in the footsteps of Keke Rosberg, Mika Hakkinen, Kimi Raikkonen and Heikki Kovalainen.
- Kimi Raikkonen meanwhile picked up his 85th career podium finish, ending a 15-race podium drought dating back to last year’s race in Austria. Raikkonen also picked up the fastest lap of the race for the 45th time in his career.
- Lance Stroll reached the chequered flag for the first time in his career.
- Sebastian Vettel 86pts
- Lewis Hamilton 73pts
- Valterri Bottas 63pts
- Kimi Raikkonen 49pts
- Max Verstappen 35pts
- Daniel Ricciardo 22pts
- Sergio Perez 22pts
- Felipe Massa 18pts
- Carlos Sainz 11pts
- Esteban Ocon 9ptrs
- Mercedes 136pts
- Ferrari 135pts
- Red Bull 57pts
- Force India 31pts
- Williams 18pts
- Torro Rosso 13pts
- Haas 8pts
- Renault 6pts
- Sauber 0pts
- McLaren 0pts