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Bottas edges Vettel; wins maiden Grand Prix

14 Mai 2017

Vettel's pole in Sochi was Ferrari's first since 2015 and the front row lockout the first grid since 2008 with both red cars at the front.

"I can't explain it right now, but we will do some work over this week to fully understand it", Hamilton said.

So far Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen have been unable to properly challenge Ferrari and Mercedes for leading positions in 2017, with Verstappen's third place in China Red Bull's only podium of the year.

The Finn took the initiative early in the race and overtook Vettel and Raikkonen before the second corner and maintained the lead throughout the race even after the former applied late pressure. Hamilton, who also bemoaned an overheating engine in a number of fractious radio messages with his Mercedes team, limped home a bruising 36 seconds behind Bottas.

"Lewis is a professional and the other one, too, so I don't see any problems because Valtteri won this race".

"But now it's done, I just want to do it again and again". Still, I had a good start but we had a strong head wind all day and Bottas could get a massive tow, so there was nothing I could do. Hamilton struggled with an overheating vehicle and finished off the podium for the first time since Malaysia last October.

Bottas beat the two Ferraris to victory in Sochi after holding off Raikkonen's teammate Sebastian Vettel in the closing stages of the race.

A crash further back in the field between Romain Grosjean in the Haas and Renault's Jolyon Palmer brought the safety vehicle onto the track shortly after Bottas had taken the lead. Lewis was one of the first ones to congratulate Valtteri on his first race victory and I think that shows the respect that they have towards each other.

"I can't remember having as hard a weekend", Hamilton told reporters following his fourth-place finish. "If and when it comes to the championship fight there might be less talking and more fighting on track". "He controlled the race perfectly: a great start, then a ideal restart after the Safety Car and a fantastic first stint where he built the gap on the Ultrasoft".

"To win the first grand always the most hard one", the retired triple champion and non-executive chairman of Bottas's Mercedes team, told reporters.

Much depended on the start in a race that was going to feature just a single pit stop for the frontrunners, and Bottas made a flier.

Bottas edges Vettel; wins maiden Grand Prix