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Flying Finn Bottas holds off late Vettel surge to claim first F1 win

Another victory for Mercedes but Lewis Hamilton struggles in Russia.

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas
Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas

VALTTERI BOTTAS HELD off Sebastian Vettel to claim his first Formula One victory at the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi.

Mercedes driver Bottas made an outstanding start from third on the grid, swooping past Ferrari duo Kimi Raikkonen and pole-sitter Vettel to lead by turn two.

The Finn had taken pole in the previous grand prix in Bahrain but was blighted by tyre pressure problems and had to settle for third.

There were no such issues this time around — despite Bottas and Hamilton having some concerns with their cars overheating — and he was largely untroubled after taking the lead.

He emerged back in front after the pit stops and, though a late lock up allowed Vettel to close the gap on Bottas and keep the race in the balance until the last lap, the championship leader never threatened a race-winning overtake.

Despite only being able to finish second, Vettel extended his lead in the drivers’ championship to 13 points over Lewis Hamilton, who finished fourth behind Raikkonen.

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