Russian GP: Valtteri Bottas wins first ever F1 race

    Race winner Valtteri Bottas celebrates on the podium of the Russian Grand Prix.

    Story highlights

    • Valtteri Bottas wins Russia GP
    • Mercedes driver pips Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari
    • Lewis Hamilton finishes fourth

    (CNN)The Sochi Autodrom has known nothing but Mercedes victories since it began hosting the Russian Grand Prix in 2014.

    After Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel won two of the opening three races of the 2017 season, there seemed a genuine chance that could change Sunday.
      But Valtteri Bottas had other ideas as he secured his first ever F1 Grand Prix win and maintained Mercedes dominance on Russia's Black Sea coast.
      The Finnish driver sped to victory after a flying start which saw him move from third on the grid to first, overtaking the Ferrari's of Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen which had been fastest in qualifying Saturday.
      "Amazing. It took quite a while, more than 80 races," Bottas said on the podium, referring to his first F1 win. "[It was] definitely worth the wait."
      Bottas has been operating firmly in the shadow of teammate Lewis Hamilton's since replacing reigning F1 champion Nico Rosberg at Mercedes in the off-season. But he was the star of the show Sunday.
      A crash further back in the field between Romain Grosjean in the Haas and Renault's Jolyon Palmer brought the safety car onto the track shortly after Bottas had taken the lead.
      And when the race restarted, Bottas quickly set about extending his advantage on the open track ahead of him.
      Although Vettel battled back to close the gap to 0.6 seconds towards the end, Bottas kept his nerve to take the checkered flag and the applause of the watching Russian President Vladimir Putin.
      Raikkonen took third in the second Mercedes while Hamilton could only finish fourth.