Valtteri Bottas took his maiden Formula One victory today after jumping the two Ferraris off the start, then edging out Sebastian Vettel in a nailbiting, race-long battle.
Today’s result marks the 400th podium finish for Mercedes-Benz Power in Formula One. Some achievement.
Kimi Raikkonen finished third (on the podium for the first time this season) in a Russian Grand Prix that was settled in two moments: the start and the final lap. Vettel extends his lead in the Drivers’ classification over Lewis Hamilton (who finished fourth) to 13 points. Hamilton struggled with overheating throughout the race.
Valtteri Bottas: “It’s going to take a while to sink in. Normally I’m not that emotional but hearing the Finnish national anthem was very special for me. It’s all a bit surreal, the first win and hopefully the first of many. It was definitely one of my best races ever.
“The pressure from Sebastian wasn’t too bad. The main issue was with the lapped cars, trying to get past those. It was tricky to pass them without losing time. I also had a lockup with about 15 laps to go that hurt the pace, but it was manageable. I asked for a bit of radio silence just to get on it and focus.
“I’m sure this victory will give me lots of confidence going forward. I knew I could do these results, I always trusted my ability, but this result confirms it.”
Good man. It’s no secret that Finns enjoy a good drink from time to time. Now, is one of those occasions. Many congratulations Mr Bottas, you jolly well deserve it!