Valtteri Bottas held off four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel to win the Russian Grand Prix in a thrilling end to an otherwise lacklustre race.
“It took quite a while, more than 80 races but it was worth the wait, worth the learning curve,” said Bottas. “This strange opportunity came to me during the winter to join [Mercedes] and I really want to thank them. Without them this would not have been possible.”
Bottas was supreme off the line, and on the clean side of the grid, and squeezed past the two Ferraris to fulfil the promise of his pole position last race in Bahrain.
Vettel finished in P2 but extended his lead over Lewis Hamilton in the championship with teammate Kimi Raikkonen behind and the top three a long way ahead of the Brit. After failing to make any positions at the start, Hamilton spent the race managing temperatures and largely having a race to forget.
Max Verstappen had a lonely race finishing P5 in a lonely race, losing his only companion on the track Daniel Ricciardo in the early phase of the race when his brakes cooked themselves.
Kimi Raikkonen claimed the fastest lap, the constructors' championship has closed up to just 1 point between Mercedes and Ferrari, but Valtteri Bottas' maiden victory will be on the tip of everyone's tongue from now until the next race in Barcelona.