Bottas beats Vettel for 1st F1 win in Russian Federation

That had always been the question mark over Valtteri Bottas when it was announced he would be the man to replace retiring world champion Nico Rosberg at Mercedes-GP for the 2017 season. "I have to say that I'm not normally that emotional, but hearing the Finnish national anthem is something quite special for me, so it felt good".

"It feels a bit surreal". It was definitely one of my best races, personally, ever.

"He (Bottas) took up that risky move to be Lewis Hamilton's team mate, to take over the reigning world champion's vehicle, and I think that he has done a very good job", said team boss Toto Wolff. Alonso stopped on the formation lap, causing the start to be aborted, with a Honda power unit problem. We will keep trying and keep improving and I am sure we will get there.

Sebastian Vettel conceded the day belonged to Valtteri Bottas at the Russian Grand Prix despite his clear frustration at being held up by Felipe Massa in the closing stages.

The four-time champion got to within a second and a half of Bottas with 10 laps to go but the Finn responded and kept Vettel at arm's length for the rest of the race. I always trusted my ability but it's nice to get a confirmation that this kind of results are possible, everything is possible. "It's good to continue from here".

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Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland, center, is doused with wine by team members after winning the Formula One Russian Grand Prix at the "Sochi Autodrom" circuit, in Sochi, Russia, Sunday, April.

Valtteri Bottas waited 81 races for his first Formula One win to come along but it will get easier for the Finn after Sunday's success in Russian Federation, according to former world champion Niki Lauda.

"The unusual opportunity to join this team came in the winter and they made it possible so thanks to them". They are a strong team, they know how to build a quick auto so I expect it's a question of when rather than if.

Team Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas took a strong lead as he boosted off from the third place of the starting grid passing two Ferraris on the front line and with the half of the race completed he enjoyed nearly a four-second advantage over his closest rival Sebastian Vettel.

It was not such a great weekend for team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who finished fourth - giving Sebastian Vettel a 13 point lead in the Drivers' Championship.

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"I tried everything to catch Valtteri", Vettel said. "Maybe he gained a bit of momentum, he had a massive tow".

"That's why he won the race".

The Finn then put in a controlled drive, building a good lead in his first stint, before a lock-up after his second stop, let Vettel close up, the German stopping 7 laps later and able to pile on the pressure with fresher rubber.

Force India took advantage of misfortunate for Williams to secure a strong double points finish, with Sergio Perez leading home Esteban Ocon in sixth and seventh, respectively.

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