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Formula One: Bottas claims maiden win for Mercedes ahead of Vettel

08 May 2017

Finland's Valtteri Bottas claimed his maiden Formula One victory at the Russian Grand Prix on Sunday with a brilliant start which catapulted him ahead of both Ferraris.

However, despite the bullish talk from Bottas, team boss Toto Wolff remains confident the two drivers, whom he has described as having no baggage with each other, will remain friendly.

The signs were there in qualifying, while Bottas able to claim third on the grid just 0.095s shy of Vettel's best, the latest in a series of mistakes saw the Briton finish fourth quickest, 0.573s adrift of the German.

"It's not important", Hamilton said of the championship situation.

"Ferrari has a good auto".

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Starting from P3, the Finn overtook the Ferrari duo of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen on the first corner to sail into an early lead that never looked under threat until 10 laps from the end. "And now it's done, I just want to do it again and again".

Four cars failed to even make it lap seven.

There can be no doubt now that the sport's oldest and most successful team are back with a vengeance.

Vettel now has 86 points after the opening four races with triple champion Hamilton, a victor in China, second on 73 and Bottas third with 63.

Australian Red Bull Racing driver Daniel Ricciardo was forced to retire from the Russian Formula One Grand Prix on the fifth lap, after noticing an apparent mechanical problem with one of his brakes.

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"Amazing." Said Bottas. "It took quite a while, more than eighty races for me, but definitely worth the wait, a learning curve".

"There's lots of rumors around".

"I always knew I could get good results if everything goes right and I always trust in my ability", said Bottas. "But the sooner, the more exciting it will be for us". "Lewis was one of the first ones to congratulate Valtteri on his first race victory and that shows the respect that they have towards one another".

"Everybody will come with upgrades for Barcelona", Mercedes' non-executive chairman Niki Lauda told reporters. That was really painful for us today, but I'm so happy with my race, so happy with my pace.

Red Bull is working on a radical overhaul of its RB13 to help bring much needed downforce, having initially focused on producing a low-drag auto only to trail the top two teams in the opening races.

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