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Mercedes driver Bottas in strong lead halfway of 2017 Russian F1 GP in Sochi

April 30, 2017, 16:03 UTC+3 SOCHI

Valtteri Bottas boosted s enjoying almost a four-second advantage over his closest rival Sebastian Vettel

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SOCHI, April 30. /TASS, Yevgeny Ionov/. Team Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas took a strong lead at the Russia F1 GP in Sochi on Sunday as he boosted off from the third place of the starting grid passing two Ferraris on the front line and with half of the race completed he is enjoying almost a four-second advantage over his closest rival Sebastian Vettel.

The start of the race was delayed for another warm-up lap after McLaren's Fernando Alonso reported on the team radio problems with his car, which he left idling in the last turn of the circuit before the starting grid.

As the race restarted following two rounds of warm-ups the second turn after starting grid saw Team Haas’ Romain Grosjean and Renault’s Jolyon Palmer colliding with each other and eventually leaving the competition.

On Lap 5, Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo stopped the car reporting a failure in the rear brakes.

Beginning with Russia’s first-ever F1 race in October 2014 the trophies of Sochi went to Team Mercedes’ drivers only.

The inaugural race in 2014 was grabbed by Lewis Hamilton, who held the grip on the Russian title next year showing again the best result in winning the Russian GP.

His teammate Nico Roseberg broke the spell of victorious Lewis, winning the race last year and eventually getting the world champion's title.

This year Russia holds its fourth FIA Formula One racing Grand Prix in Sochi from April 28 to April 30.

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