SOCHI, April 30. /TASS/. Team Mercedes has a firm grip on the annual Formula One Grand Prix in Russia’s Sochi winning it for the fourth time in a row since the inaugural race in 2014.
This year’s winner of the Russian F1 GP is Valtteri Bottas, who joined Mercedes this season coming from Williams. Two Ferrari drivers, Sebastian Vetel and Kimi Raikkonen, finished the race in the second and third places respectively.
Bottas’ teammate from Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton, finished in the fourth place.
Russia’s Daniil Kvyat from Scuderia Toro Rosso completed his home Grand Prix in the 12th place.
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.
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 almost a four-second advantage over his closest rival Sebastian Vettel.
Bottas went for the pit-stop on Lap 28 giving the lead to Vettel, who lingered on the track a while longer going for his pit-stop about ten laps later. It did not help him, however, as he emerged behind Bottas after the change of tyres.
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 Rosberg 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.