Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) out-qualified teammate Lewis Hamilton to start third on the grid in Sochi, lined up behind the Ferraris of pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen. Bottas split the Ferraris at the start and passed Vettel for the lead going into Turn 2.
The lead didn’t change hands for the rest of the race, but Vettel did close to inside 1 sec during the final laps, forcing the Finn to work for his debut victory. Bottas’s win came 81 races into his career.
Vettel was openly congratulatory and chatty during post-race mingling, while fellow Finn Raikkonen lived up to his “Iceman” nickname, never even making eye contact with the race winner.
Sergio Perez (Force India-Mercedes) finished sixth to move into a tie for sixth in the season driver standings. Carlos Sainz Jr. (Toro Rosso) started P14 and finished in the points at P10.
Driver standings (Top 10)
Sebastian Vettel (Germany), Ferrari – 86
Lewis Hamilton (Great Britain), Mercedes – 73
Valtteri Bottas (Finland), Mercedes – 63
Kimi Raikkonen (Finland), Ferrari – 49
Max Verstappen (Netherlands), Red Bull-Renault – 35
Daniel Ricciardo (Australia), Red Bull-Renault - 22
Sergio Perez (Mexico), Force India-Mercedes – 22
Felipe Massa (Brazil), Williams-Mercedes – 18
Carlos Sainz Jr. (Spain), Toro Rosso-Renault – 11
Esteban Ocon (France), Force India-Mercedes – 9
Ferrari (Vettel, Raikkonen) – 136
Mercedes (Hamilton, Bottas) – 135
Red Bull Racing (Verstappen, Ricciardo) – 57
Force India-Mercedes (Perez, Esteban Ocon) - 31
Williams-Mercedes (Massa, Lance Stroll) – 18
Toro Rosso-Renault (Sainz Jr., Daniil Kvyat) – 13
Haas-Ferrari (Magnussen, Romain Grosjean) – 8
Renault (Nico Hulkenberg, Jolyon Palmer) – 6
Next event: Grand Prix of Spain, Barcelona – May 12-14, 2017