F1 Russian GP: Wolff: Bottas, Hamilton relationship won't go like Rosberg

Posted May 09, 2017

With Bottas replacing 2016 world champion Rosberg, the Finn made his mark with his first victory in Russian Federation and Wolff believes there can be a less controversial fight between the current Mercedes drivers this year.

The Mercedes driver crossed the line just 0.617 seconds ahead of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, with Kimi Raikkonen taking his first podium of the season with third place.

Raikkonen finished third while Red Bull's Max Verstappen completed the top five.

With an opening lap crash between Renault's Jolyon Palmer and Haas driver Romain Grosjean bringing out the safety vehicle, Ricciardo had just started racing again on lap five when he called to the Red Bull garage to say his right rear brake was on fire.

Soon after, he was instructed by his team to drive slowly to the pits, where he was withdrawn from the race.

Speaking after the Russian Grand Prix, where Ferrari and Mercedes were again in a league of their own, Vettel said that the traditional arrival of updates for the start of the European season will hopefully lead to a different situation.

Although Hamilton made a good start to challenge Kimi Raikkonen on the run down to Turn 2, he lost momentum as he got boxed in behind Sebastian Vettel under braking.

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But its proud boast of also leading every lap around the Olympic Park circuit disappeared when Vettel briefly led following Bottas's first pitstop. He returned in second, behind the leader and, with a 4.7-second deficit, attempted to cut into the gap with fresher tyres.

Despite the huge pressure in the closing stages Bottas held firm to become F1's 107th race victor, something Lauda believes deserves enormous credit.

Lance Stroll did manage to see the chequered flag, however, finishing in 11th place just outside the points.

"I'm happy for Valtteri" he said.

Vettel added: "I tried everything to catch Valtteri and I thought there may be an opportunity, but it doesn't matter".

"It doesn't matter, this is the man of the race, big congrats to Valtteri, it's his day".

"Lewis was one of the first to congratulate Valtteri on his first race victory and that shows the respect they have towards each other". This unusual opportunity came to me in the winter to join this team and they made it possible today'. We just need to sort out the interaction between the auto, the driver and tyres.