Bottas Finally Gets His First Formula 1 Win at the 2017 Russian Grand Prix
It may have taken 81 Grand Prix races (and only four behind the wheel of a Mercedes), but Valtteri Bottas has finally achieved the next major milestone in his Formula 1 career: standing on the top step of the podium and taking home the winning trophy.
Unfortunately, that was just about the sole highlight to what could only be called a dreadful bore of a race. It was the fourth race in the history of the sport to feature no on-track overtakes of any kind after the first lap, which should strongly suggest to the FIA that it may want to revisit its decision not to alter the DRS system.
Still, there was some excitement in the closing stages of the Grand Prix to keep viewers awake. After Bottas leapfrogged both Ferraris at the start, it seemed for a time that the Scuderia wasn’t sure what to do—or worse, that it would once again massively mess up the strategy in the way it had been prone to do in 2016.
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But Ferrari was on top of its games, giving Vettel the opportunity to close down on Bottas in the last 10 laps of the race with much fresher tires. As the checkered flag loomed, so did Vettel in the Finn’s rearview mirrors, but lapped traffic on the final lap got in the way of the four-time World Champion and spoiled any chance at overtaking—though he later admitted it likely never would have come.
And that there was about the extent of the on-track racing that took place at the 2017 Russian Grand Prix, which was a shame as yesterday’s heated qualifying battle had seemed to hint at a more thrilling race. Let’s hope the Spanish Grand Prix delivers a little more, or much more as it did last year.
Kurt Verlin was born in France and lives in the United States. Throughout his life he was always told French was the language of romance, but it was English he fell in love with. He likes cats, music, cars, 30 Rock, Formula 1, and pretending to be a race car driver in simulators; but most of all, he just likes to write about it all. See more articles by Kurt.