The Sochi Autodrom isn’t particularly well known for exciting racing, but this year’s Russian Grand Prix wasn’t actually that bad.
Sure, there weren’t many passes (if any), but instead there were lots of intense, exciting fights and on-track scraps to keep track of, alongside some dramatic moments.
Valtteri Bottas clinched his first F1 win after holding off Sebastian Vettel in a tense final few laps. Let’s take a look at the highlights from this year’s F1 race in Sochi:
Fernando Alonso’s race was over before it had even started. He suffered an ERS-related issue on the formation lap, being told to “please do a rolling power cycle”.
It clearly didn’t work, as he stopped just before the pitlane entry and retired. The race had to have another formation lap while his car was cleared, cutting the race distance from 53 to 52 laps.
Formula 1 Bottas on Mercedes taking the fight to Sebastian on Ferrari on first lap, Kimi runs third pic.twitter.com/Zy6UBol52N
— WesZ28🐸 (@wcooper8) April 30, 2017
Bottas started third on the grid but a storming start from the Mercedes driver saw him snatch the lead from Vettel on the long run down to Turn 2, with Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton slotting in behind.
De klapperrr tussen Grosjean & Palmer #RussianGP pic.twitter.com/rYb6W65Nnz
— Autobahn (@AutobahnEU) April 30, 2017
The race didn’t last long for Jolyon Palmer and Romain Grosjean after they clashed at Turn 2. Palmer had a Sauber on the outside and moved across, with Grosjean on the inside.
Wheel-to-wheel contact pitched Palmer into a spin and he then clouted into RoGro’s Haas, causing an early safety car.
It all kicked off on lap one, just a few corners after Palmer and Grosjean’s shunt, Lance Stroll went for a spin and he fell to 15th.
🔎The reason RIC was forced to retire after lap five 🔥😮#RussianGP 🇷🇺 pic.twitter.com/5Dadf7HKQa
— Formula 1 (@F1) April 30, 2017
OK, so this wasn’t a ‘best’ moment but it was pretty significant, and also really frustrating. Daniel Ricciardo’s bad luck continued with brake problems, after suffering a fire at the right-rear.
What happened to Red Bull challenging this year?
The TV cameras zooming in on Alonso watching the race from the sidelines properly summed up McLaren’s season so far. Post your best memes below…
Raikkonen was told after the pitstops he was behind Bottas, “how did that happen? Why didn’t we box earlier?” was his response…
“He was leading the race, Kimi” was Ferrari’s reply. The Iceman thought the Mercedes drivers were “the other way round”. Classic Raikkonen.
The best part of the Russian GP was undoubtedly the tense final laps, with Vettel closing on Bottas. We didn’t need loads of overtaking, the chase was just as exciting!
A small mistake into Turn 13 brought Vettel into contention, the gap went up and down but the Ferrari kept getting closer but he just missed out.
Bottas crossed the line six tenths ahead of Vettel, keeping his head to claim his maiden F1 victory – a special result and a moment he’ll remember forever. Raikkonen was third, ahead of a distant Hamilton and Max Verstappen’s Red Bull.
Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff was so excited by the result, he forgot how to high five properly. We’re not even sure what elderly F1 fan Niki Lauda is doing.
PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION: A race that @ValtteriBottas will never forget 🇫🇮🏆 #RussianGP pic.twitter.com/oPVWVbQP6Y
— Formula 1 (@F1) April 30, 2017
What did you think to the Russian Grand Prix? Let us know in the comments.