Valtteri Bottas edges Sebastian Vettel to claim maiden F1 win

The Briton struggled throughout, qualifying half a second down on team mate Valtteri Bottas and coming home a distant fourth, 36s down on the Finn - the first time in nine races that the two-time world champion hasn't finished on the podium.

So far success has alternated between the two teams, with Vettel winning the opener in Australia, Hamilton in China, Vettel again in Bahrain and Valtteri Bottas taking his career first success in Russian Federation for the team he joined in January.

"I can't remember having as hard a weekend", Hamilton told reporters following his fourth-place finish. And that's where he stayed.

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The 35-year-old is flying straight to America after the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday to start practice for the Indy 500 on Monday. I believe that on other weekends we have had trouble-free Fridays and Saturdays only to not finish the race on Sunday.

Massa was sixth for much of the race but had to make a second stop on lap 41 due to a slow puncture. But he couldn't do enough.

Perez chalked up his 14th successive points finish as Force India closed the gap on Red Bull to 26 points and consolidated fourth place. However, a brilliant overtaking move saw Bottas jump into the lead on the first lap. 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.

Kimi Raikkonen took the final podium place with Lewis Hamilton able to claim only fourth, struggling with the temperature and performance of his vehicle in Sochi.

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Vettel brought the gap down to three seconds as Bottas negotiated traffic in the next eight laps before the Mercedes driver made his pit stop on lap 27, and Ferrari chose to use a different strategy to put Vettel back in the fight. The Mercedes drivers ended up in third and fourth, respectively, with a lap time of 1:33.289 for Bottas and 1.33:767 for Hamilton.

I can fight for the title - Bottas Twenty years ago Finland's most successful F1 driver Mika Hakkinen won his first race for McLaren in Spain. "It's not important", Hamilton said of the championship situation. It was a odd opportunity for me to join this team and they (Mercedes) made it possible, so I would like to thank them and the team, it would have not been possible. "This is the man of the race today, big congrats to Valtteri".

Verstappen won for Red Bull in Spain a year ago, his first career victory, after Hamilton and now-retired team mate Nico Rosberg collided on the first lap and nobody is taking anything for granted now.

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