5 things we learned from the Russian Grand Prix

Russian GP Bottas staves off Vettel challenge for maiden win

Raikkonen, the 2007 world champion, has not been on the podium since July a year ago and Saturday was the first time the Finn had qualified on the front row since Ferrari's home Italian Grand Prix in September 2015.

"Right now I need to understand where the speed was this weekend, what went wrong with the set up and then come back fighting for the next race". The races you win and the times you are on the podium is the name of the game.

Mercedes appear to be locked into a season-long battle with Ferrari - with four-time world champ Sebastian Vettel winning two out of the first four races in Bahrain and Australia.

Bottas is now just 10 points adrift of Hamilton and, having started the season as an emergency stopgap, can now quite legitimately see himself in the championship mix.

And retired three-time title victor Lauda believes Bottas can now push on in search of further wins, having taken his first chequered flag in just his fourth race for Mercedes.

"From probably lap five onwards, I had to just slow down and stay in fourth (place)".

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. "So many things we have to look at to understand and try to find out how we can optimize the performance of the vehicle because we have a real fight". "This weekend was not reliability" he said.

“We have been able to be very professional so far.

For all of Hamilton's problems, his poor show must take nothing away from Bottas who registered the first victory of his career at attempt number 81. I think we're working well as a team. "I have some theories about how it felt in the race and qualifying, some ideas, but lots of work will be done to figure it out".

After the dramatic departure of Rosberg from Formula 1 less than a week after claiming the 2016 F1 world title, Wolff secured Bottas as the German's replacement at Mercedes and from the beginning was adamant there would be no inter-team tensions between his two drivers in 2017. "Lewis was one of the first to congratulate Valtteri, nevertheless they are fierce competitors and want to win races and fight for the championship". So I was going to be fourth from very early on. "That was a completely different relationship".



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