Bottas beats Vettel in Russian GP for 1st F1 win

Lewis Hamilton was left puzzling a "very odd weekend" after struggling to fourth place in Sunday's Russian Grand Prix while Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas celebrated his first Formula One victory. "Pole position [in Bahrain] and one win in four races is not a bad performance for us".

In other F1 news, it's been confirmed that Sauber will switch from Ferrari to Honda for supply of its power units starting from the 2018 season.

Bottas' win, however, may make life awkward for Mercedes and Hamilton if Ferrari shows favour for Vettel, who has 86 points, with Kimi Raikkonen on 49.

"It's going to be extremely close", said Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff.

"Ferrari has a good vehicle".

"We need to keep pushing, keep finishing with both cars one and two".

"It took quite a while to win - more than 80 races for me - but it was definitely worth the wait and worth the learning curve".

"It was a tough race again today with Ferrari, but we managed to stay in front".

There can be no doubt now that the sport's oldest and most successful team are back with a vengeance. Though it was Bottas who was the dominant Mercedes driver in Sochi, at this stage it will be still Hamilton, the triple world champion, who Vettel sees as his main title rival, so out-scoring him is still a major positive.

Perez chalked up his 14th successive points finish as Force India closed the gap on Red Bull to 26 points and consolidated fourth place.

Sad to say, it appears that Sochi 2017 can be added to the list, the Briton suffering a hard weekend that while leaving him 13 points adrift of his championship rival Sebastian Vettel, also witnessed Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas' first win, leaving the Finn just 10 points adrift of the three-time world champion and stifling media calls for team orders.

"There's lots of rumors around". If you look previous year it's all about starts, and if you lose a place in those, it's going to be a boring race.

Niki Lauda, the Mercedes non-executive chairman, said: "The season will start anew and then who has the better upgrades, and makes the quicker auto, we don't know yet".

The Finn conceded afterwards that his biggest concern was from the lapped cars and not from the pace of the chasing Ferrari. He was seen struggling with his auto throughout the race.