Valtteri Bottas happy with 'surreal' first win in 'best race ever'
Valtteri Bottas has described his first Formula 1 victory "surreal" and claims the race was "one of his best" after he grabbed the lead on the opening lap and controlled the race from the front until the chequered flag in Russia.
The Mercedes driver started the race from third, but a quick start enabled the Finn to jump both Ferrari cars before Turn 2, stretching out his lead to five seconds during the opening stint.
Bottas, via a mistake at Turn 13, came under pressure from Sebastian Vettel during the final few laps but held on to register his first victory in Formula 1.
"I felt good. It's a little bit surreal the first win and hopefully the first of many," said Bottas. "It was definitely one of my best races ever, so it's a good feeling and I am happy.
"[But] I was not happy on a few occasions and I had one lock-up with 10-15 laps to go, which hurt the pace a bit, but other than that it was OK.
"I always knew I could get good results if everything goes right and I always trust in my ability. But it's nice to get confirmation that the results are possible. It's good to continue from here."
Bottas thanked Mercedes for the "strange opportunity" to join the team after Nico Rosberg's surprise retirement left an opening at the championship winning team for 2017.
"It took quite a while, more than 80 races for me, but it's definitely worth the wait," added Bottas. "This strange opportunity came to me in the winter to join the team and they made it possible, so I want to thank them."