FORMULA 1

CLARK IS WRONG AND NASIR IS RIGHT! BOTTAS TAKES HIS FIRST FORMULA 1 VICTORY FENDING OFF VETTEL, LCH MANAGES FOURTH.

Bottas crossed the line just 0.617 seconds ahead of Vettel’s Ferrari with Kimi Raikkonen taking his first podium of the season with third.

Bottas made a blistering start from third on the grid, benefiting from a slow-starting Raikkonen and then passing Vettel on the run to Turn 2 to take the lead.

The race was then neutralised shortly after when the safety car was deployed following a collision between Romain Grosjean and Jolyon Palmer at Turn 2.

At the restart, Bottas put the hammer down and gradually went about building up a lead over Vettel that grew to just over four seconds.

Bottas caught traffic ahead of the pitstops, allowing Vettel to cut the deficit to 2.5s before Mercedes called Bottas in at the end of lap 27 of 52 to swap ultra-softs for super-softs.

Vettel stayed out for an extra seven laps, with his pace remaining competitive, and rejoined just over four seconds adrift of Bottas following his stop for the super-softs.

Championship leader Vettel slowly chipped away at that deficit, getting the gap down to just under a second at one stage to set up a grandstand finish.

But Bottas, who asked for “less talking” on the team radio in the closing laps, kept his composure to fend off Vettel and take his first victory in his 81st F1 start.

Hamilton had a frustrating afternoon, making a good start initially but struggling in the second phase of acceleration as he stayed in fourth.