“Get that German heap out of my way,” or words to that effect, seem to express the sentiments of Sebastian Vettel and F1 Team Ferrari as they have knocked Mercedes from the pole for the upcoming Russian Grand Prix.
Vettel’s driving prowess ended a run of 18 consecutive poles, dating back to last season, by the speedy cars of Team Mercedes.
If someone other than Mercedes at the front of the grid was not surprising enough, Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen was second, by the excruciating margin of 0.059 seconds, still good enough for a spot in the front row.
Unfortunately for Vettel, however, starting at the front does not necessarily mean ending at the front, and during the actual race in Sochi, Mercedes was first over the line for the chequered flag as Valtteri Bottas successfully held off a late charge by Vettel that gave Bottas a winning margin of 0.6 seconds.
Vettel got close at the end when Bottas locked his brakes in Turn 11 of lap 38, leaving him with a flat spot on his tyres that must have made his Ferrari feel like our poorly maintained 2003 Volvo.
It was the maiden F1 win for Bottas, coming on his 81st attempt.
Perth native Daniel Ricciardo did not have a productive outing, finishing in 17th position out of the 20-car field.