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“I’ll have to buy Massa a beer!” – Mercedes boss

After the tight battle at Sochi, Mercedes F1 team boss Toto Wolff says that – thank you very much Massa, who protecting Valtteri Bottas in the final lap – I’ll have to buy him a beer!

Bottas race launch from third and behind the two Ferraris before the lights went out and he was able to get the jump on both red cars and lead into the first corner.

After an initial safety car period, Bottas led securely in the opening half of the grand prix, extending his lead to 5.5 seconds at one stage and pitting on lap 27 of 52 with a 2.5s advantage.

But the Finn’s final phase mistake and traffic helped Vettel to a close battle with Merc, But, Bottas would unintentionally receive support from former team-mate Felipe Massa into the final lap when he got ahead of the Williams into Turn 2, with Vettel unable to get by until Turn 4 with the German saying after Massa did Bottas “a favour twice” on the final lap of the Finn’s Russian Grand Prix win.

Lapped cars proving something of an issue for the leaders due to the turbulent air being emitted up ahead, Wolff went on to joke that he owes Massa a beer for easing the tension on Bottas’ final lap, though he pointed out both drivers had lost time through traffic in the final chase.

“It wasn’t all plain sailing for Ferrari either and obviously again backmarker traffic was an issue and sometimes it went against us and sometimes, like with Felipe — thank you very much, I’ll have to buy him a beer — it was in favour of us. But this is how it goes.” Wolff said

“He [Valtteri] locked both front tyres and our race metrics showed that, so it was pretty severe damage to the tyres which harmed his performance and that was a bit of a stressful moment.”

“But he kept it together and his pace was still good enough. Sector one was very good but even sector two he was able to fight back and there was the odd tenth he lost but the next lap around he was quick again.”

“He took up a risky move to be Lewis Hamilton’s teammate, take over the reigning world champion’s car and I think he has done a very good job. He has been on pole once and won the race today, with a lot of pressure from Sebastian behind. Fantastic start, fantastic pace on the ultra-soft at the beginning of the race and I think he is a very deserved winner.”

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