The Russian Grand Prix was won with a one-stop strategy by Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, who claimed his debut victory. Just one pit stop was used by nearly all drivers, as has always been the case in Sochi. The Finn took the lead on the first corner from third on the grid using ultrasoft, stopping for the supersoft tyre before his key rival: Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel. Vettel stayed out six laps longer, using his fresh tyres to catch Bottas in the closing stages of the race. The top eight all used an ultrasoft-supersoft strategy.
Mario Isola: "The Russian Grand Prix played out as we expected it to strategically, despite an early safety car and temperatures that were the highest we have seen all weekend. There was a small amount of blistering on the front left tyre for some drivers, due to the long Turn 3, but this didn't influence performance. The smooth surface meant that it was a one-stopper for the vast majority of competitors, with low degradation as expected. We saw some different thinking about the timing of the pit stops, especially from Bottas and Vettel, which made for an exciting run to the chequered flag."