Valtteri Bottas has revealed a "massive bee" hitting his Formula 1 helmet impaired his vision when trying to overtake Lewis Hamilton on the opening lap of the Russian Grand Prix.

Bottas made a strong start from second on the grid in Sochi and tucked into Hamilton’s slipstream on the run down to Turn 2.

The Finn broke too late as he attempted to overtake Hamilton around the outside, ultimately settling into second place.

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“Obviously I tried, as I knew the start was going to be the first opportunity, Bottas said. “I was compromised because there was a massive bee or something smashed into my visor, just before the braking and that’s why I could not really see when I should brake and went a bit too deep.

“I knew it was going to be a long race after that and with the medium tyres I had there would be opportunities.”

After Hamilton was handed two five-second time penalties for a pit lane infringement before the start of the grand prix, Bottas controlled the race from the front and claimed his second victory of the season ahead of Max Verstappen.

“For sure, it is nice to get a win again. It has been a while and it definitely feels good. Now try to keep the momentum, I managed to squeeze a bit more points against Lewis, there are still quite a few races to go and you never know.

“I’ll keep pushing, won’t give up and we’ll see how it ends up.”

Bottas’ win puts him 44 points behind Hamilton in the drivers’ championship with seven races to go.