At lights out, Valtteri Bottas led Max Verstappen into Turn One with Charles Leclerc in third.
Fernando Alonso went spinning on the first lap, dropping from fifth to 16th and was now behind the Haas of Mick Schumacher.
Meanwhile, Sergio Perez had a great start and managed to lift his Red Bull into fourth from sixth as Mick Schumacher and Nicholas Latifi had minor spins and were sitting in P19 and P20 respectively by Lap 2.
By Lap five, Bottas had extended his lead over Max Verstappen to 1.5s, while his teammate Lewis Hamilton – who started in 11th thanks to an engine penalty – was trailing 14.1s behind.
Hamilton, in ninth, had Yuki Tsunoda and Lance Stroll in his sights, but the gap between him and today’s top two was quickly increasing.
The British World Champion managed to clear the AlphaTauri of Yuki Tsunoda on Lap 7 and was charging towards the Aston Martin of Lance Stroll up ahead.
Stewards then handed Pierre Gasly a 5-second time penalty for causing a collision on Lap One with Fernando Alonso which he would take that when he entered the pits for a tyre change. Alonso was then handed a 5s penalty for clipping the Haas of Mick Schumacher and sending him spinning early on in Sunday’s race.
By Lap nine, Hamilton had moved up into seventh after overtaking Stroll on the outside of Turn Three. His teammate was continuing to stretch his lead in this race and was now 2.1s ahead of Verstappen in second, while Charles Leclerc remained in third in the Ferrari.
Lap 11 saw Hamilton breeze by the McLaren of Lando Norris to sit sixth, as he continued to storm up the field and was lapping a second faster than Verstappen.
The Ferrari of Carlos Sainz was also making its way up the field and got around the Aston Martin of Sebastian Vettel for tenth, but made contact with the AMR21. Meanwhile, Hamilton was now into the top 5 on lap 15 after getting past the AlphaTauri of Pierre Gasly.
Daniel Ricciardo was the first driver to pit for fresh intermediate tyres and returned to the track in 18th – marking a loss of two places as the Aussie driver was struggling to make up places.
Yuki Tsunoda went for a spin on Lap 23, which saw him drop out of the top-10 and into 13th behind the Alfa Romeo of Antonio Giovinazzi.
By Lap 28/58, Valtteri Bottas remained out front in the Mercedes, 2.9s ahead of Max Verstappen in second, with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc back in third, 5.6s off the leading pace.
Hamilton made a move to overtake the Red Bull of Sergio Perez for fourth, during which he pushed the RB16B into the pitlane entry, taking fourth – only to be pushed back into 5th by the Mexican driver on the defence.
Max Verstappen entered the pits on Lap 37 for fresh inters and returned to the track in third. He was followed swiftly by the race leader, Valtteri Bottas, as Leclerc took the lead of the race.
The new race-leader, Leclerc, was then told that he could remain on the set of tyres for the remainder of the race and was 6s ahead of Bottas in second and Max Verstappen in third.
With 14 laps left this afternoon, Leclerc locked up, reducing the gap between himself and Bottas to just 2s, meanwhile, Verstappen was in third, reporting that he had a problem with his steering wheel – but was still posting impressive lap times.
Minutes later, the Mercedes retook the lead of the race as Leclerc headed for the pits for a fresh set of intermediate tyres in his final charge to the finish line.
With seven laps to go, Hamilton entered the pits and returned in 5th behind the second Red Bull of Sergio Perez – while Leclerc was temporarily lifted into the podium places, only to be overtaken by Perez for third.
Hamilton was heard disagreeing with his engineer over the team radio heading into the final five laps this afternoon as they pushed for a tyre change. He was not happy about being called in and was reporting “massive graining” on his new set of tyres as Leclerc began to stretch his lead as Pierre Gasly was chasing the Mercedes.
When the chequered flag was waved, Valtteri Bottas had secured his first win of the 2021 season, and was joined on the podium by the Red Bull duo of Max Verstappen in second and Sergio Perez in third.
Speaking after the race, race winner, Valtteri Bottas told Sky Sports F1: “It was difficult.
“It feels like a well-earned victory.”
Meanwhile, Verstappen said; “Valtteri had more pace but overall very pleased.
“It was all about managing the tyres. I’m happy to be on the podium.
“It’s been close all year and we need to keep pushing.”