It was his decision to retire in the winter that opened the door for Bottas to move to Mercedes from Williams.
"It took more than 80 races but it was worth it, well worth the learning curve", Bottas said. "Thanks so much to the team and the factory".
"I was slow from [Saturday] so that doesn't really change".
Hamilton passed on warm congratulations to race-winner Bottas, hailing the Finn's victory as an important strike in the constructors' standings as Mercedes retained a one-point lead over Ferrari.
While Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas produced a brilliant performance to secure his maiden F1 win at Sochi, Hamilton struggled with a lack of balance and an overheating auto in fourth place.
Bottas' Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, who qualified fourth, challenged Raikkonen on the way to Turn 1 but was forced to slot in behind him as the field ran through turns 2 and 3. In the Constructors' Championship, Mercedes has the lead with 136 points though Ferrari is a close second with 135 points. Sixth and seventh places went to Force India drivers Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon, respectively. Alonso has failed to finish any of the opening four races, and the sight of him walking back to the McLaren garage was depressing, not just for the Spaniard and his McLaren team - but for the sport, too. Renault's Nico Hulkenberg, Williams' Felipe Massa and Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz completed the top 10 drivers chart at the Sochi Auto Drome in Russian Federation.