Valtteri Bottas starts in pole position, then fought his way back from 4th after his one pit stop, to take the Turkish Grand Prix on a rain-soaked track from Istanbul. Bottas is leaving for Alfa Romeo after a few contentious moments this season with his Mercedes team, notably being told to slow down so his teammate Lewis Hamilton could win the fastest lap bonus point earlier in the year, but Bottas remains professional and driving hard.
Only intermittent tires were used all race, and Estaban Ocon was the only driver who never took a pit stop, racing all 58 laps on one set of tires to gain 10th place (the final position for race points).
Red Bull took 2nd and 3rd, Verstappen and Perez, despite Verstappen complaining of transmission issues on lap 5 and steering issues on lap 37. Verstappen seemed happy on the radio with the finish, as he has historically not been the fastest driver in wet conditions. Max now leads Hamilton by 6 points in the driver championship standings with five races left in the season. Red Bull moves closer to Mercedes in the constructor's championship, trailing by 25 points.
Lewis Hamilton, on the other hand, started 11th due to a 10-place grid penalty when Mercedes placed a fourth engine in his machine, one more than regulations allow, resulting in the penalty. Despite starting 11th, Hamilton had briefly worked his way up to 4th and challenged for a podium before his team forced him to take his first pit with 10 laps left despite protesting. Following the pit, Hamilton dropped, eventually finishing 5th while cursing the decision over the radio the final two laps. There will no doubt be difficult conversations during the post-race engineers meeting as Lewis was visibly irritated and not happy with his team.
Another driver of note, Charles Leclerc of Ferrari, led for several laps late in the race, but worn tires forced him to the pits and caused him to finish just outside the podium in 4th.
The next race is October 22-24th in Austin, Texas for the Aramco United States Grand Prix 2021.
Formula 1 on Twitter: "VALTTERI: "It's been a while. It feels good. From my side, that's one of the best races I've had. It's not easy to choose the strategy here in these conditions. It feels like a well-earned victory" #TurkishGP 🇹🇷 #F1 pic.twitter.com/mAJFeZzBd5 / Twitter"
VALTTERI: "It's been a while. It feels good. From my side, that's one of the best races I've had. It's not easy to choose the strategy here in these conditions. It feels like a well-earned victory" #TurkishGP 🇹🇷 #F1 pic.twitter.com/mAJFeZzBd5
~Michael Patrick Day, Irish Proud & 12oz Sports Writer
Photo Credit: Twitter (@MercedesAMGF1)