Bottas wins Turkish GP as Verstappen regains championship lead, Hamilton P5

10-10-2021 14:37 | Updated: 10-10-2021 15:03
by joolsreimer
F1 News
Bottas wins Turkish GP as Verstappen regains championship lead, Hamilton P5

Valterri Bottas is the winner of the 2021 Turkish GP finishing ahead of Max Verstappen in P2 and Hamilton coming home in P3. The Finn has taken his first victory for the season and will gain some much needed confidence heading into the closing stages of the season. 

With just seven races to go and two points seperating this epic title fight, the Turkish GP once again provided plenty of drama to entertain us for the afternoon. Heading into the race Hamilton had it all to do. Having taken a penalty for a new ICE (Internal combustion engine) he started from 11th depite his pole lap yesterday. 

How it unfolded

Desite the the tricky conditons that faced the drivers from the off, the start to this race was a tidy one with only Fernando Alonso taking his car for a spin. Hamilton with plenty to do wanted to get his Mercedes up the field as quickly as he could and by lap 15 he was hunting the top 4. 

Whilst one Mercedes was making up places the other was holding his. Valterri Bottas had held his ground off the start and in the opening stages of the race was managing his pace nicely with seeminly no threat from Verstappen. 

The ever changing conditions were providing the teams with a tricky strategic decision. Whilst the rain was not heavy there was enough of a drizzle to prevent the track from drying out and at the half way stage of the race the top five were still running on the same inters they had started on and setting fast times. 

But while the battle on the pit wall was going on the battle on the track was heating up. By lap 35 Hamilton had finally caught up to Perez and heading into the last 5 corners he made his move. Heading down the back straight Hamilton moved to the outside to get round Sergio but Perez held his place with the Brit right alongside him. Heading down the pit straight Lewis was slighty ahead but Perez once again held firm to retain his spot in P4 and hold Lewis up even more. 

Meanwhile Verstappen became the first of the top 5 to come into the pits and caused Bottas to make the same move. Whilst the the top two had made their move, both Leclerc and Hamilton had opted to stay out. Could the possibilty of taking the tryres to end be the right option. 

With just 15 laps left the battle for the podium position was too tough to call. Verstappen was now beggining to stretch his gap to Hamilton but Bottas was pulling away from Max. And with Verstappen reporting sterring issues anything could happen. 

As we headed into the final stages of the race Bottas had moved past Leclerc to re gain his lead and look set to take his first victory of the season. With Hamilton now on a fresh set of intermediates he was a charge to re gain his podium stop and take some much needed championship points. 

But with the new tyres on, his pace dropped, and now under threat from Pierre Gasley in P6 things were not going the championship leaders way. 

But despite Hamiltons problems it was Bottas's day as he crossed the line to take his first victory of the season and put a smile back on to his face. With Verstappen coming home in P2 he re-took the championship lead and put the pressure back onto Hamilton heading to Austin. 

Driver of the day

My driver of the day is Carlos Sainz. From the get go he had the bit between his teeth. Starting from 19th on the grid having taken a engine penalty Sainz had struggled with his car all weekend to find any level of consistency but drove superbly to finish in P8 and take home some much needed points for Ferrari

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