Bottas wins in Turkey as Hamilton left frustrated

Valtteri Bottas controlled a strange Turkish GP to win his first race in over a year as Lewis Hamilton was left with a frustrating result. 

Polesitter Bottas converted his pole position start into a much-needed win at today’s Turkish GP. Bottas led the field from the start as he managed his intermediate tyres in slippery conditions.

The Istanbul circuit never looked like drying out for slicks, as Sebastian Vettel disastrously proved. Mercedes pitted Bottas one lap after Max Verstappen stopped. Both drivers fitted new intermediates as the track wasn’t dry enough. It was the right decision as Bottas passed leader Charles Leclerc who opted to stay out on his worn intermediates.

Leclerc admirably hung on in the early phase before his tyres completely wore out. The recovering Hamilton charged through the pack to join the front-runners. The Mercedes driver wanted to stay out like Leclerc and at this point, Hamilton was in third ahead of the rapidly closing Leclerc and Sergio Perez.

Hamilton did pit, and he lost ground. The World Champion fumed on the radio as he had to hold off Pierre Gasly and Lando Norris. Hamilton finished fifth while title rival Verstappen followed Bottas home in second.

Perez underlined Red Bull’s good day as he finished third. The Mexican gallantly held Hamilton at bay before the Mexican eased past Leclerc in the late stages.

Pierre Gasly pulled off a solid recovery after taking a five-second penalty for a turn one incident with Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard’s day did not get any better from there, and a collision with Mick Schumacher only piled on the frustration for Alonso.

Alonso’s teammate Esteban Ocon enjoyed a better day as he snatched 10th place for one championship point. The French star nursed his initial set of intermediates to the end and staved off a charging Antonio Giovinazzi on the last lap.

Carlos Sainz stormed through the pack and pulled out several clean overtakes in the early part of the race. Sainz finished eighth to round off a good race day for Ferrari. The Scuderia closed the gap on McLaren as Leclerc finished fourth, and Sainz’s two points also won him the driver of the day.

The championship gap between Verstappen and Hamilton is now six points. Hamilton’s damage limitation didn’t go as well as Verstappen’s in Sochi. Nevertheless, the title rivals are still neck and neck.

Provisional Classification

1 77 Valtteri Bottas MERCEDES 58 1:31:04.103 26
2 33 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING HONDA 58 +14.584s 18
3 11 Sergio Perez RED BULL RACING HONDA 58 +33.471s 15
4 16 Charles Leclerc FERRARI 58 +37.814s 12
5 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 58 +41.812s 10
6 10 Pierre Gasly ALPHATAURI HONDA 58 +44.292s 8
7 4 Lando Norris MCLAREN MERCEDES 58 +47.213s 6
8 55 Carlos Sainz FERRARI 58 +51.526s 4
9 18 Lance Stroll ASTON MARTIN MERCEDES 58 +82.018s 2
10 31 Esteban Ocon ALPINE RENAULT 57 +1 lap 1
11 99 Antonio Giovinazzi ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI 57 +1 lap 0
12 7 Kimi Räikkönen ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI 57 +1 lap 0
13 3 Daniel Ricciardo MCLAREN MERCEDES 57 +1 lap 0
14 22 Yuki Tsunoda ALPHATAURI HONDA 57 +1 lap 0
15 63 George Russell WILLIAMS MERCEDES 57 +1 lap 0
16 14 Fernando Alonso ALPINE RENAULT 57 +1 lap 0
17 6 Nicholas Latifi WILLIAMS MERCEDES 57 +1 lap 0
18 5 Sebastian Vettel ASTON MARTIN MERCEDES 57 +1 lap 0
19 47 Mick Schumacher HAAS FERRARI 56 +2 laps 0
20 9 Nikita Mazepin HAAS FERRARI 56 +2 laps 0

* Provisional results. Note – Bottas scored an additional point for setting the fastest lap of the race.