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Turkish GP: Valtteri Bottas wins, title advantage to Max Verstappen


ISTANBUL: Valtteri Bottas ended his year-long drought with a dominant victory in Turkey on Sunday whereas sad Mercedes crew mate Lewis Hamilton completed fifth and misplaced the Formula One championship lead to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

Verstappen, 24, was runner-up and 14.584 seconds behind the Finn at a moist Istanbul Park to overturn a two-point deficit to Hamilton and go six factors clear with six races remaining. Red Bull crew mate Sergio Perez completed third with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc fourth and forward of seven-times world champion Hamilton, who had began eleventh due to an engine penalty.

“It’s been a while, but feels good. I think from my side probably one of the best races I’ve had ever,” mentioned Bottas, who began on pole place and took a bonus level for quickest lap. “Apart from that one little slide, everything was under control.” 

The victory, sealed by overtaking Leclerc 11 laps from the tip after the Ferrari driver had taken the lead by staying out whereas others pitted, was the Finn’s first since Russia in September final yr and tenth of his profession.

Verstappen, who began on the entrance row, had a quiet race and mentioned it had all been about tyre administration. “I’m happy to be on the podium. I think it’s been close the whole year and I’m pretty sure in Austin it will be a good battle with Mercedes, so we just have to keep pushing, keep trying,” he mentioned.

The US Grand Prix in Texas is the subsequent race on October 24.

HEATED HAMILTON

Hamilton may need been on the rostrum however Mercedes known as him in for a late cease from third place for a contemporary set of intermediate tyres with the observe drying. “Why did we give up that place? We shouldn’t have come in, man. Massive (tyre) graining. I told you,” mentioned the offended Briton in heated radio exchanges as he realised he had misplaced two locations within the pits. 

He famous afterwards that Alpine driver Esteban Ocon, who completed tenth, had made his one set of tyres final the complete race.

Had he stayed out and saved third, Hamilton could be solely some extent behind Verstappen. “We thought we could finish third without stopping or, if a dry line emerged, maybe going to a soft tyre,” mentioned Mercedes crew boss Toto Wolff. “Then we saw Leclerc dropping off and Lewis was dropping off and it was clear we wouldn’t make it to the end.”

Pirelli boss Mario Isola mentioned the tyres would have been completely on the restrict had Hamilton tried to final the complete race on them.

Spaniard Carlos Sainz was voted driver of the day for going from the again of the grid, due to energy unit penalties, to eighth for Ferrari. AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly was sixth with Lando Norris seventh for McLaren and Lance Stroll ninth for Aston Martin.

ALONSO PENALTY

The begin was clear however Gasly dropped from fourth to fifth after contact with Alpine’s Fernando Alonso, who spun. The Frenchman was handed a five-second time penalty however Alonso additionally collected an analogous sanction for a later conflict with Haas’ Mick Schumacher.

Bottas was 1.6 seconds clear after three laps with Verstappen complaining quickly after that he had issues with the gear shift.

Hamilton in the meantime labored his method by means of the sector, tenth after the opening lap earlier than passing AlphaTauri’s stubbornly defensive Japanese rookie Yuki Tsunoda for eighth place on lap eight.
He handed Stroll a lap later, with Norris and Gasly taken in fast succession.

A worrying second got here on the midway mark when he was lapping Haas rookie Nikita Mazepin just for the Russian to transfer throughout the observe, the 2 automobiles avoiding contact however Hamilton dropping time in his chase of Perez.

Hamilton and Perez went wheel-to-wheel by means of 4 corners as they fought for fourth, with the Mexican compelled to run the flawed facet of a bollard marking the pitlane entry as he held place and his crew applauded. 

With Ferrari lastly recognising Leclerc had run out of tyres after Bottas handed him, the Monegasque pitted and was overtaken by Perez. 




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