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  • Writer's pictureRhonan Colquhoun

F1: Bottas dominates Turkish GP as Verstappen claims back title lead

Mercedes' Valterri Bottas dominated proceedings at the Turkish GP after the Finn won from Pole after team-mate Lewis Hamilton started the race outside the top ten due to an engine penalty but fought back to fifth as Red Bull's Max Verstappen claimed second and therefore the lead in the championship over the Brit.


The threat of the unpredictable weather was yet another factor driver's had to take into consideration for a second year in a row round the Istanbul Park Circuit. While rain had affected the Qualifying session, light rain fell onto the track but stopped before the lights went out which meant Intermediate tyres were required.

While conditions like these in the past have seen to thwarted his chances of getting a good result, Valterri Bottas proved his critics wrong by producing an excellent drive to his first win of the season. The Finn finally converted Pole Position this season into a race victory which helped Mercedes and his team-mate in the title-fight.

HISTORIC DAY: Bottas claimed his 10th GP Victory on his 172nd start - surpassing the total of Three Time World Champion and former Mercedes non-executive Chairman Niki Lauda

After an engine penalty that saw the Seven Time World Champion start the race from 11th, Lewis Hamilton soon made up ground and by Lap 11, he was inside the top five. As title-rival Red Bull's Max Verstappen ran second to Bottas with both drivers pitting for a fresh set of Intermediate tyres little over half way through the race, Hamilton in third was hoping to stay out without having to make a pit-stop.

Urged by his team, Hamilton pitted on Lap 51 with seven laps to go which demoted the Brit to fifth - giving up places to Red Bull's Sergio Perez and Ferrari's Charles Leclerc. Hamilton was left purplexed and angry over team radio as the Brit was hoping to stay out on track until the chequered flag but with dark clouds looming, Mercedes saw no other option than to pit him.

AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly shrugged off a five second time penalty he earnt at the start of the race after a first corner collision with Alpine's Fernando Alonso to finish sixth. The Frenchman tapped the Spaniard into a spin at the start as the field bunched into the first corner with Gasly running out of space having been boxed-in.

McLaren's Lando Norris finished seventh and admitted it was the best he could do while Ferrari's Carlos Sainz Jr made an excellent recovery drive to claim eighth after the Spaniard started the race from the rear of the grid after a full engine change.

Aston Martin's Lance Stroll - who took a sensational maiden Pole Position here last year - finished ninth ahead of Alpine's Esteban Ocon who managed his Intermediate tyres for the whole of the race having not come in for a single pit-stop.

The Alfa Romeo duo of Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkon finished in eleventh and tweleth but time had run out for either of them to challenge for points.

Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel could not repeat his third place finish at last year's Turkish GP with the German trying to run the Medium compound tyre during the race. It turned out not to be the right decision and Vettel had to settle for 18th and a lap down.

With second place, Verstappen takes back the championship lead he lost at the Russian GP. The Dutchman has a six point advantage over Hamilton as the sport heads to the USA for the American GP.


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