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Turkey GP: Valtteri Bottas wins, title advantage for Max Verstappen

Istanbul: Valtteri Bottas ended his year-long drought with a dominant victory in Turkey on Sunday, while unhappy Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton finished fifth and lost the Formula One championship lead to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

Verstappen, 24, was runner-up 14.584 seconds behind the Finn at the wet Istanbul Park in Istanbul to reverse a two-point deficit to Hamilton and six points clear with six races remaining. Red Bull teammate Sergio Pérez finished fourth with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in fourth and third ahead of seven-time world champion Hamilton, who had started in 11th place due to an engine penalty.

“It’s been a while, but feels good. I think that’s probably one of the best races I’ve ever had,” said Bottas, who started on pole position and a bonus point for the fastest lap. took. “Apart from that one little slide, everything was under control.”

The sealed victory, leaving Leclerc 11 laps from the end after taking the lead after a Ferrari driver left out, was the Finn’s first and 10th career win since Russia last September.

Verstappen, who started in the front row, had a quiet race and said it was all about tire management. “I’m happy to be on the podium. I think it’s been close all year and I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a good fight in Austin and Mercedes, so we just have to keep pushing, keep trying,” he said.

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

hot hamilton

Hamilton could be on the podium but Mercedes called him to a late stop from third place for a new set of intermediate tyres, with the track drying up. “Why did we leave that place? We shouldn’t have come in, man. Massive (tire) grain. I told you,” said the angrily Briton in heated radio exchanges, as he felt he two in the pits The place is lost.

He later noted that alpine driver Esteban Ocon, who finished 10th, had built his own set of tires throughout the race.

Had he stayed out and finished third, Hamilton would have been only one point behind Verstappen. Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said: “We thought we could finish third without stopping or if a dry line had emerged, perhaps moving to a softer tyre.” “Then we saw Leclerc falling and Lewis falling and it was clear we wouldn’t make it to the end.”

Pirelli boss Mario Isola said the tires would have been on the limit if Hamilton had tried to run the entire race on him.

Spain’s Carlos Sainz was voted driver of the day for Ferrari for going from the back of the grid to an eighth-place power unit penalty. Alphatauri’s Pierre Gasly was sixth for McLaren with Lando Norris seventh and Lance Stroll ninth for Aston Martin.

Alonso fine

The start was clean but Gasly moved from fourth to fifth after Alpine came into contact with Fernando Alonso, who turned around. The Frenchman was given a five-second penalty, but Alonso took a similar clearance for Haas’s subsequent clash with Mick Schumacher.

Verstappen complained that there was a problem with the gear shift shortly thereafter.

Meanwhile Hamilton worked his way through the field, 10th after the opening lap before passing the tenth to Alphatauri’s stubborn defensive Japanese rookie Yuki Tsunoda in eighth place.
He later passed a stroke a lap, followed in quick succession by Norris and Gasly.

There was a worrying moment at the halfway point when he was driving Haas rookie Nikita Mazepin across the track only for the Russian, the two cars avoiding contact but Hamilton losing time chasing Perez.

Hamilton and Perez went wheel-to-wheel through four corners as they fought for fourth place, forcing the Mexican to drive the wrong side of a bollard marking the pitlane entry as he held position and his team. appreciated.

After Ferrari finally ran out of Leclerc’s tires after being passed by Bottas, Monegasque lined up and overtook Perez.

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