Valtteri Bottas claimed a dominant first wet-weather Formula 1 victory at the Turkish Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton lost the championship lead.
Bottas comfortably led the first 37 laps of the 58-lap race from pole position before he swapped his worn intermediates for a brand-new set and dropped behind the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc, who was running behind Bottas and Max Verstappen prior to the pair pitting.
Leclerc asked his team if he could try and go to the end of the race without a pitstop and had just under 10 seconds in hand over Bottas with 20 laps to go.
Leclerc: "Can I stay with this set until the end of the race?"
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 10, 2021
A couple of lock-ups at the Turn 12 left-hander chipped away Leclerc’s advantage and Bottas closed to within a second of Leclerc with 14 laps to go.
On lap 47 of 58, Bottas caught Leclerc and swept past the two-time grand prix winner at Turn 1 with ease, prompting Ferrari to abandon the no-stop strategy and pit Leclerc at the end of the lap.
This allowed Red Bull’s Verstappen to move into second place with his championship rival Hamilton, who had charged from 11th on the grid, looking as if he’d copy Leclerc’s no-stop strategy plan.
But like Leclerc, Hamilton was forced to convert to a one-stop and pitted with eight laps remaining, dropping from third to fifth place, after a lengthy debate with his team.
There was no such uncertainty for Hamilton’s team-mate Bottas who took a dominant victory – his first F1 win in rainy conditions – 10.912 seconds ahead of Verstappen and with the fastest lap bonus point.
Sergio Perez earned his first podium since Paul Ricard in third place following a tidy move on Leclerc around the outside of Turn 12 late on for third place.
Perez had crucially held off Hamilton’s advances earlier in the race, giving his team-mate Verstappen space to make his pitstop and emerge ahead of his yet-to-stop title rival.
Leclerc was forced to settle for fourth place after his victory hopes faded, with a disgruntled Hamilton just hanging on to fifth place ahead of Pierre Gasly and Lando Norris.
Hamilton fumed “I told you” when his pitstop left him lacking pace just two laps into his stint and he was unable to make any impression on Leclerc with graining tyres.
Gasly had to overcome a five-second penalty for tipping Fernando Alonso into a spin at Turn 1 on the opening lap on his way to picking up sixth place for AlphaTauri, with Norris seventh.
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 10, 2021
Carlos Sainz charged from 19th place on the grid to eighth place for Ferrari, with Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll ninth and Esteban Ocon, the only driver to stick with the no-stop strategy, 10th for Alpine.
On lap two, Alonso turned from victim to perpetrator as he slammed into the side of Mick Schumacher’s Haas, ruining Schumacher’s best qualifying position of his rookie season as he dropped to the back of the field.
Alonso was handed a five-second penalty and ended up in a lowly 16th place while Schumacher managed to beat his Haas team-mate Nikita Mazepin for 19th place.
McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo, who struggled with rear brake locking throughout the race, was the first to make a pitstop for new intermediate tyres but he finished behind the Alfa Romeo duo in 13th place.
Sebastian Vettel finished down in 18th place as the only driver to fit the dry tyres. The Aston Martin driver made a horrendously misjudged switch to medium tyres with 23 laps to go, before swiftly moving back onto the intermediates.
|Pos||Name||Car||Laps||Laps Led||Total Time||Fastest Lap||Pitstops||Pts|
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull-Honda||58||0||+14.584s||1m32.759s||1||18|
|3||Sergio Pérez||Red Bull-Honda||58||0||+33.471s||1m32.459s||1||15|
|8||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Ferrari||58||0||+51.526s||1m31.921s||1||4|
|9||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin-Mercedes||58||0||+1m22.018s||1m32.608s||1||2|
|10||Esteban Ocon||Alpine-Renault||57||0||+1 lap||1m34.584s||0||1|
|11||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||57||0||+1 lap||1m32.904s||1||0|
|12||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||57||0||+1 lap||1m32.586s||1||0|
|13||Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren-Mercedes||57||0||+1 lap||1m33.255s||1||0|
|14||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri-Honda||57||0||+1 lap||1m32.844s||1||0|
|15||George Russell||Williams-Mercedes||57||0||+1 lap||1m33.399s||1||0|
|16||Fernando Alonso||Alpine-Renault||57||0||+1 lap||1m33.252s||1||0|
|17||Nicholas Latifi||Williams-Mercedes||57||0||+1 lap||1m33.672s||1||0|
|18||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin-Mercedes||57||0||+1 lap||1m32.73s||2||0|
|19||Mick Schumacher||Haas-Ferrari||56||0||+2 laps||1m34.209s||1||0|
|20||Nikita Mazepin||Haas-Ferrari||56||0||+2 laps||1m35.438s||1||0|