Turkish Grand Prix RESULT: Bottas wins ahead of Verstappen, Hamilton

‘F***, man, why did you give up that space?’: Lewis Hamilton rages at his team after their pit-stop call leaves him clinging on to fifth place at Turkish GP – and now behind Max Verstappen in title race

  • Valtteri Bottas began at the front of the grid and drove brilliantly to win in Turkey
  • Lewis Hamilton started the day 11th after being given a 10-place grid penalty 
  • However, he quickly moved his way through the field and was third on lap 50 
  • His team eventually persuaded him to come in – but he then slipped to fifth
  • Max Verstappen came second and is now four points clear of Hamilton overall
  • Latest Formula One news, including live action and results 

Lewis Hamilton lost the world championship lead after his Mercedes team acted like Nervous Nellies by calling him into the pits for a pointless stop.

He turned the air blue. He then went silent on them. They made excuses. And Max Verstappen, who finished second, now leads this juicy title fight by six points.

The calamitous decision, with all its possible implications in determining who winds up wearing the crown, came eight laps from the conclusion of a slow-burning, drizzle-sprayed Turkish Grand Prix won by Valtteri Bottas.

At this juncture, the world champion was lying third, having driven up from the 11th place his engine change had condemned him to start. 

Nobody was close behind. His closest challenger, Charles Leclerc, was 11 seconds back; the next, Sergio Perez, a further two adrift.

Valtteri Bottas claimed victory after a masterful drive as his time at Mercedes draws to a close

Lewis Hamilton finished fifth after a late pit-stop strategy saw him slip from third in Istanbul

He persuaded his team to keep him out earlier in the race before coming in with eight laps left

However, his new tyres weren’t giving him the required speed as his podium chances ended 

Max Verstappen had to deal with gear-shift issues – but is now the world championship leader

Hamilton’s lap times, fluctuating slightly, showed absolutely no sign of haemorrhaging the margins so badly that he would have been caught. 

So there he was trying – pleading, indeed – to go to the end on his then one and only set of intermediate tyres.

He, the grand master of tyre preservation, felt in his gut that he could make it to all the way on a track drying slowly owing to high humidity.

But Mercedes, who had tried to call him in eight laps earlier only to be told by their star driver it was the wrong move, wobbled like jelly. They belatedly told him to box, which was neither one thing nor another. 

He came out in fifth place, Sergio Perez of Red Bull and Charles Leclerc of Ferrari, who swapped placed, waved through like the Queen at the gates of Buck House.

Fernando Alonso was clipped by Pierre Gasly on lap one as Hamilton moved up to 10th

Overtakes of Sebastian Vettel and Yuki Tsunoda soon followed to move him up to eighth

Hamilton was a man on a mission as he passed Pierre Gasly to edge closer to Verstappen

This is how it went on Radio Gaga when his race engineer Peter Bonnington told him what had happened: ‘Gasly is three seconds behind.’ The Frenchman had been 23sec adrift before the stop.

Hamilton: ‘F*** man, why did you give up that space?’

Bonnington: ‘It looked like we were going to lose position anyway.’

‘No they weren’t!’

Hamilton, his anger rising, said: ‘What position am I in, man?’

Bonnington, like a father telling a child the family Lab has been run over, ‘Currently P5.’

Hamilton: ‘We shouldn’t have come in, man. We have got massive graining (on the new tyres). I TOLD YOU!’

Bonnington: ‘Copy, Lewis, we were losing time to Perez but we will chat about it later.’

On the in-lap, Bonnington apologised. ‘We will have to chat to you, talk through the call.’ Hamilton’s response? There came not a word.

Hamilton was then thwarted by Sergio Perez following a thrilling wheel-to-wheel battle

Verstappen was the first of the leading drivers to pit on an incredibly wet day in Istanbul

Charles Leclerc – in contention for the lead at one point – saw his hopes go up in smoke

He took his time before arriving in the media pen. His face was stern but he was polite enough to wave to some fans on the balcony shouting support.

Over to Toto Wolff, who only a fortnight before had bouquets justly thrown at his feet after Mercedes rebooted Hamilton at precisely the right moment as rain fell in Russia and win that dramatic race.

He admitted to a mistake, but the wrong one, in my view: not for bringing Hamilton in at all but for doing so too late. Either decisive call would have been an improvement on indecision. He claimed, incredibly, that had Hamilton stayed out he may have been passed by Gasly and so finished sixth.

‘In hindsight, I would have pitted 10 laps earlier and fought it out on track and finished third or fourth,’ said Wolff.

‘The whole season spins back and forth. We make mistakes together, we win together. We have had much bigger points swings in the past with lost opportunities and this one today was a very close call. We decided one way and it went wrong.

‘It is going to be very tight until the end. DNFs are going to make a big difference and that was another consideration today – not three or four or five-point swings.’

The fear of the tyre blowing must have been a real nag, yes, but the only man not to take on a second set of rubber, Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, made it to the chequered flag. 

Hamilton finally got past Perez and moved onto new intermediate tyres for one last push 

However, the move proved fatal on a day when team-mate Bottas claimed his first win of 2021

And he did that while holding off the hot-pursuing Aston Martin of Lance Stroll for several lap before finally succumbing. He lost one place and had nothing like the distance between himself and the next car as Hamilton enjoyed when the fateful instruction was issued.

The downside in championship terms is that if Hamilton had held on to third place, he would have been trailing Verstappen by just one point, having started the day two in front.

But all is not lost with six races remaining – the next on one of his strongest tracks in Austin, Texas, a week on Sunday. The Mercedes is also now the quickest car out there. 

The champion put that to good use in charging through the field, most notably overtaking AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda on the outside of Turn Three with skill and bravery.

A word, at last, about Bottas. He drove very well from pole. No mistakes. Total command. 

Runner-up Verstappen, a place ahead of team-mate Perez, was solid but could not ever get close to the winner, a barometer of Mercedes’ speed that permits Lewis to fight another day.

Share this article

Host commentator

Host commentator

Bottas avoids a second season without a win at Mercedes, while Verstappen has moved back above Hamilton in the drivers’ standings and leads the Briton by six points after finishing second, with the Mercedes driver fifth. Hope you’ve enjoyed following the race on Sportsmail. Below are he rest of the race positions. Bye for now!

6. Gasly

7. Norris

8. Sainz

9. Ocon (the only driver to not pit)

10. Ocon

11. Giovinazzi

12. Raikkonen

13. Ricciardo

14. Tsunoda

15. Russell

16. Alonso

17. Latifi

18. Vettel

19. Schumacher

20. Mazepin

Verstappen is second, Perez is third, Leclerc is fourth and Hamilton is fifth. 

Having secured pole, Bottas is driving serenely at the front. He wins the Turkish Grand Prix!

Hamilton is fuming about being called in earlier. He seems not to have realised the pit stop would cost him two places and he isn’t gaining on Leclerc anymore, with Gasly less than a second behind the Briton.

Hamilton is bearing down on Leclerc, who is struggling with rear grip.

Perez is now into third after overtaking Leclerc. 

Hamilton has come in and put on a fresh set of intermediates. He’s now fifth, behind Leclerc and Perez.

Leclerc has just gone a second quicker than Hamilton on the last lap. There are eight laps left and Leclerc is around 10 seconds behind Hamilton.

Sainz is eighth and has just produced the fastest lap of the race. Incredible. 

Leclerc is pitting, puts on new intermediates and is fourth. Hamilton is third and Verstappen s second. Bottas leads. 

Bottas pounces and then is back in the lead. 

Bottas is now almost within half of a second of Leclerc. 

Bottas is slightly more than a second behind Leclerc, but is going half a second a lap quicker than the Frenchman. 

Verstappen sounds exasperated. Hope for Hamilton?

With Leclerc leading, Bottas is second and Verstappen third. Hamilton is less than five seconds behind his title rival.

Hamilton wants to stay out and gets his wish, despite his team initially wanting him to come in for new intermediates.

Gasly has pitted and rejoins the race sixth after serving his five-second penalty. 

Vettel has switched to medium tyres, but it looks to have been a misguided strategy. The Aston Martin driver has slipped back to 17th and he has gone back to intermediates. 

Charles Leclerc is the new race leader after Bottas and Verstappen come in. Hamilton is now fourth after Perez also pits. 

Hamilton tries to overtake Perez and the pair go wheel to wheel. It looks like Hamilton would squeeze past Perez on the outside, but the chance is snuffed out.

Hamilton’s superior acceleration then looks to have finally pushed him up to fourth, but the Mexican shuts the door. Thrilling stuff for four or five corners. 

Hamilton has moved to within a second of Perez, but finding grip is difficult at times. 

Alonso, in 18th, has pitted and has served his five-second time penalty. He returns to the track and keeps his place.

Verstappen is slowing. Bottas is now more than four seconds ahead. 

Dithering by Nikita Mazepin means he gets in the way of Hamilton and the gap between the Mercedes driver and fourth-placed Perez increases slightly. 

The bad weather isn’t clear. Daniel Ricciardo is the only driver to have taken a pit stop and his pace has picked up since putting on new intermediate tyres. 

Tsunoda has slipped from 10th to 13th. Vettel takes advantage and moves into the points. 

Hamilton has set another fastest lap and is closing in on Perez. 

Hamilton is up to fifth after passing Gasly. 

Sainz is up to ninth after going past Tsunoda. 

The stewards have decided Sainz has no question to answer after making contact with Vettel.

Sainz has gone past Sebastian Vettel but only after knocking into the German. Sainz is now in the points. 

Hamilton has racked up another fastest lap, while Verstappen is experiencing gear-shift problems. It’s not enough to have seen the Dutchman move down the grid, but he isn’t happy.

Having started the race 19th, Carlos Sainz is up to 11th. A sterling job.

Hamilton has glided past Lando Norris. He’s now sixth and has just driven the fastest lap of the race so far. 

After being caught by Gasly, Alonso has received a five-second penalty himself after earlier clipping Schumacher. 

Gasly faces a five-second time penalty for the Alonso crash. The Frenchman currently has a seven-second cushion over Lando Norris directly behind him, but that will help. Hamilton goes past Lance Stroll and is seventh. 

After saying that, Hamilton has gone round the outside of Yuki Tsunoda. 

Hamilton is still ninth. There are 58 laps in total in Istanbul though, so he has plenty of time to move the field.

Alonso and Schumacher also collided and that is also being investigated. Double trouble for the Spaniard. 

The stewards are investigating the Gasly-Alonso collision. It is very wet out there. 

Alonso’s slip down the grid was caused when he was clipped by Pierre Gasly. He curses the Frenchman, who says he “got sandwiched”.

Hamilton is up to ninth. After Schumacher’s sterling drive yesterday to reach his first-ever Q2, a spin puts him down in 19th. 

The formation lap is underway.

Toto Wolff is happy it’s raining from Lewis Hamilton: ‘Scottish rain. I like the conditions.’

Valtteri Bottas is in his final year at Mercedes before he joins Alfa Romeo. Pole for him today was a pleasant surprise, with the Finn’s brief being to win the race and stop  Verstappen, lying in second, from overtaking him. It’s only the second time he has been at the front of the grid this season.

There are just seven races left between now and the end of the season. For the first time in five years, the drivers’ championship is set to go down to the wire. 

If Verstappen were to taste glory, he would become the first non-Mercedes since Sebastian Vettel in 2013 to finish top of the tree. Just two points behind Hamilton currently, he has a great chance to leapfrog his arch-rival today after a 10-place grid penalty was imposed on the seven-time world champion for breaking engine rules. 

The starting grid.

Good afternoon and welcome to our live coverage of the Turkish Grand Prix. 

Source: Read Full Article