Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) wins Turkish GP, Max Verstappen takes back Championship lead
Valtteri Bottas holds his first victory of the season and the tenth of his career. Uncomfortable when he started from first place (5 wins in 17 pole-positions before today), the Finn managed his start perfectly to take the lead in the first corner in front of Max Verstappen. On a wet track which took a long time to dry, Bottas made (almost) no mistakes. A single slight wheel lock of no consequence as he led quietly. A year after spinning six times on the same track, the Mercedes driver could not ask for a better way to defeat his Turkish demons.
The other winner of the day is named Max Verstappen. By securing second place, the Dutchman takes the lead of the World Championship from Lewis Hamilton. The seven-time world champion, a time back to third place, was ultimately unable to do better than fifth at the checkered flag. Blame it on a wobbly strategy. When the Briton wanted to finish the Grand Prix without going through the pits, his team insisted that he put on new intermediate tires. He finally executed on lap 51 when he lost a second per lap. But at the end of the race, it was Pierre Gasly (6th) who came to threaten his rank while he was suffering with his new tires.
Ocon, a non-stop Grand Prix
Leading the Grand Prix after pitstops at Bottas and Verstappen, Charles Leclerc also tried to go to the end in the hope of winning. A vain hope in the face of the speed with which Bottas managed to catch up and then overtake him. An overtaking which pushed the Monegasque to stop to finish in a good fourth place. Esteban Ocon is the only driver to have completed this race without going through the pit box. A choice that allowed the French to scratch the point of tenth place.
While Hamilton attacked hard to move up the hierarchy, Sergio Perez (3rd) managed to keep his opponent behind him after a very good maneuver in which he did not give up. Crucial resistance for Red Bull and Max Verstappen in the title race. Arrived in Turkey two points behind, Verstappen is now six ahead. By securing a double podium for the Austrian team, the Mexican scored important points for the constructor standings.
This little animated race had all its twists and turns at the start of the Grand Prix when Pierre Gasly collided with Fernando Alonso at the first corner. Three laps later, the Spaniard vented his frustration by sending Mick Schumacher into a spin. The rise of the day is to the credit of Carlos Sainz. Starting 19th, the Ferrari driver went on overtaking to cross the line in eighth place.