ewis Hamilton limits damage to F1 title defense as Valtteri Bottas wins Turkish Grand Prix
Valtteri Bottas, who began on pole, cruised to victory in the Turkish Grand Prix on Sunday,
while Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton finished sixth to keep his championship defense alive.
Due to a 10-place grid penalty, Hamilton began the race in 11th position and worked his way through the field, initially in hazardous wet conditions,
to earn 10 points while championship contender Max Verstappen finished second.
As a result, Red Bull driver Verstappen restored a six-point lead over seven-time world champion Hamilton in the drivers’ standings.
“Today was not easy, the track was greasy, and we had to manage the tires the whole race,
” Verstappen said on the Formula One website. “Valtteri had a little more speed,
but we’re pleased with second place — it’s simple to make a mistake and fall behind.”
Max Verstappen finished second and now leads the championship by six points.
Sergio Perez of Red Bull came in third, followed by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in fourth.
Hamilton pitted for fresh tires on lap 51 of the 58-mile race,
a move made by Mercedes that the 36-year-old driver did not agree with.
“We shouldn’t have entered in the first place. Man with a massive graining machine.
I warned you!! “Hamilton, irritated, shouted over the Mercedes team radio.
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‘Wide open championship’
Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff, on the other hand, said that the team instructions were accurate.
“He (Hamilton) didn’t notice how much he was losing lap time,
and he didn’t see (Charles) Leclerc losing lap time,” Wolff added. “It was obvious that he would have lost against Gasly regardless if he had remained out.”
The proper decision would have been to be cautious and pit when everyone else pitted for the intermediates, but that is only in retrospect after the race.
“From a relative standpoint, Red Bull was pleased to only lose seven points from a grid penalty in the previous race, whereas we lost eight points today.”
“As a result, it isn’t the end of the world.”
In the end, we probably could have scored another three,
four, or five points. That’s OK in general. The championship is wide open.”
In the final moments of the Turkish Grand Prix,
Hamilton was dissatisfied with his team’s racing strategy.
There are six more races left in the 2021 season,
with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on December 12 bringing the season to a close.
“It’s been a long, but it feels wonderful,” Bottas said after claiming his first victory of the season on the Formula One website.
“It was one of the greatest races I’ve ever had from my perspective,
everything was under control.” For the first time in my life, everything went well.”
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