I can imagine it must be difficult for Valtteri to be leaving Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 next year. If the takeover happens, he will be moving to Alfa-Romeo, where he might be racing under Andretti Autosport. Even though he will be parting ways with his current team, he hasn’t slowed down by any means. On Saturday. he qualified P2, right behind Lewis Hamilton. But with Lewis getting a penalty for the ICE change, Valtteri would start the race from P1.
Ferrari fans were ecstatic for a bit as Charles Leclerc took the lead in Turkey, but it didn’t take long for Bottas to make his move. And from that point on, he was unstoppable. He was excited about the outcome of the race, naming it one of the best ones he’s ever had. This happens to be his first victory of 2021, and it couldn’t come any sooner. The last time he was first across the finish line was in September of 2020, in Russia.
Further adding to the victory is the fact that he set the fastest lap time of the Turkish GP, clocking in at 1:30.432. Carlos Sainz set the second fast lap, even though he was a second a half slower than the Finn. His good rhythm was obvious judging by his progression through the field. He started the race in P19 and finished P8. If not for a slow pitstop, he might have finished even higher up in the field.
Leclerc finished 4th overall, making way for both Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, and barely holding up against Lewis Hamilton’s attacks. Hamilton came close to finishing the race without going in for a pitstop. Although he did mention that the car was sliding around a bit, he told his teammates that he felt in control. But the orders were clear, and he pulled in for a fresh set of tires.
He lost two positions with this move, coming out right behind Charles Leclerc. It looked like he could pass the Ferrari driver at first but then fell behind, finishing the race in P5. This means that Verstappen has reclaimed first place in the rankings, but the lead isn’t all that impressive. With a total of 262.5 points, he is just 6 points ahead of Hamilton, so it’s not all over yet.
Valtteri Bottas is not that far behind, with a total of 177 points. With six more races to go, he still has a mathematical chance of winning the championship. But that would require both Verstappen and Hamilton to have a disastrous few races, which is not likely to happen. Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 is leading the Constructor Standings with a total of 433.5 points, but Red Bull Racing Honda is only 36 points behind. Meanwhile, the fight for 3rd is on between McLaren Mercedes and Ferrari, which are just 7.5 points apart.