Unpredictable weather conditions caused confusion across the board in the Formula 1 paddock in Istanbul.
Rain fell in the morning before the race and continued to drizzle throughout making the track greasy and keeping teams guessing with tyre choices.
Bottas sped off the line as the lights went green and didn’t look back, claiming a confident pole to victory race, his first since Russia last year.
Three drivers had picked up engine penalties pre-race placing Daniel Ricciardo in 20th on the grid, Carlos Sainz in 19th, and Lewis Hamilton starting from P11.
Impressively the pair of Carlos Sainz and Hamilton had already weaved their way into the top 11 after only 10 laps of racing with Hamilton in 5th and Sainz 11th but eventually making it into the points on lap 14.
The rain caused some spins notably Fernando Alonso who completed a neat 360 after a shunt from Pierre Gasly into turn one just seconds after the race start.
Fernando was able to continue racing having come out damage free but disappointingly dropped to 17th.
Pierre was handed a 5 second time penalty for the encounter. Meanwhile Alonso spun Schumacher in a similar fashion on lap 2 and received an identical time penalty himself.
Intermediate tyres were equipped across the field and moving into lap 20 the groves had started to reduce revealing the softer slicker part of the rubber.
As the tyres retained heat and gained grip the question arose as to when and which new tyres should be used.
Aston Martin gambled on lap 38 pitting Sebastian Vettel in for Medium compound slicks which turned out to be a race ruining decision for the German.
Vettel slid about the track and went off line several times. He was recalled into the pits the next lap for new intermediates and the terribleness of the slicks was seen even as Vettel entered pitlane as he spun out failing to keep his green machine straight.
Aston Martin’s decision played a crucial role in presenting an example of what not to do with the rest of the drivers and teams retaining the intermediates.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez managed to keep their main title rival Hamilton behind as they finished 2nd and 3rd in the race.
Hamilton seemed confused in terms of which lap and position he was running in as he pitted on lap 51 of 58 coming out 5th behind Charles Leclerc. Charles had pitted for new intermediates two laps earlier and was already struggling with graining on the rears.
But Charles managed to hang on to 4th and Lewis came home a bewildered 5th. The British driver asked in the final few laps “which position am I running in?”
But Bottas was the star of the Turkish GP, inheriting pole, claiming the lead on lap 1, setting the fastest lap of the race, and finally winning his first race of the season.
Here are how the drivers finished:
|10||Esteban Ocon||+1 lap|
|11||Antonio Giovinazzi||+1 lap|
|12||Kimi Räikkönen||+1 lap|
|13||Daniel Ricciardo||+1 lap|
|14||Yuki Tsunoda||+1 lap|
|15||George Russell||+1 lap|
|16||Fernando Alonso||+1 lap|
|17||Nicholas Latifi||+1 lap|
|18||Sebastian Vettel||+1 lap|
|19||Mick Schumacher||+2 laps|
|20||Nikita Mazepin||+2 laps|
Those results mean that Verstappen jumps Hamilton and moves into the lead of the championship once again. The gap is now just 6 points.
Featured image source: twitter.com/f1