Valtteri Bottas took off from pole and drove a faultless race to win the Turkish Grand Prix where intermediate tyres were the choice of the day. Verstappen finished second to take over the Championship lead while Sergio Perez completed the podium.
Host of the Turkish Grand Prix was a very wet track at the start of the race, forcing everybody to use intermediate tyres. With no rain falling at the time of the start, many believed a pack of 20 cars racing around would quickly create a drying line and perhaps enable a switch to slicks.
From pole, Bottas made a solid start, followed by Verstappen, Leclerc, Perez and Gasly. Alonso was on the outside of Turn 1 but tangled up with Gasly, sending the Spaniard into a spin. He quickly rejoined but only in 16th, a far cry from 5th on the grid. Gasly was later given a 5s time penalty for that.
Norris followed up in 6th, then Stroll, Tsunoda, Hamilton, Vettel, Ocon, Giovinazzi, Raikkonen, Russell and Sainz. Alonso in 16th as ahead of Ricciardo who started from the very back after a power unit change. Mazepin, Schumacher and Latifi completed the pack at the end of lap 1 as they all made it through in these difficult conditions.
Alonso moved up into 15th soon but then got involved in another incident with Mick Schumacher, ending up in 17th with Schumacher 19th again. Alonso was later handed a 5s time penalty for that incident.
Hamilton meanwhile kept it clean and tidy, mounting serious pressure on Yuki Tsunoda until eventually passing the AlphaTauri driver on lap 8. Hamilton progressed past Stroll the next lap and further past Norris another two laps later. The Brit continued to impress and recorded further fastest laps to reel in Gasly and pass him on lap 13, lapping more than 2s a lap faster than the Frenchman.
In front, Bottas maintained 3s on Verstappen and an extra 2.5s on Leclerc.
In the midfield, the only driver really managed to make any progress was Carlos Sainz. The Spaniard moved up into 10th by lap 16 while most others were unable to make any pass stick. Ricciardo for instance was still only 16th and Alonso 17th.
As the intermediates were pretty much slicks for everybody, most were thinking about pitting, but unsure what to go for in the pits. Ricciardo was first to pit, changing to a new set of intermediates on lap 23. That didn't really prove a whole lot faster, so triggered the competitors to stay out longer.
As light rain persisted, Alonso pitted and served his 5s penalty on lap 31. When out, he was only slightly quicker, proving once again that slicks were just not realistic, and the ideal tyre were near-slick intermediates.
When many cars pitted around lap 35-38, Vettel tried to go for medium tyres, but after just one lap of driving on ice, he returned to the pits for fresh intermediate tyres. Sadly for him, that meant 19th place, 3s behind Schumacher (who still had to stop).
By lap 42, only leader Leclerc, Hamilton in 4th and Ocon in 8th hadn't stopped yet. Hamilton was called in on lap 41 but rejected, opting to continue on the old tyres.
Leclerc however started to struggle more and more, enabling Bottas to edge closer. Hamilton meanwhile also continued to go faster than Verstappen in third place while the Dutchman complained of his steering wheel continuing to evolve more into a left-hand down position for straight through.
Bottas regained the lead in T1 of lap 47, followed by a stop for Leclerc at the end of that lap. Leclerc had a quick stop in 3.1 seconds and returned to the track in fourth place, behind Hamilton and 1s ahead of Perez.
Hamilton eventually pitted as well on lap 50, returning to the track with great pace, but in 5th place, behind Perez and Leclerc. Initial graining caused Hamilton to come under threat of Gasly, but he held on to 5th, despite some clear annoyance with his team about pitting him.
Meanwhile, Bottas secured a solid victory, ahead of Verstappen and Perez. While Bottas enjoyed one of his better weekends of the year, Hamilton will surely follow up the race with some questions to his team.
|2||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda||58||+14.584s||18|
|3||11||Sergio Perez||Red Bull Racing Honda||58||+33.471s||15|
|6||10||Pierre Gasly||Alphatauri Honda||58||+44.292s||8|
|7||4||Lando Norris||Mclaren Mercedes||58||+47.213s||6|
|9||18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin Mercedes||58||+82.018s||2|
|10||31||Esteban Ocon||Alpine Renault||57||+1 lap||1|
|11||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||57||+1 lap||0|
|12||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||57||+1 lap||0|
|13||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Mclaren Mercedes||57||+1 lap||0|
|14||22||Yuki Tsunoda||Alphatauri Honda||57||+1 lap||0|
|15||63||George Russell||Williams Mercedes||57||+1 lap||0|
|16||14||Fernando Alonso||Alpine Renault||57||+1 lap||0|
|17||6||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Mercedes||57||+1 lap||0|
|18||5||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin Mercedes||57||+1 lap||0|
|19||47||Mick Schumacher||Haas Ferrari||56||+2 laps||0|
|20||9||Nikita Mazepin||Haas Ferrari||56||+2 laps||0|