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Bottas’ first victory in 2021 is a dominant one at a damp Turkish GP!

There wasn't much rain, but the damp conditions made for a bit of drama!

I’ll be honest, for the most part, the Turkish GP was quite a modest affair. Post the initial few laps, there wasn’t much in terms of excitement, with everyone behaving quite well on-track! On Lap 1, Alonso got spun round by Gasly who got ‘sandwiched’ between Alonsos and Perez and then on the next lap Alonso hit Schumacher. Both Alonso and Gasly got 5-second penalties which they served at their pitstops.


Latifi had a spin on Lap 1, and nothing much happened henceforth other than the overtakes by Sainz and Hamilton. Tsunoda did well to fend off Lewis, but on Lap 9 Lewis made his way past the Japanese driver, and started his charge up the order. A beautiful move round the outside showing Tsunoda’s lack of experience.

From there on, Lewis and Carlos were the only two making moves, and some were a bit more risque than others, like this move by Sainz on Seb, which saw contact between the pair!


Tsunoda went for a spin, and in doing so he gave up good points. Tyre talks started on the radio, and we saw a great tussle between Lewis and Checo, the Mexican somehow staying in front!

Most made their stop apart from Leclerc and Hamilton, who stayed out on the inters on which they started till late. Very late in fact. They made them last for almost 50 odd laps. Sainz set a bunch of fastest laps, though it was eventually Valtteri who stormed his way to his first win of the season, and set the fastest lap on the last lap as well- amazing drive by him! Max finished P2, and Checo finished P3 after a late pass on Leclerc.

Let’s now go into how each team performed today.

Red Bull

The Red Bull boys had a good race, scoring a double podium. Max’s pace was great, though Checo’s was not so great. He fell back from Leclerc, and was a distant P4 all race, and even after a hard battle with Lewis, he emerged P4 after his pitstop, though a late but great move on Leclerc saw him bag P3.


Max just didn’t have the car to battle Valtteri today, but he did well to atleast put up somewhat of a fight. His race was dull for the most part, as he languished in P2 almost all throughout the race, though in the end he’ll be happy he gained 8 points on Lewis in the standings, and now sits 6 points clear at the top.


Mercedes had a good car today, and it showed. The car’s lack of power on the straights was compensated by how quick it was around corners. Valtteri took his first win of the season in quite a dominant fashion, and with it bagged some crucial points for the contructor’s championship. Lewis did finish P5, but the team still managed to get 3 points more than Red Bull out of this event.


Lewis carved his way through, but he was quite angry with the team after his pitstop for fresh tyres. He struggled, and couldn’t overtake anyone post his pitstop, instead falling backwards into Gasly’s clutches. But, he managed to stay ahead and shut off his engineer during the last laps. to be fair though, as the track was drying, it did seem like Lewis could’ve managed to take those tyres to the end.

He stands to be the only driver with no pitstops in Turkey back in 2008. The new rubbers take a lot of laps to set on and at lap 50, the pit stop made him fall from P3 to P5. Nevertheless, Valtteri was faultless. Mercedes should be happy about this race, despite Lewis’ result!


The Italian team had a great car for the conditions today, and it showed. Charles was able to pull away from Sergio until his botched strategy call left him vulnerable, but until then he drove fantastically, holding a commanding P3. He did eventually finish P4 after Sergio passed him near the end, though he still drove very well!


Carlos, however was absolutely ON IT. The Spaniard absolutely gnawed his way up the order, going from P19 to P8, making some fantastic manoeuvres in the process as well. His pace was rapid, and he even held the fastest lap for a bit until Valtteri stole it from him. He did win Driver of the day, in a brilliant showing by the Spanish driver!


McLaren were just invisible today, with Daniel having a shocker of a race while Lando couldn’t do much either, finishing in the same position he started in. Lando seemed to just lack pace compared to Gasly who was in front of him, and towards the end was even falling into Sainz’s clutches, though did finish P7.


Daniel had issues with his rear brakes, and couldn’t make much progress. He was the first car to pit, but even an early pitstop couldn’t help him, as he finished a lowly P13. McLaren will surely be hoping to bounce back at Austin, as they can’t afford any setbacks!


Yet again, it was Gasly who carried the entire team on his back, scoring good points with a P6 finish. The French driver did get a penalty for contact with Alonso on Lap 1, but he drove well enough to ensure that the deficit would be nullified, and he even had a small battle with Lewis in the closing stages!


Yuki had a not-so-great race, finishing 14th, and he didn’t help his cause when he spun just before the half-way mark. He couldn’t make any progress from then on, and languished down the order, yet again scoring no points. He needs to pick up the pace soon, or his place in F1 will be put up for questioning!


It wasn’t a monumental day for Alpine, with the team only taking 1 point from the weekend. Fernando’s race was ruined on literally the first corner, when he was hit by Gasly and spun around to last place, and then got a penalty for hitting Schumacher. He couldn’t make much progress from then on, and finished a meagre 16th.


Esteban was put on a 0-stop race, and took the same set of tyres from start to finish. He made up places when others pitted, but promptly lost them as well when his tyres started to fade. He took away 1 solitary point from the weekend, which was the team’s entire tally! Alpine also need to up their game.

Aston Martin

It was a contrasting day for both sides of the Aston garage, with Lance scoring points while Seb scored nada. Lance drove a quiet race, and finished a decent P9, taking 2 points away from the weekend, not an overall great performance by the team!


Seb had a difficult race, as initially he was passed by a few cars, and then the team took the disastrous gamble to send him out on slicks on a wet track, and he struggled for one lap, before coming into the pits to change back to inters. This sent him down from P11 to P18, which was his eventual finishing position as well. Overall, a poor weekend by the team.

Alfa Romeo

Both Alfa cars showed glimpses of promise, but nothing materialised in the end. Antonio and Kimi finished 11th and 12th respectively, though with a glimmer of luck could’ve had a points finish!Kimi did question the team’s strategy, as he like Ocon wanted to try taking the tyres to the end, but they stuck to the conventional strategy, which ended up giving them their conventional result of no points.


I always feel like when smaller teams are in a bad position, they have nothing to lose, so why not risk it with wild strategies, instead of going with the same conventional strategies? Alfa did so, and lost out on a possible points finish, a shame.


Both Williams cars were nowhere, with George finishing P15 and Nicholas P17. George was invisible throughout the race, and didn’t make any ground on those in front, and finished a lowly P15. Nicholas had a spin on Lap 1, and just couldn’t do anything from there, finishing P17.


Williams have almost secured a P8 finish this year, though I’ll say Alfa look strong at some circuits, so they should keep their backs covered. They should still push for better strategies and good setups, so they can hopefully score a few more points!


I have legitimately nothing to write about Haas. They finished 19th and 20th, with nothing of note happening to the team other than Schumacher being spun by Alonso on Lap 2, from where he still recovered to finish ahead of his teammate by over 20 seconds.


There just isn’t anything in terms of action that happens to them, and locking out the last places in the race is almost tradition for them now. They seriously need to up the ante, or they’ll become the new HRT! Mazepin is converting himself from existing on the grid to become an annoyance to others. He was literally racing Lewis in the last laps when he was being lapped even after being shown the blue flags. That and his regular spinning. Trying too hard to be noticed?

In Conclusion

A not-so-dramatic race ended with Valtteri taking his first win of the season, and the battle between Mercedes and Red Bull heating up even more. Ferrari were far better than rivals McLaren around here, and AlphaTauri was yet again carried by their star driver- Gasly. Next up is Austin, so let’s hope for some of that yee-haw racing action when we arrive there in 2 weeks’ time!

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Sahil D.

Love sleeping, video games and aviation, but F1 is life! I'm addicted to F1 and it's happenings, and I really love open-wheel motorsport! Feel free to check out any of my articles- I try my best to write without an element of bias, so you as the reader can form your own opinion! :)

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