The 2021 Formula 1 Turkish Grand Prix was won by Valtteri Bottas that was run in damp conditions, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and his teammate Sergio Perez completing the podium.
Click here to subscribe to our print edition!
Light rain peppered the track well before the race and while the rain stopped, conditions called for intermediate tyres throughout.
Bottas led the race away from the pole, his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton having started 11th thanks to his 10-place engine-related penalty, while Verstappen followed the Finn. By Lap 11, Hamilton was up into the top five having passed Pierre Gasly. The defending champion would be promoted to fourth when Sergio Perez pitted on Lap 38.
The pit stops came thick and fast from Lap 35 as Lando Norris was first to choose new inters, Verstappen in next on Lap 37 from P2, and Bottas pitting from the lead one lap later. Charles Leclerc was released into the lead but on Lap 48 of 58, he decided the gamble to forgo a pit stop wasn’t going to pay off and came in for new inters. Bottas delivered his first win since Russia 2020 with a flawless performance from then on, a bonus point is given as he also took the fastest lap.
Leclerc’s stop put Hamilton into third, the Briton seemingly trying to make it to the end on his starting tyres, or at least make it to dry conditions. The looming clouds said otherwise, and he finally boxed on Lap 51 – his tyres having turned into slicks. He was left furious, asking his team: “Why did we give up that place?!” P5 would be his final spot.
That promoted Leclerc back into the top three but he was passed by Perez on Lap 52, the Red Bull driver taking P3 and his first podium since France. Leclerc finished fourth as Hamilton could not catch the Ferrari driver in the closing laps.
AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly took sixth, having shrugged off a five-second penalty for a Lap 1 collision that sent P5 starter Fernando Alonso into a spin. Next on the board was Lando Norris, who was one of the earliest to pit for new inters (on Lap 35) and who settled for seventh having started there.
Carlos Sainz managed a brilliant recovery to P8 as engine penalties saw him start 19th, the Ferrari driver up into the points by Lap 14. His foray up the order was somewhat hurt by an 8.1s pit stop late on, without which he could have been in touching distance of Norris ahead.
Lance Stroll finished P9 having started eighth for Aston Martin, bumped up a place thanks to a pass on Alpine’s P10 finisher Esteban Ocon with five laps remaining. Ocon started 12th but made up two places with Alonso and Yuki Tsunoda dropping out of points contention thanks to respective spins.
Mario Isola – Head of F1 and car racing at Pirelli commented:
Following wet conditions in Saturday’s free practice, we had wet weather from start to finish at the 2021 Formula 1 Turkish Grand Prix today. However, this was never heavy rain that required the full wets: instead, it was perfect territory for the intermediates, which showed themselves to be very well-suited to a wide range of changing wet conditions. The drivers who changed their tyres in the final stages of the race found a slightly drier track, leading to a bit more graining. Those stopping earlier were able to limit graining on a wetter track, and this was a key advantage in the intermittent rain conditions.
Bottas ran the perfect strategy under the demanding circumstances: a one-stopper with two runs on the intermediates. Many other drivers delayed their pit stop: also because it wasn’t clear to what extent the track would dry out before the end of the race, perhaps even allowing a final run on the slicks. Going for the whole race on the intermediates though was not what we would advise, and in fact, we alerted some teams to the potential risk of doing that. Nonetheless, the performance of the intermediates was very strong here, without a single driver retiring despite the slippery conditions over all 58 laps.
2021 Formula 1 Turkish GP Race Results
|1.||77||Valtteri Bottas||Finland||Mercedes-AMG Petronas||1:31:04.103||26||177|
|2.||33||Max Verstappen||Netherlands||Red Bull Racing||+14.584s||18||262.5|
|3.||11||Sergio Perez||Mexico||Red Bull Racing Honda||+33.471s||15||135|
|4.||16||Charles Leclerc||Monaco||Scuderia Ferrari||+37.814s||12||116|
|5.||44||Lewis Hamilton||Great Britain||Mercedes-AMG Petronas||+41.812s||10||256.5|
|6.||10||Pierre Gasly||France||Scuderia AlphaTauri||+44.292s||8||74|
|7.||4||Lando Norris||Great Britain||Mclaren Racing||+47.213s||6||145|
|8.||55||Carlos Sainz||Spain||Scuderia Ferrari||+51.526s||4||116.5|
|9.||18||Lance Stroll||Canada||Aston Martin F1 Team||+82.018s||2||26|
|10.||31||Esteban Ocon||France||Alpine F1 Team||+1 lap||1||46|
|11.||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Italy||Alfa Romeo F1 Team||+1 lap||0||1|
|12.||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Finland||Alfa Romeo F1 Team||+1 lap||0||6|
|13.||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Australia||McLaren Racing||+1 lap||0||95|
|14.||22||Yuki Tsunoda||Japan||Scuderia AlphaTauri||+1 lap||0||18|
|15.||63||George Russell||Great Britain||Williams Racing||+1 lap||0||16|
|16.||14||Fernando Alonso||Spain||Alpine F1 Team||+1 lap||0||58|
|17.||6||Nicholas Latifi||Canada||Williams Racing||+1 lap||0||7|
|18.||5||Sebastian Vettel||Germany||Aston Martin F1 Team||+1 lap||0||35|
|19.||47||Mick Schumacher||Germany||Haas F1 Team||+2 laps||0||0|
|20.||9||Nikita Mazepin||Russia||Haas F1 Team||+2 laps||0||0|
2021 Constructor Standings
|1.||Mercedes-AMG F1 Team||433.5|
|2.||Red Bull Racing||397.5|
|5.||Alpine F1 Team||104|
|7.||Aston Martin F1 Team||61|
|9.||Alfa Romeo Racing||7|
|10.||Haas F1 Team||0|