Turkish GP 2021: Damn, Formula 1! What a day of racing in Turkey, no less than a roller-coaster. If someone ever tells you F1 is boring, let’s take them on a trip to Mexico, maybe? Mercedes, who were predicted to win the race, actually got their victory, but it was Valtteri Bottas on top instead of Lewis Hamilton.
But Red Bull’s double podium followed by the Finn’s glory, allowed them to take a haul of 33 points. Meanwhile, Hamilton initially crawled across the midfield like a viper but could only reach until P5.
The Briton was precise with his strategy; he chose to stay out and maintain his no pitstop race. His hustle from thereon indicated that he might manage to grab at least a podium with it.
However, Mercedes felt it was too risky, and he would have lost places anyway. The seven-time world champion complied, only to realize he was better off with his old tyres, as his remaining race was spent heating his new intermediaries. This left Hamilton boil with rage, as apparent from his radio comments.
“That would have been better than what we ended up with. But it was measured, and in the car, he didn’t see how much he was dropping off. It was clear that had he stayed out, then he would have lost out to Gasly,” said Toto Wolff to SkySports on Mercedes’ decision to pit Hamilton.
This eventually helped Perez, who was holding behind Hamilton and Charles Leclerc, patiently and finally overtook the duo. Nevertheless, Bottas win and fastest lap ultimately had Mercedes’ guard on the constructors’ race.
Turkisk GP 2021: Valtteri Bottas last glory with Mercedes?
Bottas’ imminent exit from Mercedes leaves him with the last six races with the Silver Arrows. And considering from here, Hamilton would require absolute attention from Mercedes to prioritize his championship; this may be counted as his last win with Mercedes.
At least with this win, Bottas has managed to extend Mercedes lead over Red Bull by 36 points in the constructors’ championship. This can be considered a saving grace for Mercedes in a rare strategy blunder by them.
Meanwhile, Perez, from whom Red Bullearlier demanded better results was the biggest roadblock to Hamilton in Turkey. Until he got to confront the Mexican driver, Hamilton was on a steady upward trajectory.
But a top-notch wheel-to-wheel defence by Red Bull’s deputy driver left Hamilton stunned. After that, Hamilton failed to gain any standings until the former made a pitstop, but even then, Perez paved his way to P3.
The biggest loser in this contest was Hamilton, as Verstappen sought a six-point lead over him. Now, with engine unreliability concerns and Red Bull suited tracks are incoming, Hamilton is probably losing ground against the 24-year-old.
With only six races remaining this season, this current battle for the championship will probably go down as the greatest of this century, if not the decade. The only question that remains is who will emerge on the top by the end?