Valtteri Bottas has won the Turkish Grand Prix, with the Mercedes driver successfully negotiating tricky wet conditions from pole position in Istanbul to take his first race victory of the season. Max Verstappen finished second to take a six-point lead in the championship standings, with Red Bull’s Sergio Pérez third. Lewis Hamilton had received a 10-place grid penalty for taking a new engine before the race and started from 11th, but rose through a turbulent field to within touching distance of the podium, before Mercedes told the British driver to pit on lap 47 for intermediate tyres. “We shouldn’t have come in man,” Hamilton told the Mercedes radio, after Hamilton slipped to from third to fifth place, from which he didn’t recover.
Hamilton was on course to finish third with the same rubber he started the race on, before Mercedes’ safety-first approach. Hamilton questioned the decision to stop and snapped “leave me alone” when race engineer Peter Bonnington informed him of the gap to Pierre Gasly in sixth. “Shit, man, why did you give up that place?” he added. Had Hamilton finished third, he would have been a sole point behind Verstappen. As it stands, he is now six points adrift. Hamilton’s pre-race penalty meant his Mercedes teammate, Valtteri Bottas, inherited pole from second place, and the Finnish driver took the chequered flag after overtaking Ferrari’s Charles LeClerc on lap 47 of 58, before powering to the line. “It is not easy to choose the strategy, but I am glad everything went smoothly for once for me,” said Bottas. “It does not take much to go off in these conditions so I had to focus throughout the race.” Championship leader Verstappen said: “It was not easy today. The track was very greasy and we had to manage the tyres. Valtteri had a little bit more pace but I am happy to finish second because in these conditions it is easy to get it wrong and drop back.”