Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Istanbul Park, 2021

Turkish GP win ‘probably one of my best races’ – Bottas

2021 Turkish Grand Prix

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Valtteri Bottas says his victory in the rain-hit Turkish Grand Prix was one of the best performances of his career.

The Mercedes driver led most of the race from pole position in slippery conditions. He eventually pitted for intermediate tyres and picked his way back past Charles Leclerc to take the lead.

“I think from my side that’s probably one of the best races I’ve had ever,” said Bottas. “Apart from that one little slide everything was just under control.”

He qualified second for the race but started from pole position after team mate Lewis Hamilton took a grid penalty for a power unit part change.

“Like I said before the race, the car’s been really good in every condition,” said Bottas. “I had really good confidence with it and could really control it.

“It’s not easy to choose the strategy here, when to stop and to which tyre and everything but I’m glad everything went smoothly for me, for once and that’s nice.”

The track dried slowly through the course of the race, leaving a narrow line of grip where the cars were running, making for especially difficult conditions.

“When there’s only one drying line, it doesn’t take much for you to go off,” said Bottas, “so I definitely needed to focus all through the race.

“So it was a difficult one and it feels like a well-earned victory.”

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2021 Turkish Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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26 comments on “Turkish GP win ‘probably one of my best races’ – Bottas”

  1. Oh cmon, pace advantage + gifted pole + lots of grip… only Bottas would consider it his greatest.

    1. He still needed to keep it on the track in variable conditions. Everyone had lots of grip. He knows he isn’t great in the wet and he did the job today. Give credit where credit is due.

    2. well, he does not have a lot of better ones

    3. The amount of grip is also related to how the driver manages their tyres. Bottas seemed much better than Hamilton and Verstappen after he pitted and was faster on them initially. Didn’t seem to have the initial graining issue to the same extent that Hamilton did. He was pulling away from verstappen and catching Leclerc instantly after he boxed, while Hamilton was initially getting pressured a little by Gasly and couldn’t really close up to those ahead even after a few laps. Yes, Bottas had the lead, and a better car than Verstappen, but I would say he put a better drive in than these two, and most other drivers. And as he doesn’t often put in good wet weather performance, I can understand him feeling better about it.

    4. With the benifit of hindsight, it possible this was the stratigy behind Bottas engine change at the last Grandprix.
      Its that engine change which made sure he won today. That and Hamilton own forced engine change at this race.

      I kind of which Mercedes has changed Hamilton’s engine last week, he would then have started ahead of verstappen and very likely finished ahead. Then this weekend race would not have been in doubt another Hamilton win.

      This way Bottas gets the win he deserved before departing Mercedes, but at the expense of Hamilton’s march towards an unpresidented 8th championship. With a bit of luck Lewis will retake the lead of the championship, that assuming Verstappen doesn’t run into him.

      1. Hamilton had a lot of luck already this year.

  2. Hamilton has loads of these races…

    Good off the line, drives in to the sunset.. Or in this case turkish mist.

    Very hard to judge a driver when he puts on a peformance this flawless..

    We can take most insight from him actually. He did a great job, almost got the hat trick, if it was not for that meddling Leclerc taking a few lead laps.

    1. @jureo This would have been a very controversial “Grand Chelem”, given that he didn’t achieve the fastest lap in qualifying, but he would technically have earned it if not for the laps Leclerc led.

    2. Surely you mean bottas!

  3. And USA grand prix should be too, similar track to this, Mercs would be unstoppable.

  4. … maybe because there was no contention?

  5. About time Bottas. Where have you been all season? Constructors championship should not be this close.

    1. @krichelle
      Wouldn’t you say it is about time Perez got another podium? Red Bull has overall has been better than Mercedes this year and Bottas has 3 times as many podiums as Perez…

      1. Bottas has indeed been the clear best number 2.

    2. @krichelle it happens that whenever Ham can’t win a race Bottas somehow performs better. You have to ask that to mercedes.

  6. Great job from Bottas, made the so-called rain master Verstappen look very ordinary.

  7. José Lopes da Silva
    10th October 2021, 16:36

    A suggestion to Keith. There’s somewhere a study that concluded that Senna and Button are the greatest wet weather grand prix wiiners, on a %. You could take on that and update it, so we could find if who’s the rainmaster of the active current drivers.

    1. Probably has to be hamilton, followed by verstappen, among current drivers, in any case it’s quite easy to do with wikipedia having all race data.

  8. the car’s been really good in every condition

    Very ominous for the championship this. No wonder Verstappen was downbeat yesterday. The writing’s on the wall.

  9. Oof.. Congrats on the win, yes, but “one of my best”? Without Hamiltons penalty I don’t see how he could have won it. Strictly speaking there aren’t many wins at all for him in a dominant car, yes, so that would automatically make this one of the best. But come one, save those remarks for the weekends where you also beat Hamilton please.

    1. Hindsight…

      With hindsight its possible to see this as the reason Bottas had that engine changed last week.
      This was a race for Bottas to lose, fortunately in trying conditions he had the better of the Redbulls.

      This was also about the track, where the Redbulls could not afford to run with lower down force,
      and so could not set up their car for stronger strightline speed. On any other track they might have
      stood a chance at taking the win from Bottas.

    2. One of *his* best. Give the quote, we are only to compare this to some of Bottas’ own drives. And he may have a point there. Can you recall a better drive from him in wet / slippery / changing conditions? I don’t.

      1. +1

        His win in Russia from 3rd I think it was is up there but that was dry.

      2. I still disagree. He did a fine job, yes. But there were races in the past where he beat Hamilton. Call those your best (rightfully so). To me this sounds a bit like a “to whom it may concern” radio message.

  10. playstation361
    10th October 2021, 20:20

    He did it good.

  11. Bottas outperformed verstappen for the first time this year (would’ve probably been 2nd with monza), he did that with a car advantage, but just look at spain and portugal for examples where he didn’t.

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