The 2021 F1 Season originally featured a 23 race calendar. However, with the world still reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Formula One management faced challenges in adhering to the original schedule. The Japanese GP was one such race that got cancelled due to the Quarantine protocols of the country. As a result, the hunt began for a replacement, and it was Turkey that came to the sport's rescue. After a hiatus of 9 years, the circuit got included in 2020, and come 2021, Istanbul Park hosted the 2nd "fly-away" event of the revised F1 Calendar.
The Hermann Tilke designed circuit was another track that ran in an anti-clockwise direction and offered several overtaking opportunities. Ex-F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone dubbed it "the best track in the world". The changeable weather conditions had produced a humdinger of a GP in 2020. Hamilton got crowned the World Champion at this track, equalling the record of 7 world titles in 2020. While the weather forecast stated mixed conditions for the race in 2021, the Championship battle remained an open affair, be it the Drivers or the Constructors.
In the week leading up to the Turkish GP weekend, the FOM added Losail International Circuit ( Qatar ) to the 2021 calendar. Qatar also bagged a ten-year deal to host F1 races from 2023.
While Japan got replaced by Turkey, it didn't prevent Red Bull from running "special White liveried" cars on both the teams ( Red Bull and Alpha Tauri ) as a tribute to engine supplier Honda. Red Bull and Honda also announced a collaboration beyond F1 from 2022. The Japanese manufacturer also offered its support to "Red Bull Powertrains" for 2022.
Meanwhile, Mercedes saw it wise to give Hamilton a 4th ICE ( Internal Combustion Engine ) for the Turkish GP weekend. As a result, the Briton got a ten-place grid penalty for the race. As for Sainz, the Spaniard opted for a completely new Power Unit, which relegated him to the back of the grid for the race.
In an attempt to improve safety in the sport, the FIA asked Hamilton, Vettel, Sainz, Russell and Ricciardo to trial prototype gloves ( on Friday ) that featured better protection from heat.
Reliability was the biggest concern for the front running teams. With the season nearing its business end, the struggle to extend the shelf life of the components raged on.
Was there another twist in the title fight? Did the special livery give Red Bull and Honda a memorable weekend? Was Hamilton able to limit the effect of his grid penalty? Time for a recap of the Turkish GP weekend!
Clear skies greeted the drivers at the start of FP1. Kimi Raikkonen, the first Turkish GP winner, had two lap times deleted after exceeding the track limits at turn 6. While Verstappen complained about low grip levels on the soft tyres, Leclerc looked competitive in his Ferrari. However, it was Hamilton who topped the timesheets, four-tenths clear of Verstappen and Leclerc. Bottas was P4 in the other Mercedes, followed by Sainz and Ocon. Ocon had set his best attempt on the hard tyres, which suggested that the Alpines looked set for a strong weekend. Likewise, his teammate Alonso set his quickest lap on the medium tyres. Norris was P7 for McLaren, followed by Gasly, Alonso and Perez, who completed the top 10.
Russell led the lower half of the field, with Ricciardo and Vettel P12 and P13, respectively. Latifi split the Alfa Romeos of Giovinazzi and Raikkonen in P15, while P17 was the best that Stroll could manage in the other Aston Martin car. The back of the field got completed by Tsunoda, Schumacher and Mazepin.
FP2 got underway, and with the track rubbered in from FP1, lap times began to improve. Bottas suffered a lock-up at turn one while Norris went over the kerbs at nine and ten. Drivers jostled for track position, and Stroll caused a traffic jam, much to the displeasure of Alonso. Hamilton, too, had to take avoiding action. While Latifi got spun around at turn 9, Raikkonen had issues with his drinks system, which left him stuck in the garage for a considerable time. Gasly complained about his seat positioning and suffered a spin at turn 6, which flat-spotted his tyres. Mazepin suffered a similar fate, destroying his mediums at turn eight. Post FP2, Ocon's Alpine broke down while performing a practice start on the grid.
It was Hamilton again at the top of the timesheets, a tenth clear of Leclerc and Bottas. The Red Bulls of Perez and Verstappen were P4 and P5, with Norris completing the top 6. Alonso and Ocon were 7th and 8th for Alpine, followed by the Alpha Tauri of Gasly and the Alfa Romeo of Giovinazzi.
Tsunoda was P11 in the other Alpha Tauri, with Sainz and Stroll P12 and P13, respectively. 14th was the best that Ricciardo managed in FP2, followed by Raikkonen and Vettel. The Williams of Latifi and Russell and the Haas cars of Schumacher and Mazepin completed the rear of the field.
Mercedes had a strong showing on Friday, while Red Bull struggled with setup issues. Ferrari, too, looked competitive and seemed to have a measure of rivals McLaren. Saturday promised to be another busy day for the teams and the drivers as they prepped the cars for Qualifying and then the Grand Prix.
Rain hit the circuit overnight and in the early hours of the morning. As a result, FP3 saw wet weather conditions. While some drivers waited for conditions to improve, others decided to take to the track and gather data under changeable weather. Tsunoda was the first man out in FP3, followed by Gasly, who suffered a spin at turn 11. With increased grip levels, it became evident that the intermediates were the better tyres for the remainder of the session. However, Mazepin suffered a spin at turn 11, while Russell went surfing through the grass at turn two and beached his Williams in the gravel. As a result, the session got briefly Red Flagged. Turns nine and ten had standing water, and slip-ups by Leclerc, Vettel and Verstappen cost them a spin. Tsunoda got impeded by Perez on a flying lap while Alonso had a trip through the gravel.
It was Honda power in the top 3, with Gasly topping the timesheets from Verstappen and Perez. The Ferraris of Sainz and Leclerc were P4 and P5, followed by Alonso and Raikkonen. Tsunoda, Bottas and Ocon completed the top 10.
Giovinazzi was P11 in the other Alfa Romeo, followed by Vettel and Schumacher. The McLarens of Ricciardo and Norris were P14 and P15, respectively, with Stroll setting the 16th quickest time in his Aston Martin. Mazepin was P17 in the other Haas, while Hamilton was P18, having spent the majority of FP3 in the garage. The Williams of Latifi and Russell completed the rear of the field.
The skies were overcast, and the risk of rain was at 100%. Post FP3, the track still had damp patches off the racing line. However, the teams and drivers deemed conditions to be fit to run slick tyres.
The lights went green for the start of Q1, and all the drivers rushed onto the track to set representative laps. Softs were the tyre of choice, with the cars fueled for multiple runs. McLaren informed Ricciardo that rain would hit the circuit three minutes into Q1. As the drivers began their first timed laps, Hamilton struggled to control his Mercedes at turn one and suffered a lap time deletion. His championship rival Verstappen spun at turn one, while Sainz's spin brought out the yellow flags in the first sector. There was a host of lap time deletions with drivers exceeding track limits, the Alfa Romeo duo of Raikkonen and Giovinazzi suffering the most. The rain arrived, and conditions got trickier with each passing minute. However, the drivers soldiered on with slick tyres.
Hamilton, Gasly, Verstappen, Bottas, Ricciardo and Stroll were the top 6, with Perez, Schumacher, Mazepin, Alonso and Sainz in the drop zone, halfway through Q1.
Tsunoda had an off-track excursion at turn one, while Leclerc and Raikkonen suffered from lap time deletions after exceeding track limits. Turn one saw two spins for Mazepin as several drivers returned to the pits for a fresh set of soft tyres in the final minutes. Red Bull informed Verstappen that conditions were improving as the rain eased off. Eventually, track evolution became rapid, and drivers jostled to be the last one to set a time.
At the end of Q1, Hamilton, Verstappen, Gasly, Leclerc, Perez and Bottas were the top 6, with Ricciardo, Latifi, Giovinazzi, Raikkonen and Mazepin getting eliminated. Sainz was the last driver to attempt a lap and enjoyed the best conditions. He was pivotal in ousting Ricciardo, the shock of Q1.
Q2 got underway, and thankfully, the rain stayed away. The drivers had fuel for multiple runs, with Tsunoda, Schumacher and Russell opting for softs while the rest, the medium tyres. Sainz chose to stay put and save mileage on his engine. Perez lost control of his Red Bull and went across the gravel at turn one.
Halfway through Q2, Hamilton, Bottas, Verstappen, Alonso, Gasly and Tsunoda were the top 6, with Vettel, Stroll, Schumacher, Russell and Sainz facing elimination.
The drivers pitted for fresh tyres. Leclerc, on his flying lap, suffered a spin at the final turn. Meanwhile, Stroll missed his braking and ran wide at turn one and then across the gravel like Perez. Russell looked set to break into the top 10 on his final attempt when the rear of his Williams snapped out of control at the last turn. The Briton ran wide and was out of contention. Sainz emerged from the pits but didn't attempt a timed lap. Instead, he gave Leclerc a tow which catapulted the Monegasque into the top 10 with the 7th quickest time.
Hamilton, Bottas, Verstappen, Gasly, Alonso, Perez, Leclerc, Tsunoda, Stroll and Norris made it into Q3, while Vettel, Ocon, Russell, Schumacher and Sainz got eliminated.
The start of Q3 saw Tsunoda opt for the medium tyres, with Perez, Leclerc and Stroll choosing a used set of soft tyres. The drivers headed out for their first timed laps, with some aiming to complete two attempts.
Less than six-tenths separated the top 6 drivers as Bottas went quicker than Hamilton and Verstappen at the top.
The drivers returned to the pits for the final minutes of the top-ten shootout. Hamilton, Tsunoda, Leclerc and Gasly went out earlier than the rest of the field, and everyone got a fresh set of softs.
Hamilton improved his lap time to go quickest and two-tenths clear of Bottas. The Briton attempted another lap but failed to improve. As for Bottas, it was a faster lap, but not enough to beat Hamilton's time. Verstappen set the 3rd quickest time, with Leclerc going P4. Four-tenths separated the top 4 drivers. Gasly, Alonso and Perez were within a second of Hamilton's attempt in P5, P6, and P7, respectively. Norris was P8, with row 5 getting occupied by Stroll and Tsunoda.
Although Hamilton was the quickest at the end of Q3, the Briton would eventually start the race in P11 due to his grid penalty. Bottas inherited pole position and had the opportunity of scoring a much-awaited victory come Sunday. As for Hamilton, it was the best possible result in Qualifying, and with the several overtaking opportunities, the Briton looked set to carve his way through the field. Reliability remained a challenge, though.
Red Bull had been 2nd best, and Verstappen predicted a tough battle against the Mercedes on Sunday. However, the Dutchman had a front-row start and was capable of beating Bottas over race distance. As for Perez, P6 wasn't the ideal result, but the Mexican got tasked with holding up Hamilton for as long as possible. The possibility of outscoring Mercedes seemed unlikely for Red Bull.
Ferrari produced a tactical masterclass in Qualifying. The team made the right calls to hamper and compromise McLaren's chances on the weekend. While Sainz had a start from the back of the grid, the Spaniard took part in Qualifying and did enough to bump Ricciardo out of Q1. More importantly, the tow provided to Leclerc in Q2 helped the latter get a place in Q3. Leclerc repaid the team's efforts with a stellar lap which saw him inherit a P3 start. The Ferrari drivers had been strong in the race simulations in the practice sessions and looked set to outscore the McLaren duo. A podium finish was on the cards with the right strategic calls.
It had been a long time since Alpha Tauri had both its drivers in Q3. While Gasly remained ever efficient, Tsunoda, after a few hiccups, came good with the 9th quickest time. Qualifying was a confidence booster for Tsunoda since the rookie had been under fire for his mediocre performances the past few weeks. In the quest for P5 in the Constructors, outscoring Alpine was paramount, and with both its drivers in the top 10, Alpha Tauri aimed for a double points haul.
Alonso out-qualified his teammate Ocon to start P5 on Sunday. The Spaniard was famous for lightning starts and gaining multiple positions on the opening lap. His race was pivotal for Alpine's hopes of keeping Alpha Tauri at bay. As for Ocon, a P12 start was far from ideal, but the Frenchman needed smart calls from the pit wall coupled with bold overtaking manoeuvres to break into the top 10. The presence of quicker cars behind made the task more challenging.
Norris was McLaren's best hope at salvaging what had been a tough weekend. P7 was the best that the Briton could achieve on Saturday, while Ricciardo qualified a lowly P15. The possibility of outscoring Ferrari was unlikely. McLaren was in damage limitation mode come Sunday.
It wasn't smooth sailing for the Aston Martin drivers. While Stroll made it into Q3, Vettel narrowly missed out in P11. Nevertheless, the duo would start P8 and P10 following Hamilton's grid penalty. Although superior race strategies had helped Stroll and Vettel in the past, the presence of quicker cars behind them presented a challenge for staying in points-scoring positions. Aston Martin was trailing its rivals by a considerable margin and couldn't afford a mediocre result from either driver.
Russell's mistake on his final attempt of Q2 cost him a place in the top 10. The Briton rued the missed opportunity and qualified a disappointing P13. However, it was Sunday that mattered, and he hoped to make amends on race day. P16 was the best that Latifi could achieve in the other Williams. The Canadian faced a long Sunday afternoon.
Schumacher had hoped for damp conditions, and like his father, produced a stellar lap to qualify P14 in a Haas. It was Schumacher's first Q2 appearance, an achievement after having started at the back row of the grid for the majority of the season. Race day posed a different challenge, and Schumacher didn't seem to have the pace to sustain P14. As for Mazepin, it was a baptism by fire. The Russian had off-track excursions, spins and lap time deletions which left him in P20 and last.
Despite showing promise all weekend, Giovinazzi and Raikkonen could only manage P18 and P19, respectively. The duo suffered from several lap time deletions as neither got the optimal setup. A good race strategy was the only hope to salvage something from the weekend.
McLaren opted for a new ICE, Turbo and MGU-H for Ricciardo, which relegated him to the back of the grid alongside Sainz.
C2, C3 and C4 were the dry tyres available for the race, but track conditions were more suitable for the intermediates after rain hit the circuit on Sunday morning.
The cars headed out for the formation lap, and Alpha Tauri informed Gasly that conditions would stay the same for the whole race.
The race got underway, and after an initial stutter, it was a clean getaway for Bottas. Verstappen tried to challenge Bottas but had to relent at turn one. Gasly got sandwiched at turn one with Perez on the inside and Alonso on the outside. Alonso tried an opportunistic overtake and got hit by Gasly, which sent him into a spin and dropped him to P17. The incident got investigated, and Gasly got a five seconds time penalty.
Further down the field, Hamilton made a cautious start in P10. The Alfa Romeo duo of Giovinazzi and Raikkonen was up to P12 and P13, respectively, with Ricciardo in P16. A spin for Latifi relegated him to P20. Russell got past Schumacher for P14, while Perez was up to P4.
Hamilton began his charge up the field with an overtake on Vettel for P9. Alonso got past Sainz for P16 but then hit Schumacher, which sent the latter into a spin ( at turn 4 ). The incident got investigated, and Alonso got a five seconds time penalty. Bottas was the quickest man on track and extended his lead to 1.6 seconds.
Bottas, Verstappen, Leclerc, Perez, Gasly, Norris, Stroll, Tsunoda, Hamilton and Vettel were the top 10 at the end of lap 5.
The teams instructed their drivers to cool the intermediate tyres by going over damp patches on the circuit. Meanwhile, Sainz relegated Russell to P15 on lap 6. Hamilton honed in on Tsunoda and pressured him for P7, but the rookie rebuffed Hamilton's challenge. Sainz got past Giovinazzi and Raikkonen to move up to P12, while Hamilton finally overtook Tsunoda for P7 on lap 8.
Further down the field, Latifi got past Schumacher for P19, while Ocon got relegated to P12 by Sainz ( lap 9 ). Hamilton, in clear air, began to push and closed up on Stroll, completing an easy overtake on the Aston Martin driver for P6. He then relegated Norris to P6 on lap 11. The Briton was now setting blistering lap times and reducing the deficit to Gasly rapidly.
At the front, Bottas informed Mercedes that the circuit was still damp and the track wasn't drying up despite the water getting dispersed by the 20 cars. The battle for P10 was hotting up with Sainz pressuring Vettel. The Spaniard got past on lap 14, but the duo banged wheels. Meanwhile, Gasly, struggling with graining on his intermediate tyres, put up a weak defence against Hamilton on lap 15. Hamilton was now P5.
Bottas, Verstappen, Leclerc, Perez, Hamilton, Gasly, Norris, Stroll, Tsunoda and Sainz were the top 10 on lap 16.
Verstappen and Bottas exchanged the fastest laps while Sainz got past Tsunoda for P9. McLaren asked Norris about grip levels, and the Briton quipped that his intermediates were now turning into slicks ( lap 21 ). Meanwhile, Ricciardo affirmed that he would be much quicker if McLaren pitted him. The team adhered to the request, and the Australian switched to a new set of intermediates on lap 22, rejoining in P18.
Tsunoda suffered a spin at turn nine and got relegated to P13 ( lap 23 ). Leclerc was the quickest man on track as Gasly reported light rain at turn nine. Bottas was now 2.5 seconds clear off Verstappen in the lead. Sainz informed Ferrari that a one-stop strategy looked optimal for the race.
Bottas, Verstappen, Leclerc, Perez, Hamilton, Gasly, Norris, Stroll, Sainz and Vettel were the top 10 on lap 29.
Bottas reported light rain from turns six to twelve. Meanwhile, Alonso pitted for a fresh set of intermediates on lap 31 and rejoined in P18. Hamilton had closed upon Perez in the battle for P4 and got wheel-to-wheel with him going into the final turn. Perez almost got pushed into the pit lane entry while defending his position but put up a dogged defence, holding on to P4. Meanwhile, Ricciardo got past Latifi and Russell for P15. Norris pitted for new intermediates on lap 35 and rejoined in P9.
More drivers began to pit for a fresh set of intermediates, and Tsunoda, Russell, and Verstappen made the switch on lap 36. Lap 37 saw Sainz, Mazepin and Vettel pit. Sainz had a slow stop of 8.1 seconds after the team held him up to avoid an unsafe release ( into Mazepin's path ). Vettel, meanwhile, took the bold decision of switching to slick tyres. The German took a used set of mediums and tip-toed his way out of the pits. It, however, turned out to be the incorrect decision as Vettel struggled to keep his Aston Martin on the track, rapidly falling backwards. He returned to the pits after just one lap to switch back to the intermediates.
Bottas and Perez pitted for a fresh set of intermediates on lap 38, with Raikkonen following suit on 39. Hamilton, now in clear air, began to push in P2. Meanwhile, Gasly and Stroll pitted for intermediates on lap 40, rejoining in P6 and P11, respectively.
Leclerc, in the lead, contemplated going till the end of the race without pitting. Ferrari acknowledged his request but continued their discussions on the pit wall. Further down the field, Giovinazzi and Schumacher also pitted for new intermediates on lap 41.
The Mercedes pit crew were ready in the pits for Hamilton, but the Briton went against the instructions on lap 42. He believed he could manage the current set of tyres until the end of the race. At the front, Bottas was catching Leclerc, who locked up and ran wide, reducing his lead to 2 seconds. Verstappen reported steering wheel issues on lap 44, while Sainz got past Ocon for P8. Bottas reclaimed the lead on lap 46, and immediately after, Leclerc pitted for new intermediates and rejoined in P4. Sainz was setting blistering lap times in clear air.
Bottas, Verstappen, Hamilton, Leclerc, Perez, Gasly, Norris, Sainz, Ocon and Stroll were the top 10 on lap 50.
Hamilton and Mercedes had been in intense discussion, and it became evident that Hamilton wasn't able to bridge the gap to Verstappen. Meanwhile, Leclerc and Perez had begun to eat into his lead. Mercedes informed Hamilton that if he delayed pitting, then he would lose more positions. The Briton finally relented on lap 51 and rejoined in P5. Meanwhile, on the track, Perez got past Leclerc for P3 ( lap 52 ).
On asking his position on the track, Mercedes informed Hamilton that he was in P5. Hamilton made his displeasure known and questioned the team about not listening to his assessment of the tyres. The Briton closed up on Leclerc on lap 53 and suddenly lost grip! He had entered the graining phase of his new tyres and ended up losing 3 seconds on a single lap. Gasly and Norris, who had pitted earlier than Hamilton, were past that graining phase and began to pressure the latter into an error.
The battle for P9 saw Stroll emerge victorious over Ocon. Bottas set the fastest lap of the race on lap 57 and took the point that came with it. Further down the field, Ricciardo got relegated to P13 by the Alfa Romeo duo of Giovinazzi and Raikkonen.
Bottas took the Chequered Flag and victory at the Turkish GP! Verstappen came home in 2nd, with Perez 3rd to complete a double podium finish for Red Bull. P4 was the best that Leclerc could manage for Ferrari, followed by a dejected Hamilton in P5. The Briton fended off the challenge by Gasly and Norris, who finished P6 and P7, respectively. Sainz, Stroll and Ocon completed the top 10.
The Alfa Romeo duo of Giovinazzi and Raikkonen were P11 and P12, followed by Ricciardo in the other McLaren. Tsunoda finished P14, with Alonso splitting the Williams of Russell and Latifi in P16. Vettel, Schumacher and Mazepin completed the classification, all 20 drivers finishing the Grand Prix.
It had been a long wait for Bottas, who hadn't won a race since the 2020 Russian GP. However, it was an assured display of racecraft by the Finn in changeable weather conditions. More importantly, he got the point for the fastest lap as well. The win cemented his hold on P3 in the Drivers' standings. As for Hamilton, it was a long post-race debrief as he questioned Mercedes' decision to switch him to new tyres in the final laps. He believed he would have held on to P3 ( on old tyres ) and further limited the dent caused to his title challenge by Verstappen. Hamilton had the pace to finish second best if not win, had the weather not played spoilsport. This result could prove pivotal in the title fight with Verstappen. In the Constructors standings, Mercedes outscored Red Bull by three points and extended their lead to 36.
Red Bull had a strong showing at a circuit where they looked to be struggling. The special livery gave the team a memorable weekend as they scored a double podium finish. Verstappen's P2 allowed him to retake the lead in the Drivers' Championship. The Dutchman led Hamilton by six points, having driven a measured race with minimal risks taken. As for Perez, the Mexican earned brownie points with his staunch defence against relentless pressure by Hamilton. The podium finish was also a confidence booster after many mediocre and under-performing race weekends.
Leclerc and Sainz produced stellar drivers to give Ferrari a big haul of 16 points. While Leclerc tried to risk it all for a win, Sainz made the right calls along with opportunistic overtakes to charge through the field. Sainz also got awarded the "Driver of the Day". Eventually, Leclerc finished P4 and Sainz a commendable P8 to reduce the deficit to McLaren to only 7.5 points. Ferrari had looked competitive all weekend, and they capitalized on the opportunity.
Gasly's P6 finish and 8 points helped Alpha Tauri outscore Alpine and reduce the gap to 12 points in the Constructors. The coming together with Alonso on the opening lap got him a time penalty which seemed harsh. Nevertheless, the Frenchman recovered to produce a strong result. He came close to overtaking Hamilton in the final laps of the race. As for Tsunoda, a mistake on lap 23 bumped him out of the points, and the rookie never recovered from thereon. It was an opportunity missed for Tsunoda after having qualified in the top 10.
Norris was McLaren's best hope for Sunday, and the Briton finished in P7, bringing home 6 points. As for his teammate Ricciardo, it was a tough day at the office. The Australian struggled with his rear brakes and pitted for fresh tyres too early. He eventually fell backwards to finish a lowly P13 and end a disappointing display. McLaren hadn't looked competitive all weekend and took a hit to the buffer they had built on Ferrari in the Constructors.
A strategic blunder with Vettel cost Aston Martin a double-points finish. The German ended his race in P18, ahead of the Haas cars, while his teammate Stroll, after numerous battles, managed P9. Aston Martin's deficit to Alpha Tauri increased further after another lacklustre weekend. The team needed change, and quickly if they were to salvage anything better than P7 in the Constructors.
Alpine, like Aston Martin, had a tough weekend. Ocon finished in P10 and got Alpine a point. He was the only driver who didn't pit for the entirety of the race. Had the Chequered Flag not been waved on lap 58, Ocon would have lost P10 to Giovinazzi, who on fresher tyres, and caught up to him and finished only seven-tenths adrift. A collision on the first lap, followed by a time penalty for sending Schumacher into a spin, destroyed Alonso's race. The Spaniard had the pace to finish the race in the top 6 but failed to recover from the incidents. He finished in P16. Alpine needed to forget this weekend as soon as possible.
It was yet another race on the cusp of points for Alfa Romeo. Giovinazzi and Raikkonen finished in P11 and P12, respectively, and were inseparable throughout the race. While Alfa Romeo tried a position swap between the duo, Raikkonen didn't close enough to enforce team orders. With the season nearing its end, Alfa Romeo would get limited opportunities for more points finishes and looked destined to finish P9 in the Championship.
Russell finished P14 while Latifi, despite his spin, recovered to P16. These results were the best that Williams duo could manage from a challenging weekend. As for Haas F1, after his heroics on Saturday, it was no secret that Schumacher would struggle to hold his own against quicker cars around him. Unfortunately, the incident with Alonso robbed him of a fighting chance on one of his best weekends. Mazepin finished P20, and last and Haas F1 was yet to score a point in 2021.
It is a see-saw battle between Hamilton and Verstappen, with the latter taking the lead after the Russian GP. The strategy call by Mercedes could prove to be one of the pivotal moments in this season's fight for supremacy. The next race is trans-Atlantic at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Would we see another twist, or would the status quo remain? Time would reveal all.
However, the crown of the Turkish GP belonged to Valtteri Bottas, the Flawless Finn in the Turkish rain!