Valtteri Bottas conquered his first victory in over a year – the last being Sochi 2020 – and he did so dominating the whole rave ending with a 14-second gap from second-placed Max Verstappen.
After such a long time away from the highest step of the podium, the Fin seemed understandably ecstatic.
VALTTERI: “It’s been a while. It feels good. From my side, that’s one of the best races I’ve had. It’s not easy to choose the strategy here in these conditions. It feels like a well-earned victory” #TurkishGP 🇹🇷 #F1 pic.twitter.com/mAJFeZzBd5— Formula 1 (@F1) October 10, 2021
The Mercedes driver was starting from P1 and built up a healthy gap over Red Bull’s Verstappen in the early stages of the race. Towards the second half of the Grand Prix, he lost the lead on to Charles Leclerc but regained it back by cruising past the Ferrari down the inside of Turn 1 to win his first race of 2021.
“I think from my side, I have to say, probably one of the best races I’ve had ever,”
“The car has been good in every condition and I had good confidence with it and could really control it,” said Bottas after his 10th career victory.
“It feels… awesome. It feels good and I don’t know, almost like a relief that I actually won a race this year,” he added.
“It’s been a while – and it was not an easy race win; with these conditions, we just needed to have full focus, non-stop, and I couldn’t do any mistakes. Actually, the pace I had was really good, so I was confident with the car.”
It was a redemption day for Bottas today, definitely a day to remember after last year’s Turkey GP, when he spun six times and finished in a miserable 14th place. The contrast between that and this year’s race was not lost on the Finn, who said it was like “night and day”.
“The track luckily is quite grippy even in wet conditions, inter conditions, so it makes it a lot better than last year – it was like night and day here – and also in terms of my race, I had probably the worst race of my career here last year and now one of the best,” he added. “So, a lot better…”
Next up is the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of The Americas – the circuit where Kimi Raikkonen obtained his last victory prior to greeting Ferrari to join Alfa Romeo. Bottas, who will take his compatriot seat next year, says he hopes he can take another win there.
“I don’t have a crystal ball, but on paper, I think it [COTA] should be one of the good ones hopefully – that’s what we hope – but we’ll work hard in the next two weeks to... make sure we’re in the position to fight for a win again,” said Bottas.