Bottas wins Turkish Grand Prix as Verstappen reclaims championship lead
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Istanbul (AFP) –
Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas claimed his first chequered flag of the season to win the Turkish Grand Prix on Sunday as Max Verstappen reclaimed the lead in the title race.
The Red Bull driver finished second to take a six-point lead in the championship ahead of Bottas' teammate Lewis Hamilton who finished fifth voicing frustration with team strategy.
Sergio Perez, in the other Red Bull, took third with Ferrari's Charles Leclerc in fourth.
Although the rain eased by the start of the race, the wet conditions prevailed throughout, making the tactics around tyres and the timing of pit stops all the more important.
Bottas began from pole, avoiding a tangle between Pierre Gasly and Fernando Alonso on the opening lap, and led until pitting on the 38th lap of the 58-lap race.
That gave Leclerc the lead but as his tyres faded so did his pace and the Finn soon reclaimed the lead, going on to take his first win in over a year.
Verstappen made no attempt to challenge Bottas and was content to ease home second knowing that Hamilton was three places further back.
Hamilton was quickest in qualifying but had to start the race in 11th because of a grid penalty incurred for changing his engine.
The seven-time champion gained two places on the opening lap before picking his way up to fifth where he was held up by Perez.
As the other cars came in to change their tyres Hamilton stayed out, moving up to third and looking good for the podium.
Mercedes, however, called him in seven laps from the end, resulting in two lost places and an angry Hamilton.
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