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      Valtteri Bottas triumphs at Turkish Grand Prix for first win of season

      © LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

      Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team driver Valtteri Bottas took the checkered flag at Intercity Istanbul Park to claim his first win of 2021.

      Valtteri Bottas: “Today was probably one of the best races I’ve had ever – apart from that one little slide, everything was under control. The car has been fantastic in every possible condition this weekend and I had great confidence with it. It’s not easy to choose the strategy here with these conditions – when to stop, which tyre to choose – but I’m glad everything went smoothly for me. When there’s only one drying line it doesn’t take much for you to go off, you need maximum focus all through the race and so today feels like a well-earned victory. My first win of the year too which feels great and I was happy to bring it home. It also took points off Red Bull so great for me and the team.”

      © Sebastian Kawka for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix ltd.

      Lewis Hamilton: “Today was frustrating but it is what it is – it felt good to be in third and I thought if I could just hold on it would be a great result from 11th. Strategy calls in conditions like today can be so tough. I’m naturally a risk-taker and being third, I was aiming to miss the stop when everyone pitted for new Inters, hopeful that I could get the opportunity to switch to slicks later and gain some good positions. Then the team made the call to come in and you have to rely on your team, accept the choices they make and hope it’s the right one – as I always say, we win as a team and we lose as a team. Overall, the car was great this weekend and Valtteri did a great job today. If we can continue to perform like that over the next few races, we’ll be in a good position come the end of the season.”

      Toto Wolff: “Absolute dominance from Valtteri today, a 10/10 drive from the get-go from him. He had the race under complete control, not only with his pace but his management of the tyres was fantastic. Well done Valtteri, a very strong weekend.
      For Lewis, we had difficult decisions to take throughout the race. We thought we could maybe hold out with him, not stopping, and take third place. Or, if a dry line appeared, maybe even bring him in and switch to the Soft tyre. The balance for us therefore was between pitting, taking it conservatively and fighting with Leclerc and Perez on track for P3 or, by taking a calculated gamble, have a chance to win the race or finish P3.

      “As it unfolded, we could see Leclerc’s pace dropping off on the old Inter, shortly followed by Lewis and then we knew we couldn’t go until the end and needed to stop. At that stage, Lewis was losing 1.5 secs to Gasly and Perez and it would be a matter of time before he was caught. We settle for P5 and I’m happy with the decisions we took.

      “There is always an absolute view and a relative view. The relative view is that in the last race, Red Bull were very happy to only lose 7 points from a grid penalty – today we lost 8 points so it isn’t the end of the world. The absolute view is that today, we could have scored another 3, 4 or 5 points more. But that’s fine, the championship is wide open and the fight continues.”

      The Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team