Valtteri Bottas’ run at Istanbul Park was possibly the worst of his career, unable to stay on track with dignity and watching his world title opponent double down on him and celebrate his seventh crown.
Valtteri Bottas had to win the Istanbul Grand Prix and hope Lewis Hamilton would have a bad day if he wanted to keep your world title options aliveBut the race at Istanbul Park was the complete opposite of what the Finn needed.
And it is that the 57 laps that Bottas managed to complete were hell one after another, in addition to one public humiliation which, in any case, has its explanation. At the start, Valtteri Bottas started ninth, but on the approach to the first stop, he was in a position to contest third place alongside Lewis Hamilton and the two Renault.
“The steering wheel was not pointed straight and a piece of the front wing was missing”
However, Daniel Ricciardo played Esteban Ocon and he spun, leading to the same result for Bottas, who dropped to the penultimate position. Already in turn 9 of that first lap, Ocon crossed his path again, spinning again and seeing the front wing of his Mercedes damaged.
“It was a long race, a very long day,” admitted Valtteri Bottas. Obviously in the first round everything went wrong. I don’t know if it was Danny (Ricciardo) or who (it was Esteban Ocon) in the first corner spinning that I tried to avoid it and also spun ».
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“Then I had contact at Turn 9 (Esteban Ocon again) and the car was no longer the same,” says Bottas. I fought to stay the course. I could not drive, the steering wheel was not pointed straight and a piece of the front wing was missing (base of the right endplate). It was a survival race.
Hamilton, deserved champion
All of this resulted in a total of six spins for Valtteri Bottas’ Mercedes 377, which ended up bent by Lewis Hamilton and crossed the line in a disappointing 14th position. Something that does not prevent the Finn from congratulating his teammate, who was proclaimed world champion for the seventh time. “He deserves it, fully. He was the best of all of us this year, of all, on average. He fully deserves it, very well for him. But I’ll try to beat him next year.
As a result of all this, Valtteri Bottas is now second in the World Cup, 106 points behind Lewis Hamilton and only 27 points ahead of Max Verstappen, third classified.