Valtteri Bottas secured victory in a wet Turkish Grand Prix – his first for Mercedes in over a year. But how many wins has he achieved in F1, and which track is his best?
Valtteri Bottas scores first F1 win in over a year in Turkey
Bottas inherited pole position in Turkey from Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, who had a 10 place grid penalty.
From pole in wet conditions, Bottas had a relatively untroubled run to the flag.
He only lost the lead when he pitted for a fresh set of intermediate tyres, as Charles Leclerc had not yet stopped.
Bottas quickly re-passed the Ferrari and cruised to his first F1 win of the season.
It is the Finn’s first since the 2020 Russian Grand Prix, and ensures that he will leave Mercedes at season’s end having recorded at least one win in four of his five seasons.
Bottas’s Turkish GP win is the 10th of his career.
Bottas will move to Alfa Romeo for 2022, as Mercedes elected to promote George Russell to be Hamilton’s teammate.
Where did Bottas score his first F1 win?
Bottas did not win a race during his spell at Williams between 2013-2016.
His first came during his debut year at Mercedes in 2017.
Nico Rosberg got the ultimate ‘one-up’ on ‘teammate’ Hamilton by taking his world title in 2016, and then promptly retiring.
Bottas was signed as the German’s replacement, thanks to Williams’ good relationship with engine supplier Mercedes.
In Sochi, Bottas started third behind the two Ferraris, but got the jump on the long run to Turn 2.
In the closing stages, Sebastian Vettel was rapidly closing in on Bottas – making his 81st F1 start.
Bottas held on to become the fifth Finn to win an F1 race – after Keke Rosberg, Mika Hakkinen, Kimi Raikkonen and Heikki Kovalainen.
His second win would come in Austria later in the season.
From pole, Bottas got a brilliant getaway, with Vettel believing the Mercedes had jumped the start.
The FIA cleared Bottas, although he had moved before the lights went out.
It was deemed within the tolerance limit as Bottas added his second win.
His final win of 2017 came in the season-finale in Abu Dhabi, where he led home Hamilton for the first time in a Mercedes 1-2.
Bottas would not win again until 2019.
To whom it may concern…
Bottas was cruelly denied at least three wins in 2018.
Daniel Ricciardo used fresher tyres to pass in China, before a late puncture after running over debris in Azerbaijan dropped him out of the lead.
In Russia, Bottas was issued with team orders to let Hamilton past to aid his championship push.
Bottas’s winless 2018 season is the only for a Mercedes driver in the turbo hybrid era.
He bounced back in style at the 2019 Australian GP.
Getting the jump on Hamilton at the start, Bottas was not seen thereafter.
Hamilton had floor damage, but Bottas still won by over 20s, memorably addressing his critics over the radio.
“To whom it may concern, f*** you…”
He added a further win in Azerbaijan, making up for the heartbreak in 2018.
In the mid-part of the season, Bottas could not win, and would not do so again until Hamilton’s sixth title was all but assured.
In Japan, he took the lead at the start, and dominated, in similar fashion to Australia.
Bottas became the first Finn to win at Suzuka since Raikkonen in 2005.
In the United States, Bottas overtook Hamilton on track for the first time for a win.
It was his seventh career win, and fourth of 2019 – the most he has in a season.
Valtteri Bottas F1 wins by year
- 2017 – three (Russia, Austria, Abu Dhabi
- 2019 – four (Australia, Azerbaijan, Japan, United States)
- 2020 – two – (Austria, Russia)
- 2021 – one – (Turkey)
Lean last couple of Bottas for wins
Car #77 won the season-opening Austrian GP in July 2020, recording back-to-back wins the opener.
Bottas’s only other win in 2020 came once again at Sochi – a track he has always gone well at.
Poleman Hamilton had to start on soft tyres after a qualifying close call.
The Brit was also slapped with two five second penalties for practice starts outside the designated area.
Regardless of Hamilton’s penalties, Bottas would have won.
Starting on the medium tyres was the best strategy, thanks to the graining of the softs that Hamilton started on.
Bottas held off Max Verstappen as Hamilton recovered to third place.
Bottas winless run ends in Turkey
Bottas’s 10th F1 win came in his 171st start in the championship.
Bottas joins the likes of world champions James Hunt and Jody Scheckter on 10 F1 wins.
Ronnie Peterson and Gerhard Berger also recorded 10 F1 wins in their careers.
The win is Bottas’s ninth podium of the season.
In 2021, he has recorded seven third places and a previous season-best of second in the Austrian GP.
He sits in third place on 177 points, having recorded the maximum of 26 at Istanbul Park, thanks to his fastest lap on the final tour.