Bottas wins for the first time in over a year, Sainz scores from nineteenth on the grid and Alonso has an afternoon to forget. Here are the facts and statistics from the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix!
BOTTAS WINS IN TURKEY
Valtteri Bottas won the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, taking his first victory since the 2020 Russian Grand Prix over a year ago. This was Bottas’ tenth win. He is the 35th different driver to record ten Grand Prix victories.
Mercedes become the second team to have won consecutive races at Istanbul Park, with Lewis Hamilton having won last year’s race. Ferrari are the other team to achieve the feat, with Felipe Massa winning three years in a row between 2006 and 2008. Overall, this is the third win for the Brackley-based team at the Turkish Grand Prix. They also won under their Brawn GP guise in 2009.
Bottas took the maximum available 26 points from the Turkish Grand Prix. He set the Fastest Lap for the eighteenth time, becoming the 20th driver to have set the fastest race lap on that many occasions.
This was the first time Bottas has scored in Turkey, having finished a disappointing fourteenth last year.
ON THE PODIUM
Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez joined Valtteri Bottas on the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix podium. The last time a Mercedes driver won with two Red Bull drivers joining him on the podium was at the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix. The combination is quite rare, having happened on only five other occasions: the 2013 Monaco Grand Prix, the 2014 Singapore Grand Prix, the 2016 German Grand Prix and the 2017 Japanese Grand Prix. It also happened when the Brackley-based team was named Brawn GP at the Turkish Grand Prix in 2009.
Max Verstappen finished as runner-up, recording his 54th podium finish. That sees him equal Niki Lauda for fourteenth in the all-time list of most podium finishes in Formula 1.
With Max Verstappen finishing on the podium and Lewis Hamilton finishing fifth, Verstappen re-takes the lead in the Drivers’ Championship. He leads by six points. The championship has now been led by eight or fewer points at all of the last seven races. It’s the first time the title battle has been led by such a small margin for such a long period of time since the first seven races of the 2012 season.
For both Bottas and Verstappen, this was their first podium appearance in Turkey. That takes the number of different drivers to finish in the top three at Istanbul Park to twelve.
Sergio Perez finished in third place, recording his thirteenth top three finish. It’s the second year in succession that Perez has finished on the podium at the Turkish Grand Prix. It’s also the second year in a row in which the driver starting sixth has finished on the podium in Istanbul. Sixth is the grid slot from which Lewis Hamilton won last year.
This was the first time that Perez has finished on the podium since the French Grand Prix. The Circuit Paul Ricard race is the only other event in 2021 in which both Red Bull drivers have finished on the podium.
THE POINTS SCORERS
For the second year in a row, Charles Leclerc narrowly missed out on a podium finish at the Turkish Grand Prix. Leclerc finished in fourth place, just as he did in 2020. The only other driver to record the same result at the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix as they did last year was Lance Stroll, who finished in ninth place.
Lewis Hamilton finished in fifth place, recording his first fifth place finish since the 2019 Austrian Grand Prix. It’s the 20th time he’s finished fifth in his F1 career.
After equalling his best ever grid slot with fourth place, Pierre Gasly finished the Turkish Grand Prix in sixth place, recording points at Istanbul Park for the first time. It’s the best ever result for a Red Bull junior team driver in Turkey, and only the second time that the team has scored at the venue. Their other points-scoring appearance came in 2009, when Sebastien Buemi finished ninth for Toro Rosso.
The driver starting seventh has suffered poor luck in recent races in the 2021 season, having not scored in any of the five previous races. Lando Norris turned that around in Turkey though. He started where he finished, in seventh. It’s the first time the grid slot has scored since the British Grand Prix.
Carlos Sainz started nineteenth – but that didn’t stop him scoring points. With his eighth place finish, Sainz scored for a ninth consecutive race, equalling the longest points-scoring streak of his career to date. The Spaniard has now started nineteenth or further back ten times, and has scored on six of those occasions. He did so at the 2015 Monaco Grand Prix, the 2015 United States Grand Prix, the 2016 Canadian Grand Prix, the 2019 Austrian Grand Prix, the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix and the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix.
Sainz’s points make nineteenth the second-furthest back grid slot from which points have been scored at the Turkish Grand Prix. The only driver to have scored from further back is Kamui Kobayashi, who started 24th and finished tenth in 2011.
Esteban Ocon finished in tenth place, completing the entire race on just a single set of tyres. It was the first time that a driver completed a race distance without stopping for tyres or refuelling since Mika Salo did so at the 1997 Monaco Grand Prix.
THE OTHER FINISHERS
Antonio Giovinazzi finished just outside of the points in eleventh place, equalling his second-best result of the 2021 season. He also finished eleventh at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. His only better result result in 2021 is tenth place at the Monaco Grand Prix.
Daniel Ricciardo failed to score at the Turkish Grand Prix, finishing in thirteenth place. It was the first time a McLaren driver has failed to score in Turkey since 2009, when both cars finished outside of the points.
Fernando Alonso finished only sixteenth in the Turkish Grand Prix. It’s only the second time that Alonso has failed to score at Istanbul Park. He finished tenth in 2009, one year before the position awarded points.
Alonso lost eleven positions from where he started following a first lap spin. It’s the equal-most positions that the Spaniard has lost in a race which he has completed. He also fell eleven places down the order at the 2010 British Grand Prix. It’s also the most positions that any driver has lost in a race which they have finished at Istanbul Park. The previous record was ten places lost, by Heikki Kovalainen in 2009.
Alonso is only the second driver to not score points having started fifth in Turkey. The last time it happened was in 2006, when Nick Heidfeld finished only fourteenth.
For only the second time in the last six races, George Russell failed to score. He finished the Turkish Grand Prix in fifteenth place – one place higher than where he finished last year.
Sebastian Vettel finished the Turkish Grand Prix in eighteenth place – the first time he has finished eighteenth since the 2007 Italian Grand Prix. Surprisingly, eighteenth is not Vettel’s worst finishing position in Istanbul. He finished nineteenth in 2007, which is the worst position in which he has ever finished a race.
Both Haas drivers finished the Turkish Grand Prix, making this the first time that the team have reached the chequered flag in Turkey. Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin finished 19th and 20th. Mazepin has finished last both times that all 20 cars have completed a race which has run to full distance in 2021.
This was the twelfth World Championship race in which every driver who started crossed the finish line. It’s the third time it has happened this year, after the French Grand Prix and the rain-curtailed Belgian Grand Prix.
Though every driver finished the Turkish Grand Prix, this was not the Turkish Grand Prix with the most finishers. The 2011 race had 24 starters, 23 of which were classified at the end of the race.
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. The blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics.
Nicky also writes at F1Destinations and Motorsport Guides and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast. His work has appeared on WTF1, BadgerGP, motorsport.com, Sky Sports F1 and BBC Radio 5 Live. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast.