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Bottas: Turkish GP win one of my "best ever" F1 races

Valtteri Bottas hailed his victory in Formula 1’s Turkish Grand Prix as one of his ‘best ever’ races, after a dominant performance in Istanbul.

Race winner Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12

Race winner Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12

Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

The Mercedes driver led from pole position in the damp conditions, and edged clear in front of Max Verstappen through the opening phase of the race before drivers switched to a second set of inters.

Although he briefly lost the lead to Charles Leclerc, who stayed out longer on his first set of inters, Bottas was able to pass the Ferrari before eventually coming home more than 14 seconds clear of Verstappen.

Having been without an F1 victory since the 2020 Russian Grand Prix, Bottas said his clinical performance in Istanbul was exceptional.

“I think from my side I have to say probably one of the best races I've had ever,” said the Finn.

“Apart from one slide everything was under control. But, like I said before the race, the car has been really good in every condition and I had really good confidence with it, and really could control it.

“It's not easy to choose the strategy here with these conditions, in terms of when to stop and to which tyre and everything. But I'm glad everything went smooth once for me and that's nice.”

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Verstappen had no response to the pace of Bottas and said that the need to extend the life of the intermediates meant he was in tyre preservation mode for much of the afternoon.

“It was not easy today, the track was very greasy,” said the Red Bull driver. “We just had to manage the tyres the whole race so we couldn't really push.

“It just seemed like Valtteri had a bit more pace and could look after the tyres, maybe a bit better as well.

"But I'm of course still happy to finish second because, in these conditions, it's also easy to get it wrong and you drop back.”

Asked what was the most difficult phase of the race, Verstappen said: “[To] stay awake! It was just all about just managing the tyres.

"So you were never pushing, [you had] to make it to a certain amount of laps, and then you boxed for another set.”

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