Last weekend, Bottas took his first win in over a year with a controlled performance at the top of the Turkish Grand Prix last weekend and crossed the finish line in wet conditions with a 14-second lead over Red Bulls Max Verstappen.
By preventing Verstappen from winning, it ensured that Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton only lost the lead in the drivers’ championship by six points after fighting his way from eleventh on the grid to fifth after a penalty.
The performance came at the point of one of Bottas’s lowest moments with Mercedes, when he spun six times in the Istanbul Park race in 2020.
It was also an important statement from the Finn before his departure from Mercedes at the end of the year, which ensured that he would not survive a last season without a win with the German manufacturer.
Mercedes F1 boss Wolff thought Bottas’ win “might not be his last this season” and praised his “incredible” performance throughout the weekend in Turkey.
“He started from pole with ease and moved away,” said Wolff.
“He was the fastest on the track, the best in terms of tire management. He always kept it under control, drove the fastest lap. That’s 10 out of 10.
“It can play an important role in the Constructors’ Championship, but it can also help Lewis.
“Because today it was only Valtteri’s performance that prevented Max from getting eight more points.”
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12
Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images
Bottas ‘victory and the bonus point for the fastest lap also ensured that Mercedes was able to extend its lead in the constructors’ championship despite the Red Bull drivers Verstappen and Sergio Perez on the podium.
Mercedes is 36 points ahead of Red Bull before the last six races of the season and is chasing the record-breaking eighth constructors’ crown in a row this year.
It marks a turnaround compared to the summer months, when Red Bull seemed to have a clear pace advantage over Mercedes.
Although Wolff felt that the team understood their W12 car better now, he didn’t think it possible to say with “absolute conviction” that it had the faster car.
“I think we have a really good package now,” said Wolff.
“The car is competitive and was very competitive [in Turkey], and if there hadn’t been a starting penalty, I think we would have had every chance of finishing first and second and eight points more.
“I am cautiously optimistic about the future. Austin is a track we like. And it’s another opportunity.
“But I have no illusions that the drivers’ championship will go to the end.”The post Turkey win shows Bottas’ “important role” in both title races first appeared on monter-une-startup.
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