Valtteri Bottas wins in Turkey; Max Verstappen reclaims F1 title lead from Lewis Hamilton

Turkey Bottas Hamilton Verstappen
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images
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ISTANBUL — Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas won in Turkey for his first victory of the season Sunday, and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen finished second to reclaim the overall lead from title rival Lewis Hamilton.

Sergio Perez capped a strong day for Red Bull by finishing in third place of the Turkish Grand Prix. He erased Hamilton’s two-point lead and now leads the Mercedes driver by six points with six races left in a thrilling title battle that could go all the way to the season finale in Abu Dhabi.`

Defending champion Hamilton lost valuable points by finishing fifth after coming in for a late tire change, despite telling his team he wanted to stay on track when still in third.

Hamilton, who won the pole but started 11th because of a grip penalty for an engine change, increasingly grew agitated as he fell behind Leclerc and with Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri gaining on him.

“Just leave it alone,” he snapped to his race engineer when informed of Gasly’s gap.

Bottas finally got the winning feeling again when he overtook Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc with about a dozen laps left, clinching his first victory since the Russian GP in September last year.

“Haha, yes!” Bottas shouted after his 10th career win and a much-needed one during a frustrating last season with Mercedes before joining Alfa Romeo next year.

To cap it off he clocked the fastest lap on the 5.3-kilometer (3.3-mile) Istanbul Park circuit beneath a gray sky amid persistent drizzle.

Hamilton finally came in for new tires on Lap 51 but did not agree with the decision.

“Why did you give up that place?” a frustrated Hamilton barked on team radio using an expletive.

Leclerc came in earlier than Hamilton and placed fourth, missing out on a 14th career podium.

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. and McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo started from the back after complete engine changes.

Sainz Jr. managed to finish a commendable eighth.

X44 Racing win 2022 Extreme E championship as Abt Cupra score first race victory

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E
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Abt Cupra Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Klara Andersson scored their first win in the Extreme E Energy X Prix in the 2022 finale in Uruguay as Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing drivers Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez survived a chaotic finale to edge the 2021 champion Rosberg X Prix team of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikhaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, by two points.

“There are so many emotions,” Andersson said in Extreme E’s coverage. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. In my second race, first full weekend to be at the top of the podium: it’s big.”

Andersson was behind the wheel at the finish.

Rosberg Racing entered the event with a 17-point advantage over X44, but the standings were close enough that four teams remained in contention in Round 5.

“It’s a crucial weekend for us,” Loeb said in Extreme E’s coverage prior to the race. “We are not in the best position to win the championship, but the only thing we can do is try to win the race and score as many points as possible.”

The top two title contenders each crashed in qualification and were relegated to the Crazy Race, Extreme E’s version of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). For the moment, they had the steepest hill to climb, but then the other two championship contending teams, Chip Ganassi Racing and Acciona Sainz Racing failed to advance from their heats.

Only one team advances from the Crazy Race, so the X44 drivers were in a must-win situation to simply keep hope alive.

More: Extreme E 2023 schedule

Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Gutierrez ran wheel to wheel into the first turn at the start of the LCQ.

The Rosberg racer experienced crash damage in that turn that damaged her front steering, but managed to limp back to the pits at the end of her two-lap stint. The team attempted to fix the steering, but incurred a penalty for having too many mechanics in the pit area.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez took the early lead, but knew she would need to sit through a five-second penalty for an incident earlier in the weekend. The female half of the gender equal pair erased the penalty by entering the Switch Zone with a five-second lead before turning the car over to Loeb.

That was all the nine-time World Rally Championship titlist needed to give him the advantage needed to win the Crazy Race.

But the championship was not over yet. X44 Racing needed to finish third or better in the five-car finale to earn enough points for the title and after advancing from the LCQ, they were forced to take the worst grid position.

A chaotic start to the Finale saw Loeb run as high the lead and low as fourth after getting pushed off course during his first lap. And that is how he entered to Switch Zone.

On her first lap, Gutierrez slammed into Molly Taylor. With one lap remaining, X44 and Gutierrez were still in fourth and the title hope was quickly evaporating, but it was announced halfway through the lap that the third-running Andretti United team would suffer a penalty for a Switch Zone infraction. The seven-second deduction for Timmy Hansen braking too late in the zone made the difference in the title.

Coming off a disappointing Copper X Prix when Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour crossed under the checkers first, but were relegated to fifth by penalty, the McLaren pair scored their first podium of the season in second.