With just six more races left this season, the competition for this year's Formula 1 World Championship is beginning to get extremely interesting to say the least. And as always at TrackDays, we're here to bring you our roundup of all the latest action…
Even a wet track proved not to be a difficult challenge for Finnish driver Valteri Bottas at this weekend's Turkish Grand Prix. Stepping out way ahead from the start in the race at Istanbul Park on Sunday (10th October), a final race time of 1:31:04 was enough to ensure he secured his landmark 10th Grand Prix win, and first of the season.
Bottas has previously triumphed in the GP since joining Team Mercedes from Team Williams Racing a total of three times in 2017, twice last year in 2020 and a personal best of four times in the 2019 season.
He was untroubled by Team Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who still managed to finish a comfortable 2nd place (more on which shortly). Meanwhile, Verstappen's team mate Sergio Perez finished in bronze honours, whilst Team Ferrari's Charles Leclerc returned the team to a top 4 finish after their disappointment in Russia a couple of weeks ago.
Tsk tsk. And to think we'd almost forgotten him. Team Mercedes' leading driver and current reigning World Championship title holder Lewis Hamilton was already off to a dodgy start at the weekend, owing to taking a penalty by starting in 11th place on the grid for making use of too many engine parts.
And his problems continued, as a series of calls over the radio from his team during the race were initially ignored, until he was finally forced to come into the pits in the closing eight laps of the race over concerns that his new tyres would drop off and affect those behind him.
Up until the point he came off, he was in 3rd place. That he did come off now means that his rival Max Verstappen has overtaken him by 6 points in the overall season standings to date, leaving his odds of claiming the World Championship once again on stony ground. Hamilton reportedly fumed to his team over the radio that "We shouldn't have come in, man … I have massive graining. I told you."
Although Honda's exit from F1 that was announced a year ago is drawing ever closer, the Japanese automotive firm have confirmed that they will still be working with Team Red Bull on several projects after they leave.
For the next season only, they will be responsible for building and operating Red Bull's engines, having bought the rights to continue usage of the power units. UK employees of Honda will be transferred to Red Bull's new engine operation as part of this arrangement.
Both Honda and Red Bull will also continue to work together on their young driver programmes. As previously reported on TrackDays, Honda's decision to leave is so they can concentrate on their zero emissions vehicle projects for road use, whilst its F1 engineering expertise is being repurposed for these.
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