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Mercedes find pace as Red Bull dispel a title myth - What we learned at the Turkish Grand Prix

Mercedes find pace as Red Bull dispel a title myth - What we learned at the Turkish Grand Prix

F1 News

Mercedes find pace as Red Bull dispel a title myth - What we learned at the Turkish Grand Prix

Mercedes find pace as Red Bull dispel a title myth - What we learned at the Turkish Grand Prix

Valtteri Bottas put on a masterclass in difficult conditions to win the Turkish Grand Prix ahead of the two Red Bulls.

Damp conditions ensured intermediates were the tyres of choice throughout the event which posed challenges for all as to when to make a pit stop, if at all.

Esteban Ocon was the only driver to no-stop but Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc gave the option some serious thought.

After a race where Max Verstappen's second place saw the championship lead change once again, here are five things we learned at Istanbul Park.

Mercedes find pace when it matters

Only seven races ago the F1 paddock was staring down a potential walkover of the title by Red Bull after five straight victories.

Since Silverstone, however, there has been a much more even playing field between the Mercedes and Red Bull cars, with only Zandvoort yielding a comfortable win for Verstappen.

The dominant performance by Hamilton in qualifying was replicated in the race by Bottas, with Verstappen powerless to resist.

It has since transpired that Red Bull has queried a sudden upturn in Mercedes straight-line speed with the FIA, with Christian Horner confirming the question had been raised when speaking to Sky Sports F1.

Dr Helmut Marko likened the differential on Sunday to running with DRS open. With long straights coming up in Mexico, Brazil, Qatar and Abu Dhabi, could this be a weapon for Mercedes in the championship?

Red Bull prove experience counts for nothing

All the talk in recent times has been how Mercedes had an advantage in the experience department given the team has been in the championship battle for seven years compared to Red Bull, whose last challenge was the fourth and final of their triumphs in 2013.

Yet it is Mercedes who seem to be struggling with pressure as Red Bull perfectly negotiate through a weekend.

In the difficult conditions, Red Bull pitted Verstappen and Sergio Perez at roughly the same time, protected the positions they had fought for and ultimately took a two-three finish during what was supposed to be a damage limitation exercise.

Meanwhile, Mercedes and Hamilton were in a pickle over pit stop strategy and eventually cornered themselves into no-mans land and cost a potential podium finish.

How such decisions affect the championship battle will only become clear after the flag falls in Abu Dhabi.

McLaren back to Earth with a bang

A win in Monza and a pole in Sochi had everybody excited for the future of McLaren - they were back we all said. All apart from Andreas Seidl.

The team principal pleaded caution given the troubles the team faced at Zandvoort.

He was right. Lando Norris finished seventh to secure valuable points but with Ricciardo out of the points and unable to mirror Carlos Sainz's charge through the field, it was easy to see the Woking-outfit were easily second-best to Ferrari all weekend.

Six races remain with just seven and a half points between the two manufacturers in the race for third in the standings. The good news for McLaren is that the upcoming tracks should, in theory, favour their car.

Perez repays Red Bull faith with stunning defence

Arguably the highlight of the race was the epic battle between Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton during the first stint.

As the Mercedes aimed to plough his way through the order, Perez's fourth position was on the line.

Hamilton went to the outside of turn 12, giving him the inside to 13. Perez was forced wide and over the pit entry merge but the Mexican kept his elbows firmly out into turn 14.

The pair duelled side-by-side down the start-finish straight but it was Perez who was later on the brakes, holding onto the position.

It was a crucial move that saw the Red Bull driver onto the podium for the first time since France. More importantly, it was exactly what the team had signed him for, to act as an able wingman for Verstappen

Not only did Verstappen retake the lead of the championship, Red Bull limited the damage to just three points as a team.

Schumacher profile rises with stellar qualifying

Mick Schumacher hasn't had a lot to shout about in his rookie season at Haas.

With a far from competitive car, his cameo defending against Verstappen in Hungary was a highlight but in Turkey, his potential was clear for all to see.

The F2 champion was stellar in difficult conditions to qualify for Q2 for the second time, although he didn't take part in France after crashing in Q1.

With track evolution playing a large part in lap time at the end of Q2 on Saturday, Schumacher looked to have a strong chance of challenging for a Q3 berth, only to see his final lap ruined by yellow flags for a spinning Lance Stroll.

His race went south quickly after a collision with Fernando Alonso, but there is no doubt that the future is bright for Schumacher if given a competitive car.

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