By Carol M. Creasey
When the drivers lined up at the start of the Turkish Grand Prix, it was clear that they were going to have to endure mixed weather conditions and the track would remain just as slippery as it did in qualifying.
After the lack of performance on Saturday, it was not looking promising for Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas. When interviewed before the race, Lewis affirmed his ambition was to tacke the difficult conditions and win. It is at times like these, when so much seems to be against him, that Lewis manages to shine the most.
He got off to a good start, making up three places to get to third, but a lock up lost him those places and he slid back to sixth place. Valtteri was also unlucky with a spin, which dropped him down to 18th place. As the race continued many of the drivers spun, most notably Max Verstappen who somehow managed to keep his car on the track.
Lewis drove steadily, at one point he was about 30 seconds away from Lance Stroll, the race leader, but it was clear that he was looking after his tyres and playing the long game. He complained several times to his team that his brakes were not working properly, so he had to be careful not to lock up when he needed to brake.
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As the race unfolded, after just one pit stop, Lewis elected to stay out whilst others around him seemed to be panicking and going in for tyre changes. It seemed like a tall order to expect his tyres to last for over 40 laps, but Lewis has proven to be a tyre master when needed. He did not take any risks, he didn’t spin or bump into anyone else, he simply drove his own race.
It was a very unlucky day for Bottas, several spins put him out of the points and it soon became clear that even if Lewis didn’t finish, the title would still be his. But Lewis had every intention of finishing, and winning, so when his team wanted to call him in for a fresh tyre change towards the end of the race, he told them he wanted to continue. It was the right choice, as he came home a clear winner.
It appeared to be effortless, but it certainly was not, and it only proved that he is a great driver and a worthy world champion for the seventh time. The podium was completed by Sergio Perez in second and Sebastian Vettel in third. They all deserve our admiration for driving in such hazardous conditions.
Having now clinched the title before the season has ended, one has to wonder if knighthood beckons for Lewis and, if not, why? Today Lewis Hamilton once again proved how when the going gets tough, the tough get going!
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