Bottas stopped on lap 38 along with Perez for the intermediates while Hamilton remained on track.
Leclerc was pushing and ran deep into Turn 12 on his worn inters trying to generate a gap to those that had pitted behind. He was 6sec clear at the front on lap 40, ahead of Bottas, Verstappen and Hamilton.
The Monégasque asked if he could run to the end of the race and was told by his team he could carry on without making a stop to the chequered flag. Bottas was six-tenths quicker on lap 40 on his fresh tyres though.
Hamilton was called in for inters on lap 41 but carried on another two laps. He was around 3.8sec behind Verstappen with the gap remaining stable while Perez wasn’t catching quickly behind, 14sec further back.
The Mercedes driver reported that slicks weren’t far away on lap 44 as a dry line began to emerge around more of the Istanbul circuit.
Another moment into Turn 12 for leader Leclerc dropped the gap to 3sec to Bottas behind and the Finn was rapid on his new tyres. On lap 45, Bottas was within a second of the Ferrari.
Sainz’s comeback continued at the expense of Ocon, taking eighth from the Alpine driver.
As Ferrari’s pit wall dithered on what to do with strategy, Bottas was by Leclerc for the lead of the race opening lap 46, moving down the inside into Turn 1. Leclerc was in for fresh inters at the end of lap 47. He rejoined in fourth position, 11.5sec behind Hamilton but just ahead of Perez.
Hamilton was losing around 1sec a lap to Leclerc behind and bailed on a no-stop strategy on lap 51, falling from third to fifth place to rejoin ahead of Gasly.
Perez nabbed third from Leclerc into Turn 12 with a nice tow into the corner to take third from the Ferrari driver on lap 52.
Hamilton was less than impressed having lost two places and was on a late charge with his fresh intermediates, lapping 3.2sec faster following his stop to catch Leclerc but suffering similar graining to the Ferrari driver ahead.
Gasly was closing in on the Mercedes driver in the final laps to compound his frustrations. The AlphaTauri driver was within a second of Hamilton at the opening of lap 55 with Norris a further 1.5sec back.
Ricciardo’s awful weekend got even worse on the penultimate lap, dropping behind both Alfa Romeos to 13th position.
Bottas ended up 13sec clear of Verstappen as he crossed the line to secure his first win of the season.
Verstappen retook the lead of the championship with P2 ahead of team-mate Perez. Leclerc was a further four seconds back in fourth while Hamilton managed to hold off Gasly to finish in the top five.
Norris followed the AlphaTauri driver in seventh with Sainz rising all the way to eight from the back. Stroll and Ocon were the final two in the top 10, the Frenchman the only driver to finish on the same inters he started on.
2021 Turkish Grand Prix results
|1||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||58 laps||26*|
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||+14.584sec||18|
|3||Sergio Perez||Red Bull||+33.390sec||15|
|9||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||+1min 22.018sec||2|
|10||Esteban Ocon||Alpine||+1 lap||1|
|11||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||+1 lap|
|12||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo||+1 lap|
|13||Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren||+1 lap|
|14||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri||+ 1 lap|
|15||George Russell||Williams||+1 lap|
|16||Fernando Alonso||Alpine||+1 lap|
|17||Nicholas Latifi||Williams||+1 lap|
|18||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin||+1 lap|
|19||Mick Schumacher||Haas||+2 laps|
|20||Nikita Mazepin||Haas||+2 laps|
*Includes additional point for fastest lap