Max Verstappen slides to P1 in low grip FP1 session

13-11-2020 09:22 | Updated: 13-11-2020 09:38
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Max Verstappen slides to P1 in low grip FP1 session

An evolving track led to a jumbled top 10 in FP1 at the Turkish Grand Prix. Max Verstappen went fastest with a 1.35.077 ahead of his teammate Alex Albon who finished P2 with Charles Leclerc P3. 

It was not the session many had hoped for. In the week there has been much excitement about returning to Istanbul, one of the real drivers' circuits but it was not until the last part of the session that it really started to get exciting. 

The circuit had been washed before the session, scrubbing away any rubber or grip that had been embedded into the surface of the track. This meant that when the drivers decided to head out, they were sliding around all over the place! 

Most went out on the hard compound tyre and just couldn't find any grip. It was like Bambi on ice! Within five minutes, Charles Leclerc had drifted into a bollard which brought out the Red Flag whilst they repaired it and when the session resumed things didn't get much better. 

There wasn't a driver on track that didn't slide and wobble and there were reports about the radio that it was like "driving on ice" and that "there is more grip in the wet." 

The last time F1 was in Turkey was 2011 and the pole lap was a 1.25.049 set by Sebastian Vettel in his Red Bull. The drivers are well off that time with the fastest lap of the session being a 1.35.077 just showing what the conditions were like. 

The Virtual Safety Car came out just as the track was starting to speed up. as Carlos Sainz was forced to park up at turn 7. Earlier on in the session, he had been called back to the pits due to an issue with his PU so it is thought that these issues are linked. 

The track suddenly started to heat up and the times started to fall. Vettel went fastest with a 1.36.085 with Leclerc taking P2 and then Leclerc set a 1.35.507 to take the top spot. Then Alex Albon went fastest with a 1.35.318 and the times continued to drop.

It was one of the most jumbled top 10 finishes of the season with Gasly, Vettel, Kvyat, Norris, Giovinazzi, Bottas and Ocon completing the top 10. Lewis Hamilton finished P15. 

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