Racing Point masterstroke gives Lance Stroll pole position in Turkey

14-11-2020 13:32 | Updated: 14-11-2020 14:12
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Racing Point masterstroke gives Lance Stroll pole position in Turkey

It was a bizarre qualifying session. Usually, it's all about who can go the fastest but in Turkey qualifying was about who could go least slow. The drivers had been struggling with grip all weekend and with the falling rain, it wasn't any better at the Istanbul Park on Saturday. Racing Point's tactical masterstroke put Lance Stroll out on intermediate tyres and the Canadian put in a flyer of a lap in difficult conditions to take pole position with a 1.49.321, the first of his F1 career.  

Stroll put in a great result and will start tomorrow's race ahead of everyone else on the grid. On the weekend where Lewis Hamilton can win the drivers championship, things didn’t go his way and he will have a lot of work to do if he is to get a good result from the race tomorrow and starts P6. 

Q1 

Max Verstappen was fastest in Q1 which was dominated by red flags but the real drama was at the rear end of the field. Neither Mercedes managed to get near the pace with Valtteri Bottas coming in 9th and Lewis Hamilton down in 14th.  

In the early stages of Q1 the grid was split. Some drivers were brave enough to risk the intermediate tires where others favored the full wets. Of the front runners it was Verstappen who went out on the green marked rubber but it wasn't long until the session was red flagged due to the poor conditions and the number of spins. 

The rain stopped falling and the drivers headed back out on full wets and it was not long before the red flag came out again. Romain Grosjean beached himself on the gravel and was unable to get his car moving. 

The drivers came out with a few minutes to go and the track had clearly dried out significantly as Verstappen took a handful of seconds out of his previous time. Alex Albon slid in behind his teammate in P2 with some unexpected drivers proving their skill in the tricky conditions to complete the top five. Kimi Raikonen 3rd, Sebastian Vettel 4th and Charles Leclerc 5th.  

16. Magnussen

17. Kvyat

18. Russell 

19. Grosjean (out)

20. Latifi (out)


Q2

The track was still treacherous in Q2 but some drivers went out on intermediate tires. However, it was still the wet tire that proved to be the quicker rubber. It was Verstappen who put on another masterclass in how to drive in the wet and he took the top spot ahead of… The two Mercedes improved on their Q1 performance with Hamilton P3 and Bottas P7. Both Alfa Romeo drivers made it through to Q3 with Raikkonen coming in P8 and Giovinazzi P5. 

11. Norris

12. Vettel

13. Sainz

14. Leclerc

15. Gasly

Q3

It was Max Verstappen who went out first and was in a league of his own. He was able to find more grip than anyone else on the wet tyre but Racing Point then put a spanner in the works when Lance Stroll went fastest on the intermediate tyre. This led to much of the grid coming in for the green compound and led to a tense shootout with a few minutes to go but nobody could match the Canadians time. 

1. Stroll 

2. Verstappen

3. Perez 

4. Albon

5. Ricciardo

6. Hamilton

7. Ocon

8. Raikkonen

9. Bottas

10. Giovinazzi

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