Who is the slippiest eel today and takes pole position for the Turkish Grand Prix?
After nine years, Formula 1 is back in Turkey. That is good news for the fans, because the layout of the Intercity Istanbul Park Circuit is not to be sneezed at. Cool curves, height differences, overtaking possibilities: after countless unsuccessful attempts, Herr Doktor Engineer Hermann Tilke showed that he had finally mastered building a cool circuit. However, it soon became apparent this weekend that the recently renewed asphalt on the track is extremely slippery.
Even in dry land, the drivers slid off the track yesterday as if one of the marshals had smeared it with green soap for fun. Max Verstappen was of course the best under those circumstances. But the drivers were slower in their F1 cars than the GP2 cars were when they were still racing in Turkey. The organization then decided to do two things. The first is to blame the FIA for the slipping. The second was to take a separate measure: road cars drove all night on the circuit. This in the hope that the circuit would gain a little more grip as a result. So a number of taxi drivers from Istanbul probably had the night of their lives …
However, it did not help much, because today it also started to rain above the circuit to top it all off. In VT3, Daniil Kvyat’s mental state even went from irritated to jolly with corniness: it seems like racing on ice. This may not always be fun for the drivers, all the more so for the spectators. Now let’s see who has the real skills in terms of car control…
Our hero Max shows the most enthusiasm to show his skills. He’s up front in the pits to hit the track. But MV33 is only human, he demonstrates with a fast spider. Max is therefore the temperature in his intermediates and Lando Norris comes alongside. By the way, it is interesting to see that about half of the drivers for the inters chooses and the other half for the full law. So people don’t really know what the best choice is and that is exactly what you want to see as a fan.
Inevitably, different drivers then shoot off the track or go backwards. Gasly spins, Latifi spins, Verstappen spins again and the two Ferraris do one pas de deux next to the track. Ocon and Stroll do themselves a favor by keeping good times on the clock. The two have recently been a bit pale compared to their teammates, but with a provisional first and third place respectively show they have some skills. Verstappen and Leclerc, on the other hand, were the two best yesterday, are only fifteenth and sixteenth.
But the Dutch and the Monegasque are lucky. Because, actually unfortunately, the FIA once again decides that it has become too wet on the track. With a good six minutes on the clock in Q1, the red flag is waved. Always a bit of a double thing, but a number of drivers will undoubtedly have indicated that the situation is unsafe.
After about half an hour of seeing grass grow, Bernd Maylander considers the track good enough to start again at 3:55 PM local time. Alexander Albon, who is currently nice in eighth place, is the first this time. But yes, his tires are now cooling for two minutes before the red light.
Kimi joins behind Albon, followed by Verstappen. But when the light goes green, Kimi does a little Verstappen. VER is therefore not bothered by this. He can now go after his teammate who wipes the track clean for him and serves as a reference point. The question is whether we see green sectors. The answer for Verstappen is yes. But that it is still slippery is clear, Leclerc spins on, but Grosjean has less luck and ends up in the gravel at the end of the straight. The FIA responds immediately with the following code red. Now there are only 3:30 minutes left on the clock.
This time the intermezzo is fortunately a bit shorter. A few minutes later, Verstappen is now at the front again at the busiest traffic light in Istanbul this afternoon and joins Albon. We see the precious heat fading from the tires. But in its fast lap MV33 puts on the law even a purple first sector down with a huge difference. So the track has clearly gotten better, now just finish the round. Bam, Max is eight seconds faster than Ocon.
But then the question is: who will be the victim of this enormous tombola. Because the track is now so much better that everyone can go faster. However, everyone has one round to do it. Ultimately, Lewis Hamilton has all the luck in the world again. The Brit misses the time improvement boat because he shoots off the track in turn one. As a result, he immediately lost his time because of exceeding track limits.
But LH44 is lucky that Grosjean is already out and Latifi parks his Williams in the gravel pit. As a result, the upcoming seven-time champion continues as fourteenth. The dropouts are thus when all is said and done is yet again extremely predictable. Only Kvyat should have done better and that both Alfas are through to Q2 is a nice boost for anyone with a Cuore Sportivo.
The dropouts: Magnussen – Kvyat – Russell – Grosjean -Latifi
Before Q2 gets off to a good start, the FIA is already putting a bomb under the final result today. Many drivers would have put their best times under yellow at the end of the session. From a technical point of view, that is of course correct, but how to look at this in such a vastly improved job will be figured out after the session.
Anyway, in the meantime Norris is the first to put a time on the clocks. Lando just missed the two-minute mark on the inters, but he then loses his time because of painting track limits. Verstappen still opts for the full wets and goes to the fastest time with a 1: 57.1. Albon is also going well. The British Thai’s first lap is slower than Max’s, but in his second lap, AA23 gives Max a rare and cautious twist.
Stroll is also shining, as the Canadian suddenly goes to a 1: 55.7 and is just almost a second faster than anyone else! But yes, at the bottom of the screen we only see green or purple sectors. That will be a very interesting one with five minutes to go. Now that the track is getting better and better, the turning point that the inters are faster is also approaching. For now, the entire top-10 is still on the road with the real ‘blue’ rain tires. McLaren is the only team that has opted for the inters, but instead of continuing to gamble on it, they are switching back to the full wets. This signals that it is probably still too early for the ‘green’ tires. Or maybe it is a mistake of team orange.
In this session, Verstappen finally shows his exceptional class again, by driving about two seconds (!) Faster than even his closest pursuers. The captain of that group is by the way teammate Albon. Hamilton is behind it, but he just admits 2.5 seconds to Max Emilian. For the Alfas it is the best Q2 of the year, because the two of them advance to Q3. Unprecedented luxury for the Swiss team.
The success of Alfa is to the disadvantage of the Italian sister from Maranello, because both Ferraris do not reach the top-10. Vettel is finally once again faster than Leclerc, which will please the German. Both McLarens are also ready for the day, as is Gasly who cannot shine today.
The dropouts: Norris – Vettel – Sainz – Leclerc – Gasly
And then Q3. In Q2 it may have been just too early, but this will be the session ahead intermediates? Initially, only Ocon and Perez dare to gamble. That could be to their advantage if this gamble works and they can keep driving with the temperature in the tires. But before that happens, Verstappen puts in a bizarre performance. It is more than four seconds faster than Albon and the Mercs. More than four seconds! Incredibly.
Stroll is surprisingly the only one who comes close to Verstappen, if we can call it ‘close’ a good second behind. Ocon seems to show that the bet for inters is not great, because he first goes for the worst time of everyone. But… then Perez will come. The Mexican continues under the time of Verstappen on the inters! Sergio then spins from sheer joy.
However, Verstappen now knows what time it is and is now also coming in inters. But, is that still the right choice? We have seen before that the first to make the choice have the advantage. Perez slides and slides over the track, but is fast. Verstappen, on the other hand, complains about grip. Time is ticking away slowly. Strangely enough, they don’t work at all for Ocon de Inters.
Stroll briefly goes to P2, but then Max gets under it. The Dutchman has one more lap, because he crosses the line with 15 seconds to go. Who is the last on the line, at the right time? Stroll, now also on inters, goes to P1 with a 1: 47.765! However, all sectors at the bottom of the screen are green, so everyone still has time. Max must be able to do this, right? However?
No. The Dutchman is still very close, but beach at a good two-tenths. Could it have been successful on full law? We will never know. Perez finishes third on an epic day for Racing Point. Albon moves to P4, ahead of Ricciardo, Hamilton, Ocon, Raikkonen, Bottas and Giovinazzi. Only P6 and P9 so for the unbeatable Mercedes. You’re not making it up.
You don’t want to miss this race. Tomorrow it starts at 11:00!
F1 qualifying Turkey 2020: The complete results
- Stroll – Racing Point
- VERSTAPPEN – Red Bull
- Perez – Racing Point
- Albon – Red Bull
- Ricciardo – Renault
- Hamilton – Mercedes
- Ocon – Renault
- Raikkonen – Alfa Romeo
- Bottas – Mercedes
- Giovinazzi – Alfa Romeo
- Norris – McLaren
- Vettel – Ferrari
- Sainz – McLaren
- Leclerc – Racing Point
- Gasly – Alpha Tauri
- Magnussen – Haas F1
- Kvyat – Alpha Tauri
- Russell – Williams
- Grosjean – Haas F1
- Latifi – Williams
Lance ducking Stroll !!! Really well done. Respect! Amazing how he regularly makes himself look like an oliebol, and then stands out positively in the rain.
Verstappen and pole position, it is just not
What is F1 so much more fun to watch in the rain than on a dry track.
Where he often shows crazy things on dry land, he often shows beautiful things in the rain. Insane performance. Verstappen looked consistently good, but just not. A shame, but a nice starting line-up. This is going to be a great tomorrow!
You have to be careful in Turn 1 tomorrow, Max.
Error in the result: Leclerc from Racing Point?
If this is the final starting grid, of course.