Turkish GP 2020
NOVEMBER 14, 2020
Qualifying Report - Pole Lanced
By Dan Knutson
Lance Stroll earned his first ever Formula 1 pole in a wet and slippery and challenging qualifying session for the Turkish Grand Prix.
"I'm shocked, I didn't expect to be up there – I am so happy," the Racing Point driver said. "It is a good way to bounce back after a few rough weeks."
The line-up for the weekend was: Mercedes – Hamilton and Bottas; Ferrari – Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc; Red Bull Honda – Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon; McLaren Renault – Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris; Renault – Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon; AlphaTauri Honda – Daniil Kvyat and Pierre Gasly; Racing Point Mercedes – Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll; Alfa Romeo Ferrari – Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi; Haas Ferrari – Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen; Williams Mercedes – George Russell and Nicolas Latifi.
Verstappen was fastest in the wet Free Practice 3 session earlier in the day with a time of 1:48.485.
The ambient temperature at the start of the session was 52 degrees Fahrenheit (11 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 55 degrees Fahrenheit 13( degrees Centigrade).
Verstappen and Norris were the first out on the wet track – it had rained earlier – for Q1 due to last 18 minutes.
When there were minutes remaining in Q1, was 15th and on the cutoff line. was 14th and was 16th. It was slippery out there, and Verstappen had a big slide.
"I have no grip," he radioed.
Some drivers were on the intermediate Pirelli rain tires and some were on the full wets. And the drivers were slipping and sliding and spinning all over the place.
Rain was on the way as Bottas took the lead with a 2:07.001 but Ocon beat that with his 2:06.115. And now it was raining.
Officials red flagged the session with seven minutes left because track conditions were too dangerous.
The order was Ocon, Bottas, Stroll, Hamilton, Perez, Norris, Magnussen, Albon, Kvyat, Raikkonen, Giovinazzi, Ricciardo, Vettel, Sainz and Verstappen. The bottom five were Leclerc, Grosjean, Gasly, Russell and Latifi.
After a 44 minute delay the session was restarted. Albon was the first out, and Raikkonen was next, and he had a huge slide.
Red flags came out again with three minutes and 30 seconds remaining when Grosjean slid into the gravel trap on the outside of Turn 1.
After a short delay the session was again restarted. Verstappen was the first out, and he jumped from 15th to first. Latifi went into the gravel.
The five drivers who were eliminated at the end of Q1 were: Magnussen, Kvyat, Russell, Grosjean and Latifi.
The fastest 15 drivers who moved on to Q2 were: Verstappen, Albon, Raikkonen, Vettel, Leclerc, Gasly, Ricciardo, Ocon, Bottas, Norris, Giovinazzi, Stroll, Sainz, Hamilton and Perez.
The marshals were still removing Latifi's car when Q2 began. Norris and Sainz were on the intermediates and the rest of the drivers were on full wets.
Albon took the lead with his 2:00.026, but Verstappen beat that with his 1:57.125. The order changed and changed again as the track got faster and faster.
Tenth and on the bubble with five minutes to go was Giovinazzi, and Vettel was ninth while Ocon was 11th.
The order continued to change as Verstappen got down to a 1:50.293
The five drivers who were eliminated at the end of Q2 were: Norris, Vettel, Sainz, Leclerc and Gasly.
The fastest 10 drivers who moved on to Q3 were: Verstappen, Albon, Hamilton, Stroll, Giovinazzi, Ocon, Bottas, Raikkonen, Perez and Ricciardo.
With the track continuing to dry it meant that the lap times would continue to tumble during the 12 minute Q3. Verstappen and Albon were at the head of the queue.
Ocon and Perez were on the inters and the rest on the full wets.
Verstappen clocked a 1:52.326 to take the lead. Again the order continued to change behind him. Then Perez beat that with a 1:52.037.
Verstappen pitted for the intermediate tires as did other drivers. Perez improved to a 1:49.321. Stroll took second.
Stroll then improved to 1:47.765 to win his first ever F1 pole. Verstappen dislodged Perez to take second place. Albon, Ricciardo, Hamilton, Ocon, Raikkonen, Bottas and Giovinazzi rounded out the top 10.