Race Report: Hamilton takes 7th title with champion’s win at Turkish GP

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Source: Pirelli Media

The only thing that could make a freshly resurfaced track more slippery is water and the race started on a very damp track which seemingly played right into Racing Point’s hands with Lance Stroll on pole.

Racing Point was looking good early on but the veterans soon dropped Stroll and showed why experience in changing conditions on a new tarmac is something that takes years and skill to conquer. Mercedes, who looked on the back foot all weekend long, managed to make their deficit of being gentle on their tires into a strength in the hands of Lewis Hamilton who not only secured the win but also his seventh world driver’s championship. Sergio Perez and Sebastian Vettel founded out the podium.

Win

Big win for Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton who plied their masterful skill in staying patient and letting the race come to their strengths. Lewis’s personal achievement of seven titles is an amazing feat and coupled with a champion’s drive in Turkey and a team as complete as Mercedes, their dominance of the sport is unrivaled.

A win for Racing Point’s Sergio Perez, who is without a ride for 2021, for a brilliant performance to second place. Sergio’s wise and tire-sensitive drive is a hallmark of his skills and compared to his teammate, his race craft was superlative in a very challenging race.

2020 Turkish Grand Prix, Sunday – LAT Images

A win for Ferrari who struggled all year but came alive in this low-grip race. Sebastian Vettel’s calm head took advantage of his teammate, Charles Leclerc, when the youngster cooked a passing attempt on the last lap. Vettel nabbed third, a place a more patient Leclerc may have taken. Regardless, Vettel and Leclerc had a terrific race and a much-needed result for Ferrari. Maybe team boss Mattia Binotto should manage the team over Zoom calls more often.

A win for McLaren who are in a fierce battle with Racing Point and Renault for 3rd in the constructor’s championship. With Sergio Perez on the podium, McLaren had to deliver and thankfully Carlos Sainz made a fantastic drive to 5th with Lando Norris in 8th. They may have lost a few points to Racing Point but finishing ahead of both Renault’s, they put a 13-point gap between them.

Fail

A fail for Red Bull who looked to be the quickest cars on the grid for the slippery track but a poor start from Max Verstappen and an impatient passing attempt on Perez dropped him back to 7th. His teammate, Alex Albon, had a chance to challenge for a win but his tires eventually let him down and he spun ending his chance for heroics and this left him in 8th. On a day that Red Bull could have made a real run at the victory, they managed to struggle to stay in the top 10.

A fail for Lance Stroll who parlayed pole position into a 9th place result due to graining on a set of intermediate tires and a lack of experience on managing the race from the lead. The veterans around him measured the race with race craft that comes with the wisdom of time spent in F1. Lance needed this pole position as he’d struggle of late so he can’t feel too bad about dropping out of the lead as the Wiley veterans like Hamilton, Perez and Vettel passed him.

Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Renault F1 Team RS20.
Turkish Grand Prix, Sunday 15th November 2020. Istanbul, Turkey.

A fail for Renault who had a good start but some wheel banging and missed corners due to a lack of grip dropped them down the field and behind McLaren by 13 points for 3rd in the constructor’s championship which is worth $10-11 million.

WTH

Not sure what happened to Valtteri Bottas but he looked like he was driving on a track full of ball bearings. Finishing just ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, these two from Finland should have been rich tat home in this slippery condition.

Also not sure why Alpha Tauri struggled so much given their recent form but missing out on the points is a tough day at the office.

Also appreciated the numerous replays of incidents on track while missing the live incidents prompting more replays of missed action which, again, missed the live action. At some point we were watching most of the action in replay and not live.

Pirelli Key Moments:

  • Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton was crowned world champion for a record-equalling seventh time, his fourth title in a row, after winning an incredibly tricky Turkish Grand Prix. Hamilton used the Cinturato Blue full wet tyres for eight laps followed by the Cinturato Green intermediates for 50 laps – one of only three drivers (with Racing Point’s Sergio Perez and AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat) to stop just once.
  • The entire field started on the Cinturato Blue full wet tyres, apart from the two Williams cars, which started on the Cinturato Green intermediate.
  • The crossover point – at which time it became faster to switch to the intermediates – was reached within 10 laps of the race start, prompting a flurry of pit stops onto the intermediate. Most drivers then stopped again, for fresh intermediates.
  • Williams driver George Russell completed the longest first stint on his starting set of intermediates, running them for 32 laps. Hamilton ran his second stint on the intermediates for 50 laps in the race, Perez for 48.
  • The weather remained cool all day, with track and ambient temperatures in the region of 13 degrees centigrade, and rain before the race start. Conditions dried out throughout the race, but nobody decided to use the slicks – due to a slippery track and with a risk of rain predicted for the end of the race that never quite materialised.
POS DRIVER CAR GAP
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1h42m19.313s
2 Sergio Perez Racing Point/Mercedes 31.633s
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 31.960s
4 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 33.858s
5 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren/Renault 34.363s
6 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda 44.873s
7 Alexander Albon Red Bull/Honda 46.484s
8 Lando Norris McLaren/Renault 1m01.259s
9 Lance Stroll Racing Point/Mercedes 1m12.353s
10 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1m35.460s
11 Esteban Ocon Renault 1 Lap
12 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri/Honda 1 Lap
13 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri/Honda 1 Lap
14 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1 Lap
15 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1 Lap
16 George Russell Williams/Mercedes 1 Lap
17 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari Wheel
Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari Accident damage
Nicholas Latifi Williams/Mercedes Accident damage
Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo/Ferrari Gearbox
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J peter Riva

Hang on hang on. If you look at the race before the dreaded DRS was enacted, the racers were all in the lead. Add in the DRS and the cheap and cheating passing? Predictability started to reign.
if ever there was proof that DRS ruins formula 1 this race up to about lap 23 proved it.

Peter

Amen Todd, amen. Why can’t they see that? Or is it really a means to skew results to the bigger teams consistently?

Last edited 8 days ago by Peter
Worthless Opinion

Hmm I feel like this is a really good point I hadn’t noticed that correlation. Like so many things, I’m not sure it’s all one way or the other, a stifling bottleneck can certainly ruin a race too. But under these conditions the race was fascinating without DRS and probably should have continued that way.

Xean Drury

Can you remember ever seeing another race where wets/inters were used the whole race, but it never once rained? Pretty unique!