If resurfacing the track 10 days ago wasn’t enough of a curve ball thrown at Formula 1 for the Turkish Grand Prix, then maybe on top of a glass-like surface, we might throw in some rain to make it even more difficult? After drizzling and raining all morning, the afternoon was a wet affair for qualifying.
Could Mercedes keep up their record of pole at every race this season given the track surface Lewis Hamilton called terrifying on Friday?
Q1 (session A)
With so many unknowns on a wet track and how things would transpire, the cars were immediately out on full wet weather tires except the Red Bulls, Racing Points and McLarens who were on the Intermediate tires.
Given the track had no grip when dry, you’d think the FIA would hav loosened the track limit issue but they were deleting times straight away in Q1.
The rain became heavier and all cars were on full wet weather tires. Local yellow flags were popping up every few seconds and eventually the red flag came out to stop the session.
Q1 (Session B)
The session started with 5 minutes to go. Lots of water and spray from the cars and Romain Grosjean out it in the gravel which stopped the session.
With just 3 minutes left, Max Verstappen was on the bubble and anxious to get out immediately upon restart. The reason was the two one had improved their times from the initial Q1 session so desperate times for Red Bull to get Max through to Q2. With both Mercedes struggling, Max pu tin a master class kn jumping to the top of the time sheet.
Out in Q1- Grosjean, Magnussen, Kvyat, Russell, Latifi
With a truck still on the track removing Latifi’s stricken Williams, the session began with double-yellows waving gin T8.
Max jumped to the top on his initial run just ahead of both Racing Point cars. Hamilton and Bottas struggling down in 4th and 5th.
With 7 minutes left, bot Ferrari’s were languishing in the elimination zone while Hamilton only managed 7th quickest. Alfa Romeo managed to get both cars into Q1 while eFerrari could not.
Out in Q2- Leclerc, Vettel, Norris, Sainz, Gasly
Everyone went out with most on full wet tires but Esteban Ocon was on intermediates. Verstappen jumped to the top of the time sheet with teammate Alex Albon third just behind Bottas. Hamilton down in 6th behind Daniel Ricciardo’s Renault.
It was Racing Point who scattered the room with Sergio Perez jumping to the top and Lance Stroll in 3rd. Max immediately boxed for Intermediates based on Perez’s performance. The cross-over moment had arrived.
Mercedes boxed for Intermediates as they stacked the cars Bottas leading Hamilton. Unfortunately for Verstappen, he was stuck behind Kimi Raikkonen for his first effort on the Inters.
With 2 minutes to go, Albon jumped to 3rd while ePerez improved his Tim lin provisional pole. Lance Stroll then dragged his car to 2nd making it a Racing Point front row provisionally.
Time was up, Max was on his last chance. Lance Stroll jumped to pole ahead of Verstappen and Perez. Albon finished 4th.
After the last three races, Lance Stroll needed this result and some redemption to turn his slump around.
|1||Lance Stroll||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m47.765s|
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda||0.290s|
|3||Sergio Perez||Racing Point/Mercedes||1.556s|
|4||Alexander Albon||Red Bull/Honda||2.683s|
|8||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||4.980s|
|10||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||9.461s|
|16||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren/Renault||7.645s|