Turkish Grand Prix – Qualifying


Mercedes claimed their 7th consecutive Constructors’ Championship at the previous race, setting a new F1 record. Hamilton can, theoretically, seal his 7th Drivers’ Championship this weekend – he’s 85 points ahead of his teammate.

RUS “will start from the back of the grid on Sunday after Williams changed his engine. The Briton, who missed out on scoring his first points of the season after making an unforced error behind the Safety Car in Imola, has taken on his fourth ICE (internal combustion engine), turbocharger and MGU-H.” [pitpass]

Free Practice:

  1. FP1: VER (1:35.077), ALB, LEC, GAS, VET, KVY, NOR, GIO, BOT, OCO
  2. FP2: VER (1:28.330), LEC, BOT, HAM, ALB, KVY, GAS, VET, STR, NOR
  3. FP3: VER (1:48.485), LEC, ALB, OCO, NOR, VET, PER, BOT, MAG, STR

Qualifying:
Air temperature 11°C; track 13°C; wind 6km/h; humidity 90%; chance of rain during Quali 90%
It is misty, lots of low cloud, and the track is damp
There were complaints about the newly resurfaced track during free practice, but the rain has made it even worse – oil (from how the track is made) has risen to the surface, and there’s been no support races, so it’s going to be treacherous out there!

Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
Everyone on full wets except the Red Bull pair who are on intermediates
VER runs wide, rejoins the track but as soon as he touches the throttle his Red Bull spins
ALB follows in his teammate’s steps and spins too
NOR 2:07.947 on inters
PER 2:07.614
OCO 2:07.433
BOT 2:07.001
(HAM P4)
Radio for BOT telling him they expect rain in 5 minutes
GRO runs wide; he was only doing about 50mph
OCO 2:06.115
BOT 2:04.0 but his time is deleted
Ferrari pit LEC and VET for new wet tyres
It’s ridiculous – the cars are spinning their wheels in 5th gear
The rain is coming down pretty hard
Red flag – Q1 is suspended with 6:56 remaining
Safety Car has done a few laps and eventually Bernd Maylander says it’s good enough to restart Q1
Queue starts to form at the pit exit, waiting for the lights to change
6:56 left of Q1; bottom 5 are LEC, GRO, GAS, RUS*, LAT
*RUS has a penalty for an engine change so he’ll start at the back of the grid
Looks like everyone will go out on full wet tyres
Green lights
RAI almost immediately is sliding sideways along a short straight
GRO is off into the gravel and he’s stuck
Red flag again
Q1 restarts; bottom 5 are LEC, GRO, GAS, RUS, LAT
Yellow flags – KVY spun but recovers
Chequered flag
VER jumps from P15 to P1 – 1:57.485
Double yellows in sector 2 – LAT in the gravel
LEC P5, SAI P16
RUS P16
SAI P10, KVY P16
HAM only P14
Back of the grid: MAG, KVY, RUS*, GRO, LAT

The stewards will be talking to everyone who improved their lap times while the double yellows were out

Qualifying session 2
Green light to start Q2 but yellow flags are already out as the marshals are still moving LAT’s car – that’s dangerous!
McLaren have sent NOR and SAI on inters; everyone else on full wets
NOR 2:00.633 but it’s deleted for exceeding track limits
RAI 2:01.230
ALB 2:00.026
VER 1:57.125
ALB 1:56.721
STR 1:55.730
VER 1:53.486
5mins left of Q2; bottom 5 are OCO, LEC, NOR, GAS, SAI
VER 1:52.036
OCO P10, VET to P11
NOR P11
LEC P12
VER 1:50.293
SAI P10, OCO P11
OCO P8, SAI P11
NOR P11
VET P11
Chequered flag
SAI P11
NOR P11
VET P12
Middle of the grid: NOR, VET, SAI, LEC, GAS

Top 10 shootout is between VER, ALB, HAM, GIO, OCO, BOT, RAI, RIC, STR, PER

Qualifying session 3
VER 1:52.326
ALB P2
RAI P3
GIO P4
OCO P5
BOT P2
HAM P4
RIC P4
STR P2
PER 1:52.037 on inters
Order after first run: PER, VER, STR, RAI, RIC, BOT, ALB, HAM, GIO, OCO
VER was on a quick lap but abandons it – pits for inters
BOT and HAM both pit for inters
RAI P3
Double yellows in sector 2
ALB P3
PER 1:49.321
STR P2
More yellow flags
RIC P4
Chequered flag; order is PER, VER, STR, RIC, ALB, RAI, BOT, HAM, GIO, OCO
OCO P6
GIO P9
STR 1:47.765
HAM P6
BOT P9
VER P2
ALB P4
Front of the grid: STR, VER, PER, ALB, RIC, HAM, OCO, RAI, BOT, GIO

So VER splits the Mercedes Racing Point pair!
First Canadian on pole since 1997
Crazy!
STR: “I love my job”

Provisional grid: STR, VER, PER, ALB, RIC, HAM, OCO, RAI, BOT, GIO, NOR, VET, SAI, LEC, GAS, MAG, KVY, RUS*, GRO, LAT
*RUS has engine change penalties
There are also a lot of people summoned to see the stewards, mostly for setting faster times under the yellow flags, but also SAI and PER for a blocking incident in Q2

Interviews:
STR: “I didn’t expect this, to be up here after FP3. I’m so happy right now, I really put that lap down at the end. I had the confidence from the car and I just nailed pretty much every corner. It’s such a great way to bounce back after a few rough weeks.”
VER: “The track was a lot better in Q3 but for us the inters were horrible. The extreme tyres were very comfortable…. Yeah, not good. When you are first the whole time and you come out second, it’s not what you want.”
PER: “A great result for the team, something we weren’t expecting. Track position was key today to be able to maintain temperature in your tyres.”
Otmar Szafnauer, Racing Point Team Principal: “What a session for him. He put a stunning lap in at the end. We put him on the intermediate, and he did the job.”
RIC: “It was about survival – and stressful! It has shaken up the order, for viewers they win – for us drivers, to lose the car on the straight, we’re passengers. For the race it should be dry, maybe the rental cars will get back out tonight!”
HAM: “There ain’t finding no grip! We were trying our hardest, and that was the fastest we could go.”

[2020 calendar] [2020 line-up]