Turkish Grand Prix – Race


A pretty eventful Qualifying, thanks mainly to rain on a newly relaid track surface. Before penalties were applied it was a Canadian sandwich: STR on pole and LAT at the back.
Provisional grid: STR, VER, PER, ALB, RIC, HAM, OCO, RAI, BOT, GIO, NOR, VET, SAI, LEC, GAS, MAG, KVY, RUS, GRO, LAT

However, there were a few penalties:

  • RUS will start from the back of the grid on Sunday after Williams changed his engine
  • SAI was given a 3-place penalty for blocking PER in Q1
  • NOR received a 5-place penalty for failing to respect yellow flags in Q1
  • RUS was also penalised for yellow flag infringement but he was already P20
  • GAS was penalised because the team took his car apart to make an engine change; the team say they didn’t any change after all but the FIA said they couldn’t confirm that and so they put him to the back of the grid [autosport]

Updated grid: STR, VER, PER, ALB, RIC, HAM, OCO, RAI, BOT, GIO, VET, LEC, MAG, NOR*, SAI*, KVY, GRO, LAT, GAS*, RUS*

About an hour before the start of the race, it’s sunny in parts but there is a huge, ominous cloud sitting over the pit lane. Oh, and there’s the rain!

Pit lane is open; cars can head to the grid
GIO is in the gravel; he’s recovered but he’s broken the front wing – they can replace that on the grid
RUS slides into the wall at the pit entrance and brakes his front wing
Pit lane closed but Williams have both cars in their garage so they’ll have to start from the pit lane… although they were P18 and P20, so it won’t hurt them too much and they can keep the tyre warmers on longer

Air temperature 12°C; track 99°C

STR leads everyone (except LAT and RUS) away on the formation lap
STR didn’t back the pack up so he’ll have a long wait before the grid forms up
GAS gets it a bit sideways as he heads to his grid spot

01/58: Everyone off the line a bit carefully
RIC and OCO touch; BOT spins
PER takes P2 from VER
HAM runs wide
VET up to P3 – he started P11
ALB takes P4 from HAM

Only RUS and LAT are on inters, everyone else on full wets

02: STR, PER, VET, VER, ALB, HAM, RIC, SAI, MAG, GIO, KVY, GAS, LEC, NOR, GRO, BOT, RUS, LAT, OCO
OCO pits for new wets

03: STR fastest lap 1:55.125
Replay of BOT tapping OCO and both spin at Turn 9 on lap 1

04: Radio from STR, “It’s drying up”

05/58: STR, PER, VET, VER, ALB, HAM, RIC, RAI, SAI, MAG
STR f/lap 1:54.170
SAI takes P8 from RAI

06: PER f/lap 1:53.215
Race control: no investigations necessary for lap 1 incidents
Radio from HAM, “front brakes aren’t working very well”
BOT alongside NOR but can’t make the pass

07: PER f/lap 1:53.030
STR already finding puddles to cool his tyres
LEC pits; inters go on; rejoins P19

08: HAM f/lap 1:52.562
Radio from BOT saying he can’t make it through the train
BOT pits; inters go on; rejoins P19

09: VET pits; inters; rejoins P7
ALB f/lap 1:52.239
HAM pits; inters; rejoins P8

10/58: STR pits from P1; inters; rejoins P4
VER f/lap 1:51.091
Radio from VER, “Let’s not go too early on the inters”
LEC takes P21 from RUS
LEC f/lap 1:49.771

11: PER pits; slow stop; rejoins P4
VER f/lap 1:48.610
HAM 1:45.872
VER told “box box”
HAM all over VET’s rear wing

12: VER pits; inters; rejoins P4; did he cross the white line at pit out?
HAM has to back off as VET is slow through the turn

13: ALB pits from P1, STR reclaims the lead; rejoins P6, behind HAM
GIO pulls off, parks the Alfa Romeo
VSC deployed

15/58[VSC]: STR, PER, VER, VET, HAM, ALB, RIC, SAI, LEC, MAG
VSC ends

16: HAM runs wide and ALB steals P5
BOT takes P11 from RUS
ALB passes VET for P4
BOT spins, rejoins P15

17: PER f/lap 1:45.323
ALB f/lap 1:45.092
LEC f/lap 1:44

18: VER closing on PER
ALB f/lap 1:43.350
LEC f/lap 1:42.570
VER looks at passing PER but loses grip, spins, rejoins P6

19: ALB f/lap 1:43.525
VER pits; new inters; rejoins P8

20/58: STR, PER, ALB, VET, HAM, RIC, SAI, VER, LEC, MAG, RUS, NOR, RAI, GAS, BOT, OCO, KVY, GRO, LAT; out: GIO
ALB f/lap 1:42.325

21: ALB f/lap 1:42.141
LEC f/lap 1:41.990
VER under investigation for crossing the white line at pit out
BOT spins again, rejoins P17

22: VER f/lap 1:41.479
VER and LEC are looking for water to cool their inters

23: ALB under 1sec behind PER but doesn’t have DRS as it’s still not been enabled by race control

24: Radio for HAM telling him to look after his inters so the next stop can switch to dry tyres; “that’s a long long way away”

25/58: STR, PER, ALB, VET, HAM, RIC, SAI, VER, LEC, MAG, RUS, NOR, RAI, GAS, OCO, KVY, BOT, GRO, LAT; out: GIO
LAT lapped by the top three

27: NOR lines up MAG

28: NOR puts his McLaren alongside MAG but has to back off
NOR makes the move stick this time – takes P10

29: Radio from ALB, “front tyres are done”

Half distance

30/58: STR, PER, ALB, VET, HAM, RIC, SAI, VER, LEC, NOR, MAG, RUS, RAI, GAS, OCO, KVY, BOT, GRO, LAT; out: GIO
DRS enabled
GAS takes P13 from RAI

31: LEC pits; new inters; rejoins P9

33: LEC f/lap 1:40.962
RIC pits; rejoins P9
RUS first pit stop;

34: VET pits; more inters; rejoins P6
ALB spins; HAM steals P3
LEC f/lap 1:40.166

35/58: ALB pits; inters go on; rejoins P6
Radio from HAM asking how long the inters will last; “We don’t know that”

36: PER closing on STR
SAI f/lap
MAG pits; released but the pit box immediately turns red; MAG slithers to a stop just at pit exit; pushed back by the mechanics

37: STR pits from P1; inters; rejoins P4
HAM has caught PER, uses DRS to sweep past and take P1
Incident involving MAG unsafe release will be investigated after the race

38: Radio from STR, “It’s raining already”

39: LEC is catching ALB
LAT spins but keeps it out of the gravel
NOR f/lap 1:39.796

40/58: VET takes P4 from STR but STR fights back, reclaims P4 but runs wide; VET and LEC pass STR

41: LEC uses DRS to take P4 from teammate VET
BOT spins again; he’s P13 and about to be lapped by HAM
ALB past STR for P6
GRO and LAT spin in sync

42: Radio from HAM, “It’s getting darker, is there a risk of rain?”; confirmed
SAI takes P7 from STR

43: Blue flags for BOT as he’s lapped by his teammate
LAT pits, retires

44: VER pits

45/58: HAM, PER, LEC, VET, SAI, ALB, VER, STR, RIC, NOR, OCO, KVY, BOT, GAS, RAI, RUS, GRO, MAG; out: LAT, GIO
BOT is still getting blue flags to let HAM lap him

46: HAM finally laps BOT (P13)
VER f/lap 1:39.706
Radio for VER asking about conditions; “now ready for slicks”

48: BOT pits; more inters; rejoins P15

49: GRO spins; recovers
NOR closing on RIC; RIC spins and NOR takes P9

50/58: HAM, PER, LEC, VET, SAI, ALB, VER, STR, NOR, RIC, OCO, KVY, GAS, RAI, BOT, RUS, GRO, MAG; out: LAT, GIO
Rain around turns 8 and 9

51: LEC fighting to keep his Ferrari on the track
VER all over the rear of teammate ALB; will the team tell them to swap?

52: RAI spins; ALB eases off to avoid him, then VER spins
Radio from HAM checking the inters won’t blow up; told BOT’s had done the same distance and were ok
NOR f/lap 1:38.471
GRO pits; retires

53: Radio for VET, “heavy rain expected for last lap of the race”
VER has caught ALB again
NOR f/lap 1:38.057

54: Surely Mercedes should pit HAM for new inters before it rains?
NOR f/lap 1:37.603

55/58: HAM, PER, LEC, VET, SAI, VER, ALB, STR, NOR, RIC, OCO, KVY, GAS, BOT, RAI, RUS, MAG; out: GRO, LAT, GIO

56: Radio for HAM, “we expect rain to hit turn 8 first”; HAM’s concerned his old inters won’t work; told they’ll do a safety stop
STR runs wide; NOR takes P8

57: Mercedes mechanics in the pit lane but HAM decides to stay out

58: OCO slithers as HAM laps him
MAG pits

HAM takes the chequered flag – that makes his 7th drivers’ world championship
LEC dives inside PER but locks up; VET passes his teammate
PER holds on to P2
VET P3, LEC P4

HAM stops in parc ferme – there’s a special marker board for him 🙂
He sits in the car, head in his hands
Wow, those inters are so bald!
VET congratulates HAM, “You’ve made history man!”
HAM’s visibly shaking; wipes away a tear

Provisional result: HAM, PER, VET, LEC, SAI, VER, ALB, NOR*, STR, RIC; OCO, KVY, GAS, BOT, RAI, RUS
DNF: MAG, GRO, LAT, GIO
*Fastest lap: NOR (1:36.806)
But… the are some investigations due post-race, including VER crossing the white line at pit exit

Interviews:
HAM: “Definitely a bit lost for words. I think I have to always start with saying a huge thank you to all the guys here and back at the factory for giving us this opportunity. I wouldn’t be able to do this if I didn’t join this team. The journey we have been on has been monumental.”; “I remember watching Michael win those world championships. To get one or two or even three is so hard. Seven is unimaginable. There is no end to what we can do together, me and this team.”
PER: “I told my team on the radio ‘one more lap on those tyres, I think they will have exploded!’ The vibrations were really bad towards the end. But I think it also made our race. Looking after them towards the beginning and towards the end, with drying conditions, I think the team did a fantastic job with the strategy in the race. Lewis today was extremely strong but we managed to get a result.”
VET: “It was quite intense but good fun. I had a really good opening lap, I found myself already in P4. It is a bit of a surprise to snatch the podium but I am certainly very happy.”
BOT: “That was a long race, such a long day. At the start everything went wrong. Someone in the first corner spinning and I had a contact. The car was not the same anymore. I struggled to stay on track. It was survival. He [Hamilton] deserves it fully. He was better overall. It is really good for him. I will try to beat him next year.”
LEC: I’m so angry with myself. I’m so disappointed. I was very happy with where we were with 10 laps to go, we were fighting at the end. On the one hand, I cannot afford to do a mistake when fighting for a position and fighting for second place – and today, I’m not on the podium because of these mistakes.”

[2020 calendar] [2020 line-up]