Grand Prix of Turkey – Race

Yesterday’s qualifying ended with HAM top of the timing sheet, but an engine penalty demotes him to P11. SAI was P15 but his engine penalties push him to P20.
Provisional grid: BOT, VER, LEC, GAS, ALO, PER, NOR, STR, TSU, VET, HAM*, OCO, RUS, SCH, RIC, LAT, GIO, RAI, MAZ, SAI*

However, it’s damp and as NOR says “Without the sun it’s not going to dry quickly”, and VER confirms it’s perfect for intermediate tyres for the start of the race.”
Air temperature 15°C; track 18°C; humidity 94%

McLaren have replaced four components on RIC’s power unit, so he now drops to P20
Grid: BOT, VER, LEC, GAS, ALO, PER, NOR, STR, TSU, VET, HAM, OCO, RUS, SCH, LAT, GIO, RAI, MAZ, SAI, RIC

Drivers move to the front of the grid for #WeRaceAsOne and the national anthem

NOR “I’m more confident in these conditions, the driver can make a big difference in the car”
BOT “For sure it’s a good chance for the win. It seems like every race now is raining, which will mix things up. I need to focus on my race, Lewis is a bit behind.”
RUS “It’s going to be intermediate tyres for the majority of the race”
Toto Wolff “It’s Scottish rain”

BOT leads everyone away on the formation lap
Everyone on inters, as expected

01/58: GAS taps ALO; ALO spins in Turn 1; rejoins P16
Yellow flag in sectors 2 & 3 but clears quickly

02: BOT, VER, LEC, PER, GAS, NOR, STR, TSU, HAM
Inside TSU for P8 but TSU defends and keeps the place
SCH spins; rejoins P19

03: BOT fastest lap 1:34.359
LAT touches a wet patch and spins

04: Replay shows SCH’s spin was caused by a collision with ALO
Incident involving GAS and ALO is under investigation

05/58: BOT, VER, LEC, PER, GAS, NOR, STR, TSU, HAM, VET, OCO, GIO, RAI, RUS, SAI, RIC, ALO, MAZ, SCH, LAT

06: SAI around RUS for P14
Incident involving ALO and SCH is under investigation

07: SAI dives inside RAI to take P13

08: TSU still holding off HAM; they’re over 18sec behind BOT
SAI takes P12 from GIO
HAM finally finds a gap and passes TSU for P8
5sec penalty for GAS for that lap 1 collision with ALO

09: SAI past OCO for P11
HAM easily past STR for P7
5sec penalty for ALO for that lap 2 collision with SCH

10/58: BOT, VER, LEC, PER, GAS*, NOR, HAM, STR, TSU, VET, SAI, OCO, GIO, RAI, RUS, RIC, ALO*, MAZ, LAT, SCH (*5sec penalties to be served in pit stop)
Radio from BOT, “There’s still no dry patches”

11: NOR doesn’t defend too hard as HAM passes him for P6
HAM f/lap 1:34.206

12: HAM f/lap 1:33.450

13: SAI takes P10 from VET but they make a little contact

14: HAM easily past GAS for P5

15/58: BOT, VER, LEC, PER, HAM, GAS*, NOR, STR, TSU, SAI, VET, OCO, GIO, RAI, RUS, RIC, ALO*, LAT, MAZ, SCH
Race control say no investigation necessary for the contact between SAI and VET

16: Radio from HAM reporting his front-right tyre is “looking a bit bald”

17: SAI catching TSU

18: VER f/lap 1:33.282
SAI takes P9 from TSU

19: BOT f/lap 1:33.146

20/58: BOT, VER, LEC, PER, HAM, GAS*, NOR, STR, SAI, TSU, VET, OCO, GIO, RAI, RUS, RIC, ALO*, LAT, MAZ, SCH
NOR reports that his inters are now slicks

21: HAM f/lap 1:33.019

22: RIC pits from P16; inters go on; rejoins P18

23: TSU spins; rejoins P13

24: LEC f/lap 1:32.981

25/58: BOT, VER, LEC, PER, HAM, GAS*, NOR, STR, SAI, VET
BOT laps the Haas duo

26: Sounds like the rain is picking up, especially in Turn 9
OCO harrying VET for P10

27: Radio from SAI, “I think we should try a 1-stop from here”
Radio for BOT, “Not expecting any significant rain”

28: HAM ~2.5sec behind PER

29 (Half distance): MAZ moved over and held up HAM – that’s cost HAM about 2sec

30/58: BOT, VER, LEC, PER, HAM, GAS*, NOR, STR, SAI, VET, OCO, GIO, TSU, RAI, RUS, ALO*, LAT, RIC, MAZ, SCH

31: SAI catching STR
ALO pits; serves 5-sec penalty; more inters go on; rejoins P18

32: Radio from BOT reporting “rears getting more snappy”; told to try to get more temp in them
HAM under 1sec behind PER

33: RIC takes P16 from LAT

34: HAM tucked up under PER’s rear wing

35/58: HAM alongside PER; pushes PER wide, across the pit entry line; PER defends; PER keeps P4
NOR pits from P7; rejoins P9

37: VER pits; inters go on; rejoins P3
SAI pits; long stop;
VET pits – he puts on slick tyres!

38: BOT pits; inters go on; rejoins P2
PER pits; inters go on; rejoins P6
Radio from VET, “Not working”; he’s slithering all over (and off) the track

39: LEC locks up, runs wide in Turn 1
VET pits again; he lost the rear entering the pit lane but kept it out of the wall; inters go on; rejoins P19

40/58: LEC, BOT, VER, HAM, GAS, PER, STR
GAS pits; serves 5sec penalty

42: Radio for HAM, “Box, box; box, box”; “Why?”; he’s told “new inters is the way to go” but HAM disagrees and stays out

43: SAI pressing OCO for P8

44: Radio from HAM, “It’s not far off dry”
Radio from VER reporting a problem with his steering wheel

45/58: LEC, BOT, VER, HAM, PER, GAS, NOR, OCO, SAI, STR, RIC, GIO, RAI, TSU, RUS, ALO, LAT, VET, SCH, MAZ
LEC runs wide which lets BOT close up

46: Radio for LEC, “We think we should stop and push for the last laps”

47: BOT inside LEC into Turn 1; takes P1
Radio from HAM asking if his tyres will last to the end
VER now closing on LEC

48: LEC pits from P2; inters go on; rejoins P4 just ahead of PER
SAI f/lap 1:32.597

49: SAI f/lap 1:32.405

50/58: BOT, VER, HAM, LEC, PER, GAS, NOR, SAI, OCO, STR, RIC, GIO, RAI, TSU, RUS, ALO, LAT, SCH, MAZ
SAI f/lap 1:31.921

51: HAM pits from P3; inters go on; rejoins P5
PER closing on LEC

52: LEC tries to defend but PER takes P3
HAM now closing on LEC

53: STR takes P9 from OCO
Radio from HAM, angry at losing places for that pit stop

54: Radio for HAM telling him GAS is closing; HAM just wants to get on with it

55/58: BOT, VER, PER, LEC, HAM, GAS, NOR, SAI, STR, OCO, RIC, GIO, RAI, TSU, RUS, ALO, LAT, VET, SCH, MAZ

56: GAS and NOR catching HAM

57: BOT f/lap 1:31.023
Looks like HAM’s graining phase is ending and he’s beginning to open a gap over GAS

58 = final lap: RIC passed by GIO and RAI; drops to P13

BOT takes the chequered flag and f/lap 1:30.432

Interviews:
BOT: “From my side, it was one of the best races I’ve had – ever. Apart from that one little slide I’ve had everything under control. The car was good in every condition, really good confidence in it. I’m glad everything went smooth for once for me. It was nice.”
VER: “It was not easy today, I mean the track was very greasy and we had to manage the tyres all race so we couldn’t really push. It seemed like Valtteri had more pace and could look after the tyres better as well, so I’m happy to finish in second place.”
PER: “It was just one of those races of having to be patient, push at right times and manage the tyres well. You didn’t really know what was going on with the tyres. It was hard to manage them out there today.”
Toto Wolff: “We thought we could maybe hang out there, and not pit stop, or maybe go onto soft tyres at the end. We saw Leclerc dropping off, Lewis was dropping off and we knew we wouldn’t make it to the end. It was clear if we’d have stayed out we’d have lost out to our competitors.”
HAM: “I didn’t know at the time [that I would lose two places] but I should have assumed. The tyres are bald so you don’t know how far they are going to go. I wasn’t that fast at the end there, I was struggling with low grip. I think probably in hindsight I should have stayed out or come in much earlier. With eight laps to go, I didn’t have time to go through the gaining phase.”
Christian Horner: “Difficult to say, at one point it looked like [HAM] would get to the end, but then he had to pit. For us the crucial moment was when to pit Checo – we could have left him out to keep holding Lewis, but in the end we pitted him as we didn’t believe those tyres would make the end of the race. He did a brilliant job today. He raced Lewis just as hard as Max does.”

Provisional result: BOT*, VER, PER, LEC, HAM, GAS, NOR, SAI, STR, OCO; GIO, RAI, RIC, TSU, RUS, ALO, LAT, VET, SCH, MAZ
*BOT set fastest lap
No DNFs

That moves VER ahead of HAM by 6 points, but Mercedes still ahead in the Constructors’ championship by 36 points. I’ll post an updated points table soon — done.

[2021 calendar] [2021 line-up] [Points standings]

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2 thoughts on “Grand Prix of Turkey – Race”

  1. GAS was given two penalty points on his licence in addition to the 5 second penalty for the lap 1 incident with ALO.
    Race director Michael Masi explained that before the season began it had been agreed drivers would be penalised for first-lap incidents if they were found to be entirely to blame.
    Oh, “entirely” – whoops, the stewards described GAS as being “predominantly” to blame … so the FIA “corrected” the document 3.5 hours later to read “wholly”.
    Nothing suspicious about that.
    I thought it was harsh to penalise GAS in the first place but the “correction” just looks like an attempt to cover up the stewards mistake.

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