F1 2020 Turkish Grand Prix Preview

It is reassuring that even during the odd year that is 2020, some things have remained constant. Children still dressed up for Halloween, property taxes were paid and Lewis Hamilton will win the Formula 1 Championship.

This weekend, F1 returns to Turkey for the first time since 2011 where Mercedes’ W11 is virtually guaranteed to continue it’s dominating run. 

Track Guide

Istanbul Park is one of the best of Hermann Tilke’s creations. Like all modern tracks, it features a mix of high and low-speed sections. Turn 8 is one quadruple-apex epic corner that should be taken flat-out in the current cars and Turn 12 will be a hot overtaking spot.

Only 5 of today’s drivers have experience with the track and this may lead to some mistakes. 

Last Time Out

F1 was a long way from where it is today the last time an event was held at Istanbul Park. In 2011, Red Bull led the field home with a 1-2 finish. Hamilton missed out on a podium to Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari and Michael Schumacher was bumbling through his Mercedes comeback years. Suffice to say, 2020’s final classification will look significantly different than 2011’s. 

READ MORE: F1 2020: The Year of the Honeybadger

At Imola, safety cars mixed up the order and the racing but the result was another Mercedes 1-2 finish. Daniel Ricciardo followed the duo home in third and Daniil Kvyat drove beautifully for fourth. Charles Leclerc willed his Ferrari into another top 5 with Sergio Perez, both McLarens and both Alfa Romeo drivers rounding out the points. 

Matching Michael

The big story is still Hamilton’s quest for a record-equalling seventh Drivers Championship. If he wins, the championship is his. There is a small window of possibility for Valterri Bottas to prolong the championship fight but asking him to dethrone Hamilton is simply too much: he’s no Nico Rosberg.

Hamilton Matched Schumacher’s 91 win in Germany

Max Verstappen, reliability issues not withstanding, should round out the podium yet again. However, the fights further down the order are very much alive.

Daniel Ricciardo, Charles Leclerc, Sergio Perez and both McLaren drivers could all reasonably claim fourth. In an extremely tight midfield third place in the Constructor’s championship standings is still up for grabs.


McLaren and Racing Point now having to keep an eye on a resurgent Ferrari only 30 points adrift. Regardless of how the field finishes, the day will likely belong to Hamilton.

His excellence as a racing driver has been recognised and the accolades are piling up so quickly that soon there will be no more records to set. As Shumacher was during the twilight of his career, the man is a living legend and mere days away from claiming another foregone title.

But it will also feel different this year. Maybe it’s because there are no fans, maybe we’re all a little tired of Mercedes’ dominance, or maybe it’s the pandemic bubble effect. Until the world of sport returns to normal, even the reliable and amazing will seem unusual. 

Session Times

Practice 1  11:00 – 12:30 local time    Practice 1  8:00 – 9:30 UK time    

Practice 2  15:00 – 16:30                    Practice 2  12:00 – 13:30 

Practice 3  12:00 – 13:00                    Practice 3  9:00 – 10:00

Qualifying  15:00 – 16:00                    Qualifying  12:00 – 13:00

Race          13:10 Race.         10:10

Grid Talk Podcast

Want more content to preview your Turkish Grand Prix weekend? Host Ruby Price with panlestis Louis Edwards, Owain Medford and Garry Sloan stared in Grid Talk’s Turkish GP Prixview:

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