F1 2020 Turkish GP: Stroll’s Turkish delight in the wet

Lewis Hamilton knew that he could equal another one of Formula 1‘s all-time records this weekend. A vicotry at the Turkish GP would see the British driver win his seventh F1 driver’s title, tying the Great Michael Schumacher.

However, a newly-resurfaced track and wet weather threatened to throw a huge spanner Hamilton’s works. This is one of the best qualifying sessions we’ve ever seen!

We’ve got all the highlights from a wet and wild qualifying right here!


After a damp final practice, the rain intensified in Turkey ahead of qualifying. The track had a lack of grip after a recent resurfacing had took place and the wet surface exaserbated the issues.

Drivers took to the track with either the intermediate or full wet tyres. Nobody was able to get close to a two-minute lap time, with Esteban Ocon setting the early pace.

Ocon led the timing boards in Q1. Image: RaceFans

With the rain intensifying and drivers flying off the circuit, the session was stopped with just under seven minutes remaining. With less than two hours until sunset, talk was rife as to whether qualifying would be abandonned until tomorrow morning.

Just before 4pm local time, the green flags were out and the drivers tentatively trundled out of the pit lane. Drivers were still struggling, with Romain Grosjean being one of the first to spin off into the gravel, he finished P19.


The red flags were waved once again, just 3:30 on the clock now, which is enough for one flying lap, but that’s it. The track was faster though, Max Verstappen going over eight seconds clear at the top.

Nicholas Latifi also spun and couldn’t complete a lap. He was classified P20 but starts in P19 after George Russell incured an engine penalty. Russell was 18th, Daniil Kvyat 17th and Kevin Magnussen’s Haas ending up P16.


Hamilton and Perez survived by the skin of their teeth finishing P14 and 15, respectively.


Despite rumours that it wouldn’t start, the second qualifying session got underway. The track was still very wet, but Lando Norris was feeling brave and opted for intermediate tyres.

The gamble didn’t immediately pay off, as Norris had his time deleted for track limits, but he was quicker than the chasing pack.

McLaren’s gamble to inters didn’t pay off . Image: McLaren

It was Verstappen who was once again fastest, a 1:57.125 was the Red Bull’s opening gambit. The pace was picking up rapidly, the Red Bulls, Racing Points and Mercedes’ traded fastest laps.

Attention then turned to the drivers in the drop zone. With the Alfa Romeos going surprisingly quickly, the Ferraris, McLaren and Renaults were under threat.

AlphaTauri were fast in the dry, but this wet qualifying didn’t suit their car at all. Pierre Gasly lines up 15th. It was a very poor day for McLaren and Ferrari as well.

Norris (P11) and Carlos Sainz (P13) both failed to make the top ten shootout, as did Sebastian Vettel (P12) and Charles Leclerc (P14).


Intermediates were the order of the day now, but Max Verstappen was in another league to the competition on the wets. Sergio Perez would soon beat this lap time, but now all drivers were going for inters.

However, Verstappen couldn’t warm his tyres and ended up in second place. Lance Stroll set the pace and incredibly kept pole position, the first Canadian to start on pole since Jacques Villeneuve in 1997!

Perez ended up third for Racing Point’s best ever qualifying. Alex Albon produced a solid effort to be P4, with Ricciardo a respectable P5. Hamilton was sixth and Bottas ninth, the W11 didn’t suit the conditions today.

Raikkonen splitted the Mercedes in 8th and Giovinazzi rounded up the top ten. With a grid like this, we’re sure to be in for a lot of overtaking tomorrow!

Full Classification

118Lance StrollRacing Point1:47.765
233Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing0.102
311Sergio PerezRacing Point0.252
423Alex AlbonRed Bull Racing0.438
53Daniel RicciardoRenault0.571
644Lewis HamiltonMercedes0.785
731Esteban OconRenault0.868
87Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo0.873
977Valtteri BottasMercedes1.151
1099Antonio GiovinazziAlfa RomeoNO Q3 TIME
114Lando NorrisMcLaren1:54.945 (Q2)
125Sebastian VettelFerrari0.224
1316Charles LeclercFerrari0.465
1410Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri1.959
1555Carlos SainzMcLaren3.611
1620Kevin MagnussenHaas2:08.007 (Q1)
1726Daniil KvyatAlphaTauri1.063
1863George RusselWilliams2.010
198Romain GrosjeanHaas4.902
206Nicholas LatifiWilliams13.604

Grid Talk Podcast

Want more reaction to the Turkish GP qualifying? Host Louis Edwards with panlestis Owain Medford, Rees Evans and Peter Mujuzi stared in Grid Talk’s Turkish GP Quali Analysis:

Leave a Reply