The rain changed everything during the qualifying session at Istanbul Park and the lottery left Lance Stroll as the winner, when in the final minutes his grip improved. The story will be different this Sunday.
| | Also read: Turkish GP: Verstappen dominates in practice 1 and 2
To say that the asphalt had the grip of an ice rink sounds exaggerated, but looking at the images it is impossible to think otherwise. I particularly think the risk of accident was high and the pair of red flags in Q1 confirm this.
The conditions were so complicated that almost all the drivers spun on more than one occasion and what was projected as a possible result of the pole went to the trash and a lottery came into play.
Max Verstappen had the best times in FP1, FP2, FP3, Q1 and Q2; reasons that placed him as a clear favorite to start from the first box in the race.
The Canadian Lance Stroll and the Mexican «Sergio» Checo Pérez rode the green range of Pirelli (intermediate rain), not thinking of taking the pole, but trying to finish ahead of the Mercedes who have suffered throughout the weekend unexpectedly.
In the final minutes of Q3 the grip of the track began to improve and the Mexican was the first to strike the blow by lowering the times of 1’49 ”and Stroll supported him. Practically in the last lap was when Stroll got his 1’47.765, the only one that marked below 1’48 ».
It is the Canadian’s first pole position in the top flight and the first for the team. Max Verstappen will start from the second box and Checo third, alongside Alex Albon in the other Red Bull RB16.
Although for today a 50% chance of rain was predicted during the qualifying session, for the race dry conditions are expected and therefore the story will be totally different.
Lance Stroll will hardly be able to withstand Verstappen’s attack for long, if he can keep the lead at the start. The RB16 adapts better than any to the conditions of the circuit and it was like that throughout the weekend.
Alex Albon has to play them all at the start and try to beat Sergio Checo Pérez, who starting from such a good place can aspire to a lot, but in the dry, Racing Point’s performance was not so good, in fact in FP3 Checo was 7 ° and Stroll 10 °.
Ferrari looked good
The Scuderia It was the one that lost the most to the rain in Qualy if we look at the times of the whole weekend. For example, Charles Leclerc was 3rd in FP1, 2nd in FP2 and 2nd in FP3. At least they aspired to be in the Top 3 with the Monegasque.
Even Sebastian Vettel stayed in the Top 10 during the 3 free tests and that he had not been able to achieve all season. Therefore it was not unreasonable to think that both SF1OOO would be very close to the lead in Qualy.
With the dry conditions this Sunday they must improve a lot and recover several positions. It is not that difficult to overtake in Istanbul Park, but they need a clean strategy, without errors on the track … or in the pits.
| | Read also: Stroll takes pole of the Turkish GP
Lewis Hamilton can be titled as champion of the 2020 Formula 1 season if he achieves more than 7 points than Valtteri Bottas, which is more than likely to happen.
The characteristics of the W11 do not seem to match Istanbul Park and finishing even outside the Top 10 is a slight possibility. Although they improved in FP3, any mistake would take them several positions lower.
So, looking at it like this, it all depends on what Valtteri Bottas manages to do and not so much Lewis Hamilton. The pressure is on the Finn’s side.