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Shock pole-getter Lance Stroll will head the grid for the first in his F1 career at the Turkish Grand Prix, but all eyes will be on Lewis Hamilton’s bid to claim a record-equalling seventh championship from sixth. Join The Roar from 9:10pm (AEDT) for live blog coverage of the race at Istanbul Park.
There has been a feeling of nostalgia about Formula One in 2020, with the revised calendar visiting some old venues. This weekend the championship reunites with the once popular Turkish Grand Prix for the first time in almost a decade.
Renowned for the epic Turn 8 quadruple-apex left-hander, the 5.3-kilometre Istanbul Park track was a favourite venue between 2005 and 2011 before dropping off the calendar.
Its low-grip surface has already wreaked havoc this weekend, with the current-generation hybrid cars making their debut in Turkey. If the ‘drift city’ nature of the practice sessions is anything to go by, the upcoming 58 laps should be an interesting affair.
Among the current drivers only Kimi Raikkonen, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have won in Turkey, with Vettel the most recent winner for Red Bull Racing. For Hamilton, though, this will be the first opportunity he has to clinch his seventh world title.
For the Briton to secure the championship and equal Michael Schumacher’s record septuple Hamilton must not concede more than seven points to teammate Valtteri Bottas, who is the only mathematical challenger.
A wet qualifying session produced the most mixed grid of 2020, with Lance Stroll in the Racing Point surviving a yellow flag investigation to claim his first pole position in Formula One.
Max Verstappen, who dominated Friday practice in the dry, will line up on the front row of the grid with the Canadian as the favourite for the victory in dry conditions. Stroll’s teammate Sergio Perez starts third.
As for Mercedes, Hamilton struggled to sixth on the grid, but he’s crucially ahead of Bottas in ninth.
So while the championship can be won at this race, all intrigue will be around whether someone other than a Mercedes driver can win this race. Crucially, with only one point splitting Renault, McLaren and Racing Point for their battle over third in the constructor’s standings, a strong result today could define how the minor title placings shape up.
Will history be made this weekend with Schumacher’s tally of titles equalled by Hamilton? And could we see Mercedes’ streak of victories in 2020 also snapped? Tune in from 9:00pm AEDT on The Roar for live blog coverage of the Turkish Grand Prix.
Lights out: 9:10pm (AEDT)
Venue: Intercity Istanbul Park, Turkey
TV: Fox Sports
Online: Kayo Sports, Foxtel
Previous winner: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing, 2011)
1. Lance Stroll (Racing Point), 2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing)
3. Sergio Perez (Racing Point), 4. Alexander Albon (Red Bull Racing)
5. Daniel Ricciardo (Renault), 6. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
7. Esteban Ocon (Renault), 8. Kimi Räikkönen (Alfa Romeo)
9. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes), 10. Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo)
11. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari), 12. Carlos Sainz (McLaren)
13. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari). 14. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri)
15. Kevin Magnussen (Haas), 16. Lando Norris (McLaren)
17. Daniil Kvyat (AlphaTauri), 18. Romain Grosjean (Haas)
19. Nicholas Latifi (Williams), 20. George Russell (Williams)