The Turkish Grand Prix saw Lewis Hamilton secure his seventh Formula One World Championship title, but the Istanbul race also witnessed Scuderia Ferrari take their best result of the year.
Formula One’s return to Istanbul, Turkey turned out to be an intense and eventful affair by delivering the 2020 season’s most exciting race. On Friday, the extremely slippery new surface caught drivers by surprise while the rain took over the leading role from Saturday onwards. While the qualifying session saw Racing Point’s Lance Stroll take his maiden Formula One pole position, today’s seventh Turkish Grand Prix produced a race that turned into an act of pure surviving.
Racing PointSergio Perez, 2nd
“We’ve come close to a podium several times this year, so it’s great to enjoy the moment now with the team. It was an exciting race and a difficult one all the way to the end. I was trying to look after the tyres, push at the right time to keep the temperatures in the right window, and learn the track all at the same time. It’s a great result and we called it exactly right. When I crossed the line, I told the team that I didn’t think the tyres could last another lap! They were vibrating like hell at the end. It was about keeping it on the track and making the right calls, which we did.
„The key was managing the intermediates at the beginning and end of the second stint, it made a huge difference. Lewis was on another level today and, once he got by me, he controlled the race. So, second was the best we could achieve and we did a great job to keep the Red Bulls and Ferraris behind. I had no idea Max was chasing me with all the spray and my mirrors being fogged up: I just saw him run wide and then disappear. There was also a crazy end to the race with Charles! I made a little mistake into Turn 9 and he got by me, but I was able to cut back in front at Turn 11 and then Seb got through too! We’re all delighted with today’s result and it was a great effort by the team. We’re going to enjoy it tonight!”Lance Stroll, 9th
“It’s really hard to understand what happened today and we need to go away and figure it out. I made a good start from pole position and I was able to build up a lead of over 10 seconds in the first stint, which gave us a real platform for the second stint to get a great result. Throughout the race, I was struggling with graining on the intermediate tyre.
„The team made the right call to pit when we did because the graining was extremely difficult and it didn’t look like slick conditions would ever arrive. But we then had significant graining on my second set of intermediates, and I couldn’t push to make up places. In hindsight, maybe staying out would have allowed the tyre to clean up, but it’s easy to say that now. Getting pole yesterday was a great achievement, but the points are scored on Sunday. It was fun to lead so many laps, but we didn’t lead enough! While I’m frustrated today, Checo’s scored valuable points and we’ll switch focus to the final few races.”
FerrariSebastian Vettel, 3rd
"There are some races that are special, where anything can happen. I think today’s race confirmed that I have a special relationship with Istanbul Park. One could say my Formula 1 career began here and here again, in what has so far definitely been a difficult season, I have managed to finish on the podium for the first time.
"The first lap was incredible. I got away well and with the heavy wet tyres, I had great grip. Then, when we switched to the intermediates, I struggled a bit more. I think the fact there was less water on the track helped and so, in the closing stages I was really quick. In the last few laps I caught Charles and Perez who were fighting. "Charles overtook the Racing Point, but locked up at Turn 12, so I went inside and I only just missed out on getting second place too. I am sorry for him and I can understand he is very angry about what happened, because in many ways, I see myself in him. But he is so strong that very soon, this day will be completely unimportant in his mind. He drove a great race."Charles Leclerc, 4th
"I am extremely disappointed with myself. I messed it up in the last corner and there’s not much else to say really, because in the end it’s the result that counts.
"My start was bad, from the dirty side of the track, but then things went better and in the middle part of the race we were extremely quick and I did a good job of catching up with the leading group that had been several seconds in front, but then I threw everything in the bin at the end. I am sorry for the team, as we could have finished second today. On the other hand, I am pleased for Seb as he has had a difficult season so far and completely deserves this first podium."
Lewis Hamilton, 1st
"I know often we, or I say, it's beyond my wildest dreams, but I think my whole life I secretly have dreamt as high as this. But it always felt so farfetched. I remember Michael winning those championships, and all of us drivers here are doing the best job we can, and just to get one, two or three is so hard to get. So, to get seven, is just unimaginable. But when you work with such a great group of people, and you communicate, and trust one another and listen to one another, there is just no end to what we can do together, this team and I together. And I'm so proud of what we've done. And them trusting me out there today like they did, that comes with experience.
"This year has been so tough... I haven't gone out, I haven't gone for dinner, I've just stayed in my bubble. Getting room service every day, and not really anything exciting and that's naturally because I've got a championship to fight for. I think this year I've sacrificed more than ever before in my whole life. That's made it quite difficult. Making memories like this, I want to wait until I can be around my family, be around all my friends, because I want to share it with them. I feel so proud of this race today. I was thinking about moments when it went wrong before, like China 2007 when I lost the championship on worn tyres in the pit lane. All these things I've learned along the way, I was able to apply today, and that's why you saw the result and the gap you did today.
"At the same time, I feel like I'm only just getting started, it's really weird. I feel physically in great shape, and mentally this year has been the hardest year for many people, for millions of people. I know things always look great on here, on the big stage, but it's no different for us athletes. And it has been a challenge I didn't know how to get through. But with the help of great people round me, with the help of my team, Team LH, I managed to keep my head above water and focused. I'm hopeful for a better year next year.Valtteri Bottas, 14th
"That was a long race. Such a long day. From the first lap onwards, everything went wrong. I don't know who it was, but someone was spinning in front of me in the first corner and I was avoiding, and then I spun as well. Then I had contact in Turn 9 and then the car wasn't the same anymore. I struggled to stay on track. I couldn't stay on track, the steering wheel was like this, and there was a piece missing from the front wing. It was just about surviving from then on, not good. Congratulations to Lewis as well. He deserves this title completely: he was the better one of us this year overall and seven titles is a very impressive achievement in our sport."
McLarenCarlos Sainz, 5th
"Very, very good day for us after a disappointing Saturday. We managed to put together a very strong race under super tricky conditions. I had a very good start, picking up six places, switching on the tyres and keeping a solid pace with both compounds. From there, I managed to pull off some good overtakes to finish P5. I definitely rate this race as one of the hardest I’ve done in F1 so far and I’m very happy to have recovered 10 positions in these conditions. I'm also happy for the entire team because it looks like we saved a tough weekend with both cars again in the points. Last but not least, big congrats to Lewis on equalling such an incredible record – seven championships is a great achievement."Lando Norris, 8th
"That was a good race – a lot of fun. My start wasn't great, but I think a lot of people on the left-hand side of the grid had bad starts. Everything after that was good, it was just very difficult to overtake. Normally it’s like that in the dry, but in the wet there was only one line you could use and it was almost impossible to pass. But, when we were in clean air, we had really good pace all the time. I think we did the best job we could during the race – and I had the fastest lap, so that showed the car was genuinely quick. Finally, a massive congratulations to Lewis on winning his seventh championship. It's a really amazing achievement."
Red BullMax Verstappen, 6th
“Today was just a very difficult race to be honest. The start was not great and I dropped back to fourth with the lack of grip on the dirty side of the grid. I got back up to third and tried to follow Checo through the kink but washed out massively which put me onto the green on the exit kerb and I had a big spin. I tried to keep it out of the wall but flat spotted my tyres and needed to pit. With fresh tyres of course you very quickly catch up with the guys in front but then you can’t pass. There’s just one line around here and already that line is very slippery and you just have to do the same line as the person ahead which is very frustrating. Also, the fact that the track wasn’t really drying meant we couldn’t switch to slicks so we had to stay on intermediates which just get destroyed pretty quickly. It was a complicated race with a mixture of just following the car ahead, having no grip and trying to survive! It's not been a great day and I guess it was just not meant to be.”Alex Albon, 7th
“I have mixed feelings as everything was going to plan and it looked like we were on for the win but it was a strange race and finishing seventh is definitely confusing. We have been so competitive all weekend so today is a tough one to take. Both of us had poor starts but we picked our way through the field and when we pitted for inters, we had incredible grip and we were so quick. The pace was really strong but then we boxed for a second set of inters and we had no grip and no pace so there’s a bit of head scratching. It’s hard to understand but we’ll sit down and understand it as these conditions were so unusual. This weekend has been going really well, I’m happy with the progress we’ve made and some things on my side of the garage have definitely helped so I can’t wait to get out there in Bahrain and get going again.”
“We made a great start today, but I was squashed in between Lewis [Hamilton] and Esteban into Turn 1, so I had nowhere to go and I clipped my team mate which is the last thing you want to do. We lost a couple of positions from the incident and then when we switched to the intermediate tyres and we just couldn’t make them last. There were moments during the race when I was told I was one of the fastest out there, then just a few laps later my tyres were completely gone so it was all a bit of a lottery. Obviously, a big congratulations to Lewis for wrapping up his seventh drivers’ championship and to do it in such a dominant fashion today is very impressive.”Esteban Ocon, 11th
“It was a difficult race for us today. I got hit twice at the start and that ended our chances of scoring good points. I was happy with my start and it was probably my best one of the year. I was third or fourth at Turn 1 and then I was unlucky to spin after Lewis [Hamilton] got close to Daniel, who clipped my rear. I then got hit at Turn 9, which punctured my rear tyre and from there it was always going to be hard to recover. We did our best and we move onto the next one. Congratulations to Lewis on the seventh world title.”
AlphaTauriPierre Gasly, 13th
“The whole weekend was really bad for us. We had very poor performance on the wet tyres yesterday, and with today being wet again, we knew we were going to struggle massively. It’s a bit embarrassing because if it was all fine in the dry during practice on Friday, it means we were just too slow with the wets and intermediate tyres, we just couldn’t switch them on and struggled in FP3 and Quali. In addition, we took a penalty today. We need to understand what went wrong and what didn’t work in order to do better, in case we find ourselves in the same conditions. We already have some answers but still, we should have done a better job and I’m disappointed. Now it’s done and we should look at the next few races.”Daniil Kvyat, 12th
“It wasn’t a very eventful day. I just drove my race and finished P12, there wasn’t much that we could have done better. I’m a bit frustrated because there are no points for us today, it’s not pleasant to fight the car all race and finish with no reward. It was a very tricky race, luckily I made very little mistakes today aside from one spin, so it felt good as a driver to bring the car home in these conditions, it’s good training for my concentration! Generally speaking, our pace in the wet this weekend wasn’t good, and we struggled to get the car in the right window. We just need to understand what we did wrong this weekend and learn from it.”
Alfa RomeoKimi Raikkonen, 15th
“The race was far from fun, but it’s a bit what we expected once we saw the weather. We would have probably had a much better speed in a full wet race, but the mixed conditions definitely didn’t work in our favour. We struggled to make the tyres work, when they did they’d be good for ten laps and then fall off, so it was hard to get into a good rhythm. At least, we didn’t lose any points in the championship to our rivals.”Antonio Giovinazzi, DNF
“It’s been a challenging Sunday after yesterday’s strong qualifying results. I lost the car on the way to the grid, but luckily I only damaged the front wing: the crew did a great job changing it and getting the car ready for the start of the race. Unfortunately our race didn’t last long: we had a gearbox issue and had to retire the car. It was a day like this, the conditions were even trickier than yesterday and in the end luck was not on our side. I’m just looking forward to the next race.”
HaasRomain Grosjean, DNF
“It was a tricky race as suspected – it was very slippery. We struggled all weekend to generate tyre temperature. I didn’t feel very comfortable in the car, or at least I couldn’t really push the way I wanted. There were times in the race it was getting better, other times it wasn’t. Then Nicholas (Latifi) crashed into me which heavily damaged my floor. We retired the car shortly after that. We were struggling in these conditions from the beginning, it was always going to be a hard race. If there were mixed conditions maybe we could have done something, but in a pure wet race it was harder.”
Kevin Magnussen, DNF
“The race had been going really well. The tyres really wore down to the carcass, and when they got to that stage we were really strong. I think we cost ourselves some points today. I guess a tyre didn’t come on I guess at the pit stop. I had to stop the car and get pulled back. I lost two laps and that was it really. We had really good speed in the car, so once again it’s very sad that we’ve missed a points opportunity.”
"We made the decision to start from the pit lane, which was always the intention. On the laps to grid I knocked the front wing off at the pit entry, but the guys did a great job to get the car fixed. The race itself was very tricky in the opening stages, but then we found ourselves in P11 and it was looking really promising, the car and tyres were feeling good. From then, the tyres dropped off, so we boxed for another set of intermediates which didn’t work. None of us were able to push the car to the limit, slipping and sliding around. This weekend wasn’t a lot of fun which is a shame as it is a fantastic circuit and we didn’t get the opportunity to fully appreciate it. A massive congratulations to Lewis, he keeps on delivering and is setting the bar for all of us to chase."
Nicholas Latifi, DNF
"We had some damage on the car after contact with Romain Grosjean, so we decided to retire. I was getting lapped, but my mirrors were so dirty that I literally couldn’t see behind me. I knew I had to move over but it was difficult to judge where they were. There was no grip out there and therefore you can’t generate tyre temperature, so with the damage on the car, there was no point staying out. There was no part of the race that was enjoyable for me and overall, it was a weekend to forget."