Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time in today's qualifying session for the Turkish Grand Prix, but due to an engine change penalty, Valtteri Bottas is to start from pole position. Max Verstappen will join him on the front row, followed by Leclerc and Gasly.
Qualifying kicked off on a damp track after a very wet morning at Istanbul. As the track dried here and there, the racing line was soon completely dry after a number of cars ventured out on track, all immediately on soft slicks.
Gasly took the early lead, ahead of Alonso until the big guns demoted them a bit. First it was Hamilton who moved up into P1, then Verstappen and then Hamilton again before the latter decided to go to the pits. Verstappen at that time was second at just 0.007s, followed by Gasly, Leclerc, Perez, Bottas, Norris and Alonso.
As Mick Schumacher moved up into 14th and Q2, Ricciardo got eliminated, along with Latifi, Giovinazzi, Raikkonen and Mazepin.
Q2 saw Bottas set the first truly competitive time as Hamilton completed a lap 5s slower than his team mate. As Alonso slotted into second, Perez missed Turn 1 and forced many to do an additional slow lap due to the yellow flags while Perez reversed away from the tyre barriers to continue his path on the track.
A few minutes later, Hamilton improved on Bottas' lap by more than half a second, followed by Verstappen who still lacked 4 tenths on Hamilton. Bottas later demoted Verstappen to third. Despite his speed, Hamilton complained about the difficulties of getting the medium tyres up to temperature, something that might explain the offs seen for Perez and later Leclerc and Stroll during this session.
In the closing stages many still improved their times, resulting in the elimination of Vettel, Ocon, Russell, Schumacher and Sainz. Russell was on target to make it into Q3 but lost the rear end in the final corner to miss out on an improvement. Sainz ended up 15th, having not set a time in Q2 with a knowledge of starting the race at the very back due to an engine change penalty.
The final shootout was a Mercedes matter as of the start, with Bottas going fastest on his first run, 0.022s faster than his teammate. Verstappen was third fastest, slightly more than 4 tenths behind his title rival.
Both Mercedes were out early, and Hamilton especially had the same strategy on the second outing where he completed his flying lap while Verstappen, Bottas, Gasly and several others were still only just starting his warmup lap.
Verstappen and Bottas did improve on their second efforts but it wasn't enough to improve on Hamilton's track record. Clearly for Mercedes a good affair as this leaves Bottas in pole while Hamilton was set to start from 11th after taking a 10-place grid penalty for taking a new internal combustion engine.
Charles Leclerc was a strong fourth for Ferrari, followed by Gasly, Alonso and Perez. Behind Norris and Stroll, Tsunoda completed the top 10 after he managed to get into Q3 thanks to using soft tyres in Q2.
|3||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:24.592||1:23.732||1:23.196||25|
|5||10||Pierre Gasly||Alphatauri Honda||1:24.704||1:23.817||1:23.326||24|
|6||14||Fernando Alonso||Alpine Renault||1:25.174||1:23.914||1:23.477||24|
|7||11||Sergio Perez||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:24.963||1:23.961||1:23.706||24|
|8||4||Lando Norris||Mclaren Mercedes||1:25.138||1:24.642||1:23.954||25|
|9||18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:25.511||1:24.601||1:24.305||23|
|10||22||Yuki Tsunoda||Alphatauri Honda||1:25.409||1:24.054||1:24.368||24|
|11||5||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:25.787||1:24.795||19|
|12||31||Esteban Ocon||Alpine Renault||1:25.422||1:24.842||18|
|13||63||George Russell||Williams Mercedes||1:25.417||1:25.007||20|
|14||47||Mick Schumacher||Haas Ferrari||1:25.555||1:25.200||19|
|16||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Mclaren Mercedes||1:25.881||10|
|17||6||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Mercedes||1:26.086||10|
|18||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:26.430||11|
|19||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:27.525||11|
|20||9||Nikita Mazepin||Haas Ferrari||1:28.449||10|