The 2020 Turkish Grand Prix (officially the DHL Turkish Grand Prix 2020) was the fourteenth race of the 2020 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Istanbul Park in Istanbul, Turkey, on 15 November 2020. It was first Turkish Grand Prix held since 2011.
The first two practice sessions saw cars setting lap times up to more than ten seconds off the lap record time, due to the track having been recently resurfaced and the cold conditions. Rain on Saturday made the conditions trickier.
Red Bull's Max Verstappen topped all three free practice sessions including the wet third session, but it was the Racing Point of Lance Stroll who took a surprise maiden pole ahead of Verstappen, the first non-Mercedes pole of 2020, with team-mate Sergio Pérez third. Mercedes had a rather mediocre session, with Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas 6th and 9th respectively.
The race began at wet conditions, and at the start, Stroll held on to the lead while Verstappen lost places. Hamilton rose up to third but title contender Bottas spun on Turn 1 alongside Esteban Ocon. Bottas would spin a further four more times and lost the title contention to Hamilton.
Verstappen later on spun while attempting to pass Perez, causing him to pit for another set of intermediates, and then again spun alongside Kimi Räikkönen while lapping him. He would finish in sixth place, while Stroll, who had led for the first half of the race, dropped to ninth after his second stop didn't work well. Verstappen's team-mate Alexander Albon who had been catching the Racing Points also suffered a spin and finished behind Verstappen.
Hamilton meanwhile was stuck behind the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel, but he later on capitalized Vettel and Stroll's stops as well as Albon's spinning to close into Perez and passed him into the lead, which he eventually won the race by 31.633 seconds and ultimately, winning the 2020 Drivers' Championship title with Bottas finishing in 14th and out of the points. Meanwhile, Perez was holding off the Ferrari pair of Vettel and Charles Leclerc on the final lap, Leclerc running in third until he got past Perez, but then made a mistake defending the position, allowing Perez and Vettel past for them to claim their first podiums of the season, Perez taking his first since the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix and Vettel's first since the 2019 Mexican Grand Prix.
One of the circuits designed by Hermann Tilke, Istanbul Park first hosted the Turkish Grand Prix in 2005 and has hosted annually until 2011, when it pulled out of the F1 calendar due to financial disagreements. The circuit, which featured the unique, fast-sweeping Turn 8, had produced a few memorable moments, featuring Felipe Massa's maiden race win in 2006 (he would win for the next two consecutive races) and the collision between both Red Bull drivers Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber in the 2010 event, leaving Lewis Hamilton to win a McLaren 1-2 with Jenson Button behind.
Following a series of race cancelations and postponements in the 2020 season, Istanbul was announced to be returning to F1 to replace the canceled races on August 25, making it the first time since 2011 the circuit has hosted F1.
Ahead of the race weekend, it was announced on November 6 that Saudi Arabia will be hosting F1 for the first time in 2021, as part of a "long-term partnership" with the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation. Taking place at night in Jeddah, the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will be the second night race after the Singapore Grand Prix. A draft of the 2021 race calendar issued to the teams in October included plans to race in Saudi Arabia. The race is due to take place in November, one week before the season-ending race in Abu Dhabi. It was also announced that the all-female W Series will be joining Formulas 2 and 3 as F1's support series beginning 2021.
The full entry list for the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix is outlined below:
The full qualifying results for the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix are outlined below:
|1||18||Lance Stroll||Racing Point-BWT Mercedes||11||2:07.167||4||1:53.372||1||1:47.765||1|
|2||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull-Honda||1||1:57.485||1||1:50.293||2||1:48.055||2|
|3||11||Sergio Pérez||Racing Point-BWT Mercedes||15||2:07.614||9||1:54.097||3||1:49.321||3|
|4||23||Alexander Albon||Red Bull-Honda||2||1:59.431||2||1:52.282||4||1:50.448||4|
|8||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||3||2:01.249||8||1:53.793||8||1:52.745||8|
|10||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||12||2:07.341||5||1:53.431||10||1:57.226||10|
|13||55||Carlos Sainz, Jr.||McLaren-Renault||13||2:07.489||13||1:55.410||152|
|107% time: 2:05.7086|
- Bold indicates the fastest driver's time in each session.
- 1 Norris received a 5-place grid penalty for failing to slow down during yellow flags.
- 2 Sainz received a 3-place grid penalty for impeding Perez.
- 3 Gasly had to start from the back of the grid for breaching parc ferme regulations
- 4 Russell was required to start from the back of the grid for exceeding power unit elements quota and was given a five-place grid penalty for failing to slow down during yellow flags. Before the race, Russell damaged his front wing and returned to his pit box for his car to be fixed, hence starting from the pit lane.
- 5 Latifi had to start the race from the pit lane as it was closed before he left.
- 6 As qualifying was held on a wet session, the 107% Rule was not enforced.
At the start, the wet slippery track caught out the Red Bulls from second and fourth on the grid as they instantly sunk into eighth and ninth place respectively with agonising getaways. While Lance Stroll got away well from pole position to lead Racing Point teammate Sergio Pérez into the first turn, the Renaults and the Mercedes arrived at the corner almost four-wide. Championship leader Lewis Hamilton dived up the inside of Daniel Ricciardo, who moved to his right to take avoiding action and tagged his teammate Esteban Ocon into a spin. Hamilton’s teammate and championship rival Valtteri Bottas ran out of room at the outside of the corner and also spun. Ricciardo continued undamaged, but lost momentum after the contacts and was overtaken by Sebastian Vettel (up from 11th on the grid) and the Red Bulls. Hamilton couldn’t find grip in his Mercedes and skidded off the track later on the lap in Turn 9, dropping from third also behind Vettel and the Red Bulls. The other Mercedes car also encountered issues in that corner – losing control and clipping Ocon which caused both of them to spin for the second time on the same lap – and prompting the Frenchman to pit for repairs. Stroll quickly set off to build a large lead over Pérez who also almost instantly disappeared from the range of Vettel’s Ferrari.
The other Ferrari of Charles Leclerc was the first car to pit for intermediate tyres on lap 6. Vettel and Hamilton stopped for inters on lap 8, followed by race leader Stroll on lap 10. This handed the lead for Pérez and then to Verstappen and Albon for a lap each before it cycled back to Stroll once all the front-runners pitted for the tyre change. Stroll now led by 10 seconds, but Verstappen’s strong pace saw him jump ahead of Vettel for third and close right on the tail of Pérez. The race was briefly interrupted by a quick VSC for Antonio Giovinazzi who retired on the straight down the hill from Turn 8 – having earlier crashed during the way to the grid along with George Russell who hit the barrier in the pit lane entry after an awkward slide. After the VSC was called off, Hamilton was trying to pass Vettel, but made another mistake and left the track at Turn 12. Albon slipped through, and soon was also ahead of Vettel as the Red Bull car appeared to be working well. Verstappen was biding his time behind Pérez but was not patient enough, which was proven when he clipped the damp kerbing at Turn 11 and spun off the road at high speed. He fell behind the trailing trio of Albon, Vettel and Hamilton, and pitted for a new set of rubber which lost him a further two places.
Stroll was reporting understeer on his inters allowing Pérez to gradually chop the lead down to four seconds, while Albon was closing on both of the Racing Points. Hamilton was still all over the rear wing of Vettel as they closed on the top three, but then suddenly dropped off the pace and fell away from the Ferrari. Albon spent a couple of laps lurking right behind Pérez, but then backed off as his intermediate rubber too wore off – and DRS was activated on lap 30 just as he fell more than a second behind the Mexican driver. Meanwhile both Ferraris made their second pit stops to take fresh intermediates, as did Albon – with his stop in particular being prompted by a spin at Turn 4 on lap 34 which saw him gift a position to Hamilton. As strategy was being decided for Stroll and Pérez who still continued to run first and second, Hamilton put himself back in the picture by picking the pace up and rapidly running down the pair of them. Racing Point blinked and called Stroll in first on lap 36. He came out fourth – behind Verstappen, who was now running on a kind of an alternate strategy due to his earlier excursion. Pérez was released into the lead, but now had Hamilton coming at him right behind and only lasted a single lap in P1 – as the Mercedes roared through on the run to Turn 12 on lap 37 taking advantage of DRS. Unlike other top ten cars Hamilton and Pérez opted to not make a second stop in the race for fresh inters.
Hamilton then quickly dropped the Racing Point and pulled away to hold nearly a free pit stop over Pérez in just ten laps. The earlier tyre change for Leclerc in both stints saw him move up the order and charge after his teammate Vettel. Stroll was unable to find sufficient grip in his fresh inters – skating off the track on lap 39 and losing places to the Ferraris and Albon – and being knocked down to eighth by a steady Carlos Sainz not long after that. Leclerc used DRS to clear the sister Ferrari of Vettel on the run to Turn 12 on the following lap, while Sainz passed a fading Albon for fifth and Verstappen made his second stop at some point – which saw him come out behind his teammate. Another incident occured when Kimi Räikkönen spun off track right in front of the Red Bulls as they were lapping him – and in reaction to that Verstappen also looped around. Nevertheless, Verstappen then passed Albon for sixth on the next lap. Despite a threat of rain returning during the last laps, Hamilton insisted on staying out on his very worn intermediates, and cruised home to win by a comfortable margin of over 31 seconds. More drama was still to come – with the second-placed Pérez on a similarly used tyre set being rapidly caught up by the Ferraris and the McLaren of Sainz on the final lap.
Pérez slipped up a bit in Turn 9 and allowed Leclerc to attack for second place, but the latter went too deep into Turn 12, allowing Pérez and Vettel to drive around him coming towards the main straight. Vettel nearly caught back up to Pérez on the run to the line as they took second and third – their first podiums of 2020. Leclerc and Sainz stayed closed behind them to complete the top five, followed by the Red Bulls of Verstappen and Albon. Lando Norris finished eighth after overtaking the heartbroken long-time leader Stroll with several laps remaining. The top ten was rounded out by Ricciardo who had suffered a spin after slipping off the racing line in his earlier fight with Norris. Ocon recovered to eleventh after being forced to pit with a puncture on the opening lap, ahead of the AlphaTauris. Bottas struggled with aerodynamical damage caused by the contact with Ocon on the opening lap and spun a further four times during the race – and six in total – on his way to limping home in 14th. He was only ahead of Räikkönen and Russell. Romain Grosjean and Nicholas Latifi retired from the race with damage after tripping over each other at one point, while Grosjean’s teammate Kevin Magnussen pulled into the pits to retire with just two laps remaining – having run in 10th in the opening stint on full wets before fading away as the track dried and then losing a wheel after a botched pit stop.
The full results for the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix are outlined below:
|2||11||Sergio Pérez||Racing Point-BWT Mercedes||58||+ 31.633||3||18|
|3||5||Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari||58||+ 31.960||11||15|
|4||16||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||58||+ 33.858||12||12|
|5||55||Carlos Sainz, Jr.||McLaren-Renault||58||+ 34.363||15||10|
|6||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull-Honda||58||+ 44.873||2||8|
|7||23||Alexander Albon||Red Bull-Honda||58||+ 46.484||4||6|
|8||4||Lando Norris||McLaren-Renault||58||+ 1:01.259||14||5FL|
|9||18||Lance Stroll||Racing Point-BWT Mercedes||58||+ 1:12.353||1||2|
|10||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Renault||58||+ 1:35.460||5||1|
|11||31||Esteban Ocon||Renault||57||+ 1 lap||7|
|12||26||Daniil Kvyat||AlphaTauri-Honda||57||+ 1 lap||16|
|13||10||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri-Honda||57||+ 1 lap||19|
|14||77||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||57||+ 1 lap||9|
|15||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||57||+ 1 lap||8|
|16||63||George Russell||Williams-Mercedes||57||+ 1 lap||PL|
|Ret||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas-Ferrari||49||Collision damage||17|
|Ret||6||Nicholas Latifi||Williams-Mercedes||39||Collision damage||PL|
|Ret||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||11||Gearbox||10|
- The first Turkish Grand Prix to be held since 2011, and the eighth Turkish Grand Prix overall.
- Red Bull's 300th race entry.
- Sauber / Alfa Romeo's 500th race entry.
- First pole position for Lance Stroll.
- First pole position for Racing Point.
- First laps in the lead for Lance Stroll and Alexander Albon.
- First laps in the lead for Sergio Pérez since the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix.
- First laps in the lead for Force India/Racing Point since the 2014 Brazilian Grand Prix.
- Lewis Hamilton secured his seventh drivers' championship title, equaling Michael Schumacher's all-time record.
Images and Videos:
- Motorsport.com, Saudi Arabia announces F1 night race in Jeddah for 2021 https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/saudi-arabia-announces-f1-night-race-in-jeddah-for-2021/4904192/
- Motorsport.com: W Series secures eight F1 support slots for 2021, https://www.motorsport.com/w-series/news/f1-partnership-support-slots-2021/4907651
- Cite error: Invalid
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|V T E||Turkish Grand Prix|
|Circuits||Istanbul Park (2005-2011, 2020-2021)|
|Races||2005 • 2006 • 2007 • 2008 • 2009 • 2010 • 2011 • 2012-2019 • 2020 • 2021|
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