The Turkish Grand Prix was so lively that there were and 5 successive leaders in the race last Sunday, including 4 during the first 12 laps!
Lewis Hamilton on Sunday equaled Michael Schumacher’s record for 7 F1 titles.
As is often the case, he ended the season with a bang: it is thus with 4 victories in a row.
In 2020, Lewis Hamilton won 10 of 14 Grands Prix, or 71.43% of the races.
The Mercedes driver took his 73rd victory for his team, the new record of victories for a single manufacturer. He has as many victories (94) as Sebastian Vettel and Ayrton Senna combined.
It is also the 47th time in a row that it has entered the points (top 10 in 80 of the last 81 Grands Prix).
Yet until the 34th lap of the race, Lewis Hamilton had not yet returned to the top 3 in Istanbul!
Hamilton was titled at 35 years and 10 months – the oldest driver since 1996 (Damon Hill, 36 years and 26 days).
Significantly, Valtteri Bottas was taken for a ride by Lewis Hamilton in the decisive race for the title. It also happened to Nico Rosberg (victim of an engine problem) in Abu Dhabi 2014.
In qualifying, however, the Mercedes almost drank the cup. Lewis Hamilton simply achieved his worst performance (6th) since Germany 2018 (engine failure, start in 14th position). He had already won a 6th place Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2014.
Mercedes’ record of 100% pole positions in 2020 will therefore have stopped!
Sergio Pérez has meanwhile signed his 9th career podium. This is his 18th consecutive finish in points (for the starts he has taken, excluding Covid).
Lance Stroll signed his first career pole last Saturday, and the first by a Canadian since Jacques Villeneuve on his Williams, at the 1997 European Grand Prix!
Here are the new top 6 youngest polemen in history:
1. Sebastian Vettel (21 years, 72 days) – 2008, Italian GP
2. Charles Leclerc (21 years, 166 days) – 2019, Bahrain GP
3. Fernando Alonso (21 years, 236 days) – 2003, Malaysian GP
4. Max Verstappen (21 years, 307 days) – 2019, Hungarian GP
5. Lance Stroll (22 years old, 17 days old) – 2020, Turkish GP
6. Rubens Barichello (22 years, 97 days) – 1994, Belgian GP
This is the first pole for the Racing Point structure since that of Giancarlo Fisichella in Belgium in 2009 (with Force India).
This is the first pole for a team other than Ferrari, Red Bull or Mercedes since that of Felipe Massa at the Red Bull Ring in 2014 (first row 100% Williams with Valtteri Bottas).
Sergio Pérez also took the opportunity to achieve his best career qualifications (even if he had qualified 2nd in Baku before a penalty for changing gearbox was imposed). It is also the best qualifying for a Mexican since Pedro Rodriguez (2nd in his BRM, Dutch Grand Prix 1971, 4 hundredths behind Ickx for Ferrari).
Sebastian Vettel achieved his first podium since Mexico City 2019. He had never been in the top 3 this year so far even during one lap!
Vettel also beat Charles Leclerc in qualifying for the first time in 11 races.
Ferrari can therefore count on 3 podiums in 2020, one more than in 2014 (lower total since 1992).
So far, Max Verstappen had either retired or finished on the podium – but in Turkey he finished in 6th place.
His teammate Alexander Albon was able to lead a lap for the first time in his career!
At Renault, this is the 12th time in a row that Daniel Ricciardo has beaten Esteban Ocon in qualifying.
Alfa Romeo also shone in qualifying: this is the team’s first Q3 double since last year’s Austrian Grand Prix. Not bad for the 500th of the Sauber structure!
Carlos Sainz, at McLaren, signed his 4th top 5 of the year.
As in Australia for the first Grand Prix, Lando Norris clocked the fastest lap. McLaren is therefore 3 fastest laps this year, the best total after Mercedes. Will this be decisive for 3rd place in the constructors’ standings?
No Ferrari or McLaren in Q3, it was a first in 2020.
At Haas, Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean are 7-7 in qualifying.
As for George Russell, it has been 35 races in a row that he has beaten his teammate, Robert Kubica or Nicholas Latifi, in qualifying.
Sergio Pérez and Sebastian Vettel signed their first podium of the year. This therefore means that 12 pilots are on the podium in 2020, or more than half of the field!
1. Valtteri Bottas
2. Charles Leclerc
3. Lando Norris
4. Lewis Hamilton
5. Max Verstappen
6. Pierre Gasly
7. Carlos Sainz
8. Lance Stroll
9. Alex Albon
10. Daniel Ricciardo
11. Sergio Perez
12. Sebastian Vettel