Race results. F1 Turkey GP.
F1 Driver’ World Championship: Hamilton champion 2020
It didn’t look like Lewis Hamilton‘s Sunday. Yet the British driver not only clinched his seventh career title, but also did so by winning a race that looked like a Racing Point brand first, and if anything destined for Max Verstappen then. The Dutchman, however, threw everything away with too much zeal, Hamilton made mistakes at the start of the race in an attempt to overtake Sebastian Vettel, but then made a stop less than his opponents like Sergio Perez, winning a race without overtaking on the track.
The condition of the track was very particular, with a low air temperature and a lack of grip made sure that the track did not dry out despite raining only before the race.
What was the decisive factor in Hamilton’s victory?Why didn’t Lewis’s tires explode?
Lewis managed to grab the first place thanks to the race conduct chosen by Mercedes (single pit stop), a risky choice for safety but winning.
In the first part of the race, Hamilton had blamed a gap from Stroll, the leader at the time, of more than 20s. He was in fifth place and no one would bet on a victory for the newly-seven-time world champion. Despite this, he was the first to cross the finish line with a lead of over 30s over Perez.
Hamilton’s race was not flawless because, especially in the first part of the race, he made some smudges but did not make serious mistakes like those of Verstappen who ousted him from the fight for victory. The key moment of the race was the strategic choice not to stop at the pits to mount a new train of intermediate tires, which everyone did except Lewis and Perez. All the tyres went through a graining phase but Hamilton and Mercedes were good at waiting for this to “clean up” while others preferred to mount new tires that amplified this problem instead of reducing it.
But the real question to ask is: how did the intermediate tires stay for more than 50 laps with high wear due to the absence of water on the track? Why didn’t Lewis’s tires explode?
Years ago we had become accustomed to wet tires that once they became almost slick had safety problems (explosions) or at most a sudden decay of performance (Do you remember Hamilton in 2007 Chinese GP?).
None of this happened in this race.
However, both Lewis and Sergio felt the wall at the end of the race and said they felt strong vibrations and feared an explosion as happened at Silverstone.
So both drivers were brave and lucky to finish the race and Hamilton champion 2020.
Very good race for Ferrari
The weekend was really good for Ferrari and, despite the opaque qualification, Vettel and Leclerc managed to take home a lot of points for the constructors’ championship. The SF1000 has certainly grown and the race is a clear demonstration of this. In qualifying they struggled to bring the tyres into the window but, in the race, with less wet asphalt they suffered much less. Vettel was faster than his team-mate with full wet tyres while, with the intermediates, the situation turned upside down with the German’s faster monegasque.
It was no surprise to see a Red so competitive because, in the same conditions, he had shown that he was very fast even in free practice 3 on Saturday morning. Even at a strategic level the wall was very good and made some really impeccable choices. They were the first of the big ones to mount the intermediates on lap 6 in Leclerc’s car. The monegasque before entering the pit-lane was fourteenth at 52 s by Lance Stroll, leader of the race. Thanks to these choices he managed to get himself in the third position and from here began charles’s comeback.
Leclerc’s second pit call, which took place on lap 30, was also made correctly and playing ahead of everyone else allowed him to earn precious seconds on the drivers who preceded him.
The only thing ferrari can be blamed for not trying to differentiate strategies from Leclerc and Vettel. You could try the gamble of leaving Vettel out as at the time of the pit he was in front of Hamilton who then, in the end, went on to win the race.
“In the last 20 laps I thought if it was appropriate to put the dry tires. The intermediates were worn out and they were like slicks, but then I got the communication that the rain would come on the last lap. I would have liked to have fitted the dry tires. I think we would have had a chance to win, but I’m happy anyway. It was a positive result in a difficult year.”
“After a very difficult Saturday it is nice to finish on Sunday being the team that has collected the most points of all in this Grand Prix. We knew that, in these conditions, it would be a race for those who made the least mistakes. I believe that, as a team, we have done a good job overall, particularly from the point of view of strategy: we made courageous choices and made them at the right time”.
What they said.
Valtteri Bottas :
“It was a long race and a long day. From the first lap onwards, everything went wrong. I don’t know who he was, but someone turned in front of me at the first turn. I was avoiding it and then I turned around too, then I had a contact in Turn 9 and from there the car was no longer the same. I struggled to stay on track. I couldn’t stand in the street, the steering wheel was badly put and a piece of the front wing was missing. It was just a matter of surviving from then on. Not good.”
“I would like more Grand Prix that present difficult conditions like this weekend. The more there are, the more I have a chance to prove what I can do. Today I have shown that I deserve respect. I think my colleagues know, however, that these successes are not a matter of machine. Of course, I couldn’t have done it without a fantastic group of people behind me. But as a teammate I have another great driver who has the same car and didn’t get the same result. Several drivers of the past say I only win thanks to the car. I promise you, and I hope to keep my word, that in 10 or 20 years’ time I will embrace and encourage the young people of Formula 1. Whether it’s Norris, Russell or Verstappen. I know how difficult this job is.”
“To say that I had fun is not the right word, in the sense that when one is here, he works and is taken by what happens. You look at the car, how it behaves, the timing and realize that it can be a very positive Sunday. We made a few mistakes too much and paid them – binotto wanted to point out again – especially in the last lap but not only, also at the start and during the race. Team, strategy, drivers and car, however, have behaved very well today. I’m happy.”
“I’ve already told the radio team what I thought about my race. I am tremendously disappointed with what happened, I made a mistake that cost me second place and the podium. Maybe I don’t show it now, but inside me I’m really happy for Vettel, he deserved it after a difficult season”.
“It was a long and very intense race. I had a great first lap going right up to the fourth position: I was fine with the Full Wet, less with the intermediates. Nice also on the last lap, tearing the podium right at the end: Leclerc was close to Perez, in the previous laps I was recovering a lot on them and as soon as I saw Charles’ block I saw that there was opportunity for me and I exploited it. I just didn’t take Perez, he didn’t have any more gum. At some point I also thought about the slicks, there would be a chance to win, but in the end I’m happy with this podium”.
“It was incredible. I told my team on the radio that with an more lap the tires would explode. A really interesting race, the team did a fantastic job. Today Lewis went very strong, but for our part we managed to bring home a good result.
In the duel with Verstappen I couldn’t see anything because there were so many splashes of water, then he disappeared. As for the challenge with Leclerc, I didn’t think he was that close: he overtook me in turn 9, I passed him again at the 11th after his long. It was a chaotic race, but very positive for us. I can’t say if this race was an advertisement for me, I keep watching weekend after weekend because I want to finish the season well”.
Third place Constructors: Ferrari is also there
With a slea lot of points in Turkey, the Scuderia of Maranello has moved to -24 from Racing Point, 103 points in thirteen races, 27 in the fourteenth: in Turkey Ferrari won over 25% of the points earned in previous events, with Sebastian Vettel third on the podium ahead of Charles Leclerc, who a few hundred meters from the checkered flag was even second at the end of a furious comeback. The Scuderia of Maranello for the first time in 2020 was the team that took home the most points at the end of the Turkey Grand Prix, a real event this unfortunate season for Mattia Binotto’s men.
The constructors‘ standings are now even shorter in terms of the fight for third place behind Mercedes and Red Bull. Racing Point thanks to Sergio Perez is third with 154 points, chased by McLaren who does not give up an inch thanks to Sainz and Norris. Woking’s team pays five points to the Pink Panther and now has 13 more than a Renault that paid dearly for the only point Daniel Ricciardo took on a complicated weekend to say the least. The French team has only six points more than Ferrari, suddenly back in the running for the top-5 in the constructors’ standings or even for the podium, which is 24 points.
Stroll, damage to front wing behind Istanbul collapse
Leading from the tenth to the 35th lap, turning the first pit stop excluded, Lance Stroll seemed to continue a dream weekend that began with pole position. In Istanbul, however, the race soon turned into a nightmare: with the second and final set of intermediates Stroll plummeted to number one. All while teammate Sergio Perez went to take second place in the race that consecrated lewis hamilton seven-time world champion. Racing Point, perhaps also embarrassed by the difference in results between Checo and Stroll, was quick to explain the causes.
“During routine post-race checks, we discovered damage at the bottom of Stroll’s front wing. This contributed significantly to the graining problems he faced during his two stints with intermediates. Lance pointed to poor tire performance, graining and considerable understeer from lap 17 onwards. The second pit stop, where we mounted a new set of intermediates, failed to solve the problem, indeed graining increased still further.
One of the components of that area of the car loosened and settled in such a way as to cause a significant loss of downforce on the front. And that caused the exponential increase in graining on the tires. Data collected during the race confirmed that there was a significant loss of downforce on the front. However, since there was no damage to the ala visible to the naked eye, all in all under poor grip conditions, it was difficult to verify the correctness of this data. Only after the race, when the car returned to the garage, did we discover the damage to the front wing”.
Race results. Our marks to the drivers.
C. Leclerc: Starting with some difficulty in the wet race, after the first pit stop has a very good pace and recovers many positions up to third place. Too bad for the mistake on the last lap that could give him second place but it was right to try. Final Mark: 7.5/10.
L. Hamilton: Race without too many pretensions, does not make too many mistakes and no overtaking on the track, very lucky not to suffer an explosion of tires. The seventh championship is deserved but this race perhaps deserved someone else. Final Mark: 6.5/10.
V. Bottas: He was voiced by his teammate thanks to six head-to-head and a very disappointing race pace. Barrichello at least took the car near Micheal’s…. Final Mark: 3.5/10.
S. Vettel: As early as Friday you could see he was more comfortable on this track. Incredible start and good pace with the full wet (Hamilton didn’t even try an overtaking….). With the intermediates a little more in difficulty but always constant and close to competitors. Podium well deserved. Final Mark: 8/10.
M. Verstappen: It was his chance to make the first pole of the season and instead squanders his chance just the last meters. In the race the “rain master” tries to overtake too risky and ends up losing both positions and the rhythm of the start of the race. Final Mark: 5/10.
S.Perez: Good qualification and maximizes the result in the race without making mistakes. Final Mark: 7.5/10.