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Formula 1

Hamilton untouchable in Turkish GP qualifying but Bottas to start from pole

Lewis Hamilton finished as fastest man in qualifying at Istanbul Park, but it's Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas who will start from pole position.

Hamilton turkey
To news overview © Mercedes

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton has gone quickest in qualifying at Istanbul Park, but will start the Grand Prix from 11th after the application of a grid penalty for fitting his car with a new Internal Combustion Engine.

The reigning World Champion was untouchable during the session, going fastest on his first flying lap during the second runs in Q3.

However, with Bottas finishing second, it's the Finn who will start from pole position for Sunday's race. The Finn finished 0.130s behind Hamilton's time of 1:22.868, but two-tenths clear of what Max Verstappen could manage for Red Bull.

Verstappen never quite looked capable of matching the pace set by the Mercedes drivers through qualifying, but will still start from the front row after Hamilton's grid penalty.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc finished in fourth place, just over half a tenth away from Verstappen's pace, followed by AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly.

Alpine's Fernando Alonso claimed sixth spot, ahead of the second Red Bull of Sergio Perez. McLaren's Lando Norris was eighth, with Aston Martin's Lance Stroll in ninth and AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda rounding out the top 10. All the aforementioned drivers will start from a position higher, due to Hamilton's 10-place grid penalty.

All the top 10 runners, aside from Tsunoda, will start the race on the Medium tyre after using the yellow-marked Pirellis to get through Q2.

Result Qualification - Turkish

# Driver Team Time Tyre
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Hamilton also set the pace in Q2, clocking a 1:23.082 on the Medium tyre to beat Bottas to top spot by almost half a second.

With the Soft tyres unfavoured for the start of the race, almost the entire field opted for the Medium tyres for Q2. While the track had dried out a lot from Q1, there were still some incidents and snappy moments for the drivers as they fought for grip.

There was a brief back and forth between Hamilton and Verstappen, until the Dutch driver fell short on his final Q2 lap after an error in the final sector. As a result, Hamilton was peerless at the front ahead of Bottas.

Verstappen finished in third, in front of Gasly, Alonso and Perez.

Knocked out in Q2 was Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel. The German finished in 11th, after briefly rising into the top 10 with his final run right at the chequered flag. Alpine's Esteban Ocon was 12th, ahead of Williams' George Russell. He had briefly looked capable of making it into the provisional top 10, until he made an error right at the very end of the lap and ran wide out of the final corner.

Haas' Mick Schumacher was knocked out in 14th, having made Q2 for the second time in his career (after the French GP). His last flying lap ended up being ruined by an off-track moment for Stroll at Turn 1, which forced Schumacher to back off. Ferrari's Carlos Sainz finished 15th, not taking part properly in Q2 as a result of his engine penalty that will see him start from the very back of the grid.


With qualifying kicking off under ominously grey skies and imminent rain, there was a flurry of action to start the session.

The drivers formed a queue at the end of the pit lane and filtered out to try getting in banker laps ahead of the rain, pushing hard on the slick tyres in the cool temperatures.

While there were plenty of struggles for drivers early on, such as a spin for Verstappen and a deleted lap for Hamilton for exceeding track limits, the rain never properly struck, and conditions improved throughout the session.

Q1 finished with Hamilton as the quickest driver on a 1:24.585, to go just 0.007s faster than what Verstappen managed as the track grip improved lap after lap.

Eliminated from Q1 were McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo, who appeared to have mistimed his final lap in terms of energy management, with the Australian ending qualifying in 16th.

Williams' Nicholas Latifi finished 17th, ahead of the Alfa Romeo duo of Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkonen, as the Finn struggled to get clean lap times in without exceeding track limits.

Nikita Mazepin finished 20th, having gone off on several occasions at Turn 1, as the Haas driver didn't appear to have any grip or confidence in the cold, damp conditions.

Also interesting:

Video: Red Bull show off Honda tribute livery for Turkish GP

Check out the special livery that Red Bull will run for the Turkish Grand Prix, as a tribute to outgoing engine partner Honda.

F1 2021 Turkish Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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