Turkish Grand Prix – Lewis Hamilton has won a chaotic Turkish Grand Prix at Istanbul Park, to clinch his seventh Formula 1 Driver’s Championship.
Lewis Hamilton has taken victory at the Turkish Grand Prix and, with it, his seventh world championship title. It was a patient drive from the Mercedes driver, who seemed to struggle for pace for the first half of the race in wet and cold conditions. However, the conditions improved continuously throughout the race and, in the second half of the race, Hamilton’s pace came alive to the extent where he was able to open up a gap of over 20 seconds.
The race started with clear skies, but a very wet race track after heavy rain, with Lance Stroll leading the pack away comfortably for Racing Point. A bad start for Max Verstappen dropped him down to P8, while there was trouble at the back as Valtteri Bottas and Esteban Ocon both spun at Turn 1 after Ocon was tagged by teammate Daniel Ricciardo.
The Racing Points flew in the early stages, with Stroll opening up a strong lead over teammate Sergio Perez while Max Verstappen started picking his way back through the cars he’d fallen behind. Sebastian Vettel had made his way up to P3 in the opening laps, with the Ferrari driver enjoying the low grip conditions immensely.
After a round of stops to swap from the full Wets to the Intermediates, the order remained largely the same, although with Verstappen gaining position over Vettel as the Ferrari driver defended excellently against Lewis Hamilton.
Verstappen made his way back up to P3 and caught up on Sergio Perez quickly, but made an error while trying to pass the Racing Point and spun off in dramatic fashion.
Alex Albon took over the Red Bull charge to pressure Perez as well, as he enjoyed the tricky conditions.
Hamilton remained unable to clear Vettel, but Ferrari opted to bring both of their drivers in again for Intermediates. A slightly slow stop for Vettel got him out of Hamilton’s way, while Alex Albon spun off to allow Hamilton to move up to P3.
Lance Stroll, still leading, was brought in to change onto a fresh set of Intermediates, despite the Canadian protesting the decision. This proved to be the wrong call for Stroll, who struggled with graining and pace on his fresh Intermediates and removed him as a challenge for the win.
Just Sergio Perez stood between Hamilton and the lead, and the Mexican was powerless to stop the Mercedes from overtaking him down the back straight just past half distance. From there, Hamilton was untouchable as he increased his lead to over twenty seconds and even overruled a call to pit right at the end of the race. Mercedes feared a last minute rain shower that could have proved disastrous with Hamilton on near-slicks from not pitting a second time for fresh Intermediates, but Hamilton decided to continue. Sergio Perez, who also didn’t pit a second time, came home a distant P2 while seeing off a challenge from the Ferraris.
While Charles Leclerc had gotten past Vettel on track after their second stops, Vettel remained close and, when Leclerc tried an attack on Perez right at the end, was able to sneak past to steal the final podium position when Charles ran wide. It’s Vettel’s first podium finish in over a year.
Leclerc finished in P4, while Carlos Sainz finished a strong P5 for McLaren. Max Verstappen was able to come home in P6 after multiple spins and incidents marred his race, while Alex Albon came home in P7 on what was a bad day for the Red Bull drivers. Lando Norris took P8 for McLaren, passing Lance Stroll in the closing stages out of Turn 1. Stroll limped home a disgruntled P9, while Daniel Ricciardo claimed the final point in P10.
Esteban Ocon finished in P11 for Renault, while Daniil Kvyat was P12 for Alpha Tauri. Pierre Gasly was P13 for Alpha Tauri, with Valtteri Bottas down in P14. The Mercedes driver had a miserable race after his first lap spin, with several other spins throughout.
Kimi Raikkonen finished P15 after a late spin in his Alfa Romeo, while George Russell finished in P16 for Williams.
Romain Grosjean & Kevin Magnussen were both retirements for Haas, with Nicholas Latifi and Antonio Giovinazzi also exiting from the race early.