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RECAP: Hamilton wins qualifying, Bottas on Turkish GP pole

Formula One – Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Turkish GP 2021. Lewis Hamilton. Credits: Daimler.

Lewis Hamilton has set the new lap record at Istanbul to win the qualifying session, while the runner-up Valtteri Bottas is the polesitter.

After all three practice sessions were completed, the time came for the qualifying session at Istanbul Park.

Despite the 100% rain chance, Q1 started under dry conditions. Nevertheless, the drivers rushed to the pit lane exit ahead of the green light. Everyone was out on track because of the rain threat.

Carlos Sainz went wide at turn 1 and reported that his tires were too cold. Max Verstappen also had a spin, while Lewis Hamilton had a couple of nervous moments. At the same time, Lando Norris got the early lead in Q1. Shortly after, George Russell got ahead. However, Hamilton went nearly a second faster than the Williams driver.

Lap times kept improving as Verstappen got to the top of the standings, but Hamilton responded with the quickest lap time again. Eventually, his teammate Valtteri Bottas was faster. Yuki Tsunoda made a mistake in turn 1 but avoided the barrier.

The FP3 leader Pierre Gasly proved his quick pace and got to P1. That did not last long as Hamilton and Bottas beat his time. Hamilton remained the quickest driver in Q1, while Ricciardo, Latifi, Giovinazzi, Raikkonen, and Mazepin were eliminated.

Q2 went underway and the majority of drivers chose medium tires for that segment. Sergio Perez was another victim of the tricky turn 1 as he spun. Hamilton was quick once again as he was four-tenths ahead of Verstappen, who was in P2.

Charles Leclerc was about to finish another lap but had a spin in turn 14. Fernando Alonso had a good lap, which could have been the quickest, but he only managed to get to 4th because of traffic at the final lap.

Russell had a big chance to make another Q3 appearance but made a costly mistake in the final turn. Hamilton was the quickest once again, while Vettel, Ocon, Russell, Schumacher, and Sainz found themselves at the bottom of the standings.

The top 10 drivers of the day were determined, so it all came to the final shootout for the pole position. Bottas got the advantage after the first laps were done, being slightly ahead of Hamilton.

Hamilton was the first driver to leave the pits for the final outing and he set the new track record. Verstappen’s time was not good enough to catch Mercedes and Bottas also went slower than Hamilton, which meant that the Briton won the qualifying.

Due to the engine penalty, Hamilton would start the race 11th, while Bottas and Verstappen would form the front row on Sunday.

The results of the F1 Turkish GP qualifying:

1Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:22.868
2Valtteri BottasMercedes+0.130
3Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing+0.328
4Charles LeclercFerrari+0.397
5Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri+0.458
6Fernando AlonsoAlpine+0.609
7Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing+0.838
8Lando NorrisMcLaren+1.086
9Lance StrollAston Martin+1.437
10Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri+1.500
11Sebastian VettelAston Martin1:24.795
12Esteban OconAlpine1:24.842
13George RussellWilliams1:25.007
14Mick SchumacherHaas1:25.200
15Carlos SainzFerrariNo time
16Daniel RicciardoMcLaren1:25.881
17Nicholas LatifiWilliams1:26.086
18Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo Racing1:26.430
19Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo Racing1:27.525
20Nikita MazepinHaas1:28.449
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