Rate The Race and Driver of the Weekend – Race 14, Intercity Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey 2020
Mean Reader Score:8.43 Ranked 1/14 so far this season.
Blimey! The best race of the season so far! And well deserved, too. The Red Bulls looked as if they may have had the upper hand right through free practice and all of qualifying except when it counted most. Verstappen was top of the leader boards until he was pipped for pole by , wait for it, Lance Stroll. Yes, Stroll took his first ever F1 pole position. (needless to say, Verstappen was not amused).
Bottas started a trend in free practice he would perfect during the race- Spinning. Yup he spun not once but six times during the race prompting Vettel to hand over his crown (well, ok, his helmet) at the end of the race in a gesture I’m not convinced was totally appreciated by Bottas.
Well, this new track surface was even slipperier than Imola, AND it rained (although not properly on race day) adding an extra layer of slide to the surface. Making what was possibly the slowest start in an F1 race, they crawled away as the lights went out, with Bottas taking his first spin almost immediately, joined by Ocon.
Vettel made a great start and moved up to P4 from P11. Bottas may have had the greatest number of spins in the race but Verstappen had the greatest number of degrees in a spin, a good 540. Pretty impressive, as he missed the barriers, lost a podium place to his team mate, not to mention P4 and P5 to Vettell and Hamilton, flat spotted his newly acquired tyres and had to pit again. Wooops.
For the second race In a row, Ferrari managed to forget how to do a good pit stop and once again had Vettel waiting for his team mate to make up significant ground whilst he sat unmoving in the pits waiting for Ferrari to remember how to operate a wheel gun.
Miraculously, though, Leclerc with his two race wins, managed to catch Vettel and overtake him very easily, when the (soon to become) seven times world champion, and multiple world record holder Hamilton, needed ten laps and several attempts to overtake the mere four times WDC, Vettel.
Well it looked as if Stroll was going to take his maiden F1 victory but then his race went pear shaped after he pitted for fresh tyres. Slipping from the lead to an eventual P9, Stroll slid backwards through the placements as Hamilton moved to the front of the queue as he carved his way through the field.
Perez fought valiantly to the bitter end: unfortunately, Leclerc became a bit over-ambitions and, in his attempt to take P2 from Perez, locked up, went wide and lost P3 to Vettel, who made it onto the podium for the first time this season.
Driver of the Weekend: Lewis Hamilton: 44.10% of reader vote
Luckily, Hamilton did not need to win this race to take his SEVENTH WDC title.
Just as well because he was not having a good weekend. Unable to get tyres working in either free practice or qualifying, he started from P6 on the grid. He had a good start, though, and had passed a couple of cars before turn one, but lost the places again shortly thereafter.
Didn’t last long, though: by Lap 37 Hamilton was leading the race, and by the end of the race, with a huge lead, refused to come into the pits for fresh tyres, and finished the race on bald intermediate compound tyres in P1, to take his SEVENTH WDC title.
Overcome by emotion, Hamilton kept his visor closed as the enormity of his achievements finally hit home. Phew, 94 race wins (world record) , SEVEN WDCs (equal World Record). What an achievement. Cogratulations, Lewis, or should I say Sir Lewis?