2020 Turkey Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: A record many thought would never be equaled was equaled. People say that a lot about records.
EVENT: Perhaps it would have been a good idea to let Formula 1 and Pirelli know you were going to repave the track just before the race? Perhaps?
TRACK: One would think by now Formula 1 would realize paving a track just before a race is a really bad idea. We've seen it so many times. COTA. Portimão. And now, most disastrously, Istanbul, resulting in no grip whatsoever.
QUALIFYING: Wait! What? Stroll on the pole? Racing Point 1-3? Mercedes nowhere to be seen? Both Alfa Romeos in Q3? Verstappen fastest all weekend, but not in qualifying? Yeah, like we believe any of this...
RACE: Everyone thought there would be numerous safety car periods and over half the cars out of the race. However, the best drivers in the world do (sometimes) prove that moniker.
START: The Racing Points sail away, Verstappen goes nowhere, The Renaults touch, Ocon and Bottas are spinning tops, Vettel goes from 11th to fourth by the second turn, and Giovinazzi's streak comes to an end.
HAMILTON: He has the best car on the grid, but this race shows Lewis is a lot more than just the car. A lot more.
BOTTAS: Six spins! SIX! So much for all that rallying experience and Finnish DNA.
MERCEDES: Their car was just not suited for these conditions ... until it had to be.
PEREZ: A huge statement race (not that he really needed it) to show he deserves to be on the grid in 2021. Are you listening Red Bull? Oh, and Sergio is fourth in points, despite missing two races.
STROLL: Rain is the great equalizer. And talent is on display in low grip conditions. Despite Lance's late race fade, he was excellent all weekend. Much to the chagrin of his naysayers.
RACING POINT: Unlike their baseline, the Mercedes, the Racing Point cars shined in these conditions.
VETTEL: Still a mega talent in the rain.
LECLERC: From third to second to fourth in just the last few corners of the last lap.
SAINZ: Carlos flew under the radar, but he had an excellent error free race. He has definitely been coming on lately.
VERSTAPPEN: Impatience got the best of Max in conditions that should have been to his advantage.
ALBON: The first Thai driver to lead a Formula 1 race.
RENAULT: Not made for these conditions.
HAAS: Just save some money and skip the rest of the season...
LATIFI: This weekend really showed how Nicholas is out of his element in Formula 1.
FIA: If the rules for a local double yellow in qualifying means you have to abandon the lap, then simply delete that lap time. Simple as that. Why make it so complicated?
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Gripless.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 7.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: Counting the current Alfa Romeo team as the Sauber outfit, including when they were BMW Sauber, this was their 500th grand prix. They ran all sorts of engines during that timespan -- Sauber (Ilmor), Mercedes, Ford, Petronas, BMW, and Ferrari. Their first race was with the Ilmor, a 3.5L V10, in the 1993 South African GP. JJ Lehto qualified sixth and finished fifth, two laps down. Karl Wendlinger qualified 10th and dropped out after 33 laps with engine failure.
TWEET OF THE WEEKEND: During the part of the race when Racing Point was dominating up front and Mercedes was struggling, the Silver Arrows team tweated, "What if we were the black Racing Point all along?"
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Lando Norris after the first day of slip sliding practice sessions, "It was drift school today — that was my birthday present and it was my first day of drift school ever! So most laps you're crapping yourself a bit."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Valtteri Bottas when told there are only four laps left in his miserable race, "I wish it was less."
SCHEDULE: A last break and then the last back to back to back run. This time in the Middle East.
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