The 2020 Turkish Grand Prix was a mad fiesta, a rip-roaring racing adventure on which twenty drivers journeyed to discover varying fortunes.
Amid torrid rains, that had formed the key narrative of much of Saturday, Sunday’s 58-lap challenge (the first in Istanbul after no fewer than a nine-year wait), Turkey unveiled a show-stopper, a thriller whose outcome none could’ve predicted.
Lance Stroll, who had gathered as a result of an excellent all-conquering qualifying drive on Saturday, a maiden F1 podium, would eventually finish P9 though his teammate Perez would hold his nerve for a fine P2 in the end.
Lewis Hamilton, who began from a personal worst qualifying grid slot of 2020- a very uncharacteristically subdued P6- would be the first to cross the checkered flag at the completion of 58 laps.
Implicit in his margin of victory the gap- of greatness, class, and character- that so explains his dominance in a sport where winning has become the order of the day and thus the lyric to the Hammertime music!
But amid rains playing clever tricks with sudden pit stops, virtual safety car deployment, and several drivers spinning out- the 2020 Turkish GP unfurled several talking points and after some introspection, KyroSports bring you 5 leading ones:
Lewis conquers the F1 world for the seventh time, and fourth in succession!
In claiming a fantastic, much-deserved victory, albeit one that never really seemed certain, Lewis Hamilton eventually made the Turkish GP drive easy akin to a stroll in the park.
And in the process of raising win #94- can you imagine- took home a Seventh driver’s title.
That he says, “Still I Rise,” sounds not just convincing but winsome for the spirited expression comes from a driver who is second to none where consistency and race-pace management are concerned.
While he never looked the part of a winner, failing to pass Vettel for a track position further up in the front of the grid, Hamilton never gave up standing tall to his fighting character.
A stop that aided him with the Intermediates only sharpened his appetite for a battle, which he’d later ace with unflinching precision.
The way LH44 would dominate the latter half of the race, having sat comfortably out of first five grid positions for no fewer than 36 laps would determine his course of victory, an effort utterly sprawling.
Perez does the best for Racing Point as Stroll errs
Among the key talking points from the 2020 Turkish GP was the fact that Lance Stroll, Saturday’s pole-sitter lost out on a chance to gather his first race win while his teammate Sergio Perez hung in on second to collect his first podium of the year.
On a day of mixed emotions and massive opportunity, only one Racing Point (powered by Mercedes) was able to drive past the checkered flag with a solid podium finish.
It belonged to the one with more experience and perhaps abler race-craft: Sergio Perez, whose defiant second still doesn’t help his case one bit for 2021 in that the talented Mexican is yet to find a new seat.
But taking nothing away from his Canadian teammate, Lance Stroll led the race for no fewer than 36 laps showing maturity and that keenness to succeed like never seen before.
However, to win amid torrid rains was no child’s play as the noted Canadian would eventually find out, dropping down to Ninth after a stop from which he’d never quite recover.
Yet, must we hail the young driver for authoring a race-weekend by a solid pole position, his first in FORMULA 1.
Forza Ferrari at Turkey
Not once in the ongoing season have Ferrari seen both drivers finishing inside the points. But the Turkish GP of 2020 changed it once and for all!
And while there was heartbreak for the brilliant Charles Leclerc, who finished fourth, having seemed certain to gather a fine podium before a last lap mistake (seconds from the checkered flag) cost him big, his teammate Vettel collected a podium.
The totality of the result, in the end, meant a fighting third and fourth for the blood-shot red cars and ultimately, a triumph of sorts for the Scuderia!
In gathering 27 points, the most from a single event, something the Italian marquee had failed to do in all thirteen rounds held thus far (prior to stepping into Istanbul), Ferrari roared at Istanbul.
That Leclerc expressed happiness for his teammate who returned to the front positions of the grid after having missed out for over a year only added more joy to the Istanbul result.
Suffices to say Forza Ferrari!
Norris impresses in maiden Turkey drive
Among the finest young talents on the grid, Lando Norris’s impressive maiden drive at Istanbul formed one of the key talking points from the 2020 Turkish GP.
Lando began the 58-lap challenge from eleventh on the grid, not exactly a stellar grid position given that rains were to play such a dominant role in the contest.
But this isn’t some Johnny-come-lately who’d sit back idle and not try and so Lando persisted, confronting cars in their weakest moments.
For instance, his move up on Daniel Ricciardo (his future teammate at McLaren) in the latter part of the race held him in good stead as did his battles with Kvyat and Raikkonen, the later of whom he’d pass in a pretty straightforward move with the Finn going wide around the exit of Turn 4.
Moreover, while his teammate Sainz gathered a valiant Fifth, Norris set the fastest lap of the race: a wonderful 1:36:806 on the final lap, thus earning that extra point.
Well done to Sebastian Vettel, a giant of the sport
The last that Sebastian Vettel stood on the podium was at the 2019 Singapore Grand Prix, a race he won in dramatic fashion, holding his nerve and making most of the pit-stop of teammate Charles Leclerc.
Since then, what’s followed is a harrowing period marked by several lost chances, a bad 2020 car, and moments where one was even compelled to think is this even the Sebastian Vettel we know?
But all of that would change at the track where Vettel returned nine years after tasting a sweet albeit highly-talked about victory.
As Vettel stormed to a fighting third and later suggested a full new set of slicks might have even given Ferrari a shot at victory.
But a fighting third place at Turkey, and with that a 121st career podium cannot be that bad a feeling, especially after enduring inarguably speaking, his worst season with the Scuderia.
But implicit in this handy result for Ferrari was ‘German efficiency’ at its best; right at the start of the race, Vettel moved up quickly making most of the opening lap fiasco that hurt the two Renaults.
What could have mattered didn’t any longer: a poor quali that saw Seb gathering a P12, albeit finishing ahead of his Monegasque teammate.
Further down the road, Vettel would hold his own against the imposing Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton, the duo involved in a close tussle for fourth.
Truth be told, Sebastian Vettel’s masterclass in defending from a driver who became a deserving seven-time world champion formed among the key talking points of the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix for it highlighted clearly that the old dog still had fight left in him.
In fact, so precious was Vettel’s third in the end to fans that social media platforms like Twitter were replete with the ‘all hail Seb5 mood,’ clearly evident by the likes of special Vettel followers, such as one Turkey-based @isilsuf1, whose timeline was flooded by Vettel mania (and understandably so)!