Turkish GP: Hamilton beats Bottas, Verstappen in qualifying

Lewis Hamilton topped qualifying at Formula 1's 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, where Valtteri Bottas will start on pole ahead of Max Verstappen as a result of Hamilton's engine-change grid penalty.

In a session that was overcast throughout, with spots of rain falling in Q1, the drivers were able to run slicks for the duration, with all the top 10 runners bar Yuki Tsunoda getting through Q2 on the more durable medium tyre, which they will all start Sunday's race on.

Hamilton had come into the session knowing he would drop 10 spots from wherever he qualified, with Bottas leading the way for Mercedes after the first Q3 runs had been completed on a 1m23.071s, with Hamilton second 0.022s adrift.

Hamilton then took an unorthodox approach to the rest of the final part of qualifying, leaving his garage on a new set of softs with over five minutes of Q3 remaining.

He found time on his second flier to move ahead of Bottas on a 1m22.868s, with the session's best times in the second and third sectors.

Hamilton then back off ahead of completing a third Q3 flier, before which Bottas and Verstappen had their second goes and sole attempts to depose the world champion at the head of the times.

Bottas was 0.005s ahead of Hamilton by the end of the second sector, but he lost time in the final third and wound up 0.13s adrift.

Verstappen went through the second sector 0.134s down on Hamilton and he too lost time in the final corners and finished 0.328s down on the best time.

That remained Hamilton's second Q3 flier, as although his third attempt started with the fastest time in the final sector he lost time through the rest of the lap, at the end of which he was already confirmed at the top of the times.

Charles Leclerc's final Q3 lap bumped him up to fourth, knocking Pierre Gasly down one spot as the AlphaTauri driver was left to rue time lost in the final sector on his final Q3 lap.

Fernando Alonso took sixth ahead of Sergio Perez and Lando Norris, with Lance Stroll, who made it through to the shootout despite a late off at Turn 1 in Q2, and Tsunoda completing the top 10.

Leclerc's late jump at the end of Q2 meant Sebastian Vettel was shuffled out in 11th after his personal best at the end of the middle segment was only good enough for briefly slotting into 10th.

Behind Vettel came Esteban Ocon and George Russell, who rued a wild slide off the track at the final corner on his final lap.

The Williams driver had just set two personal bests in the opening two sectors and was on to challenge for another Q3 berth, but his successful attempts to catch the slides still put him too wide and he back off after returning to the track for the final run to the line.

Mick Schumacher scored a first on-merit Q2 appearance of his F1 career, with the Haas driver ending up 14th – his best qualifying result so far – ahead of Carlos Sainz, who did not post a time as he will start Sunday's race from last following his engine-change grid penalty.

Sainz did appear right at the end of Q2 to complete sectors on an out lap, where he was able to tow Leclerc down the hill out of Turn 8 on the lap that elevated the Monegasque driver into the top 10.

Q1 began with the cars queuing at the end of the pitlane well before the session began, the teams concerned the rain that fell throughout the morning at Istanbul and at the start of FP3 would return.

Spots of rain did fall during the opening segment, but not any intensity that would require intermediates and so the drivers stayed on the softs throughout Q1, which was topped by Hamilton.

He was one of many drivers to have off track moments and times deleted for running too wide out of the first corner, with Verstappen, Sainz, Tsunoda and Nikita Mazepin all spinning through the demanding, downhill left-hander.

Once the rain threat had receded, Sainz's late improvement at the death in Q1 knocked out Daniel Ricciardo, who had completed his final flier well before the chequered flag came out and so was shuffled down the order and into danger as others improved behind him,

The same thing happened to Nicholas Latifi, who had been running near the top of the order during the early stages, and Antonio Giovinazzi – the pair knocked out in 17th and 18th.

Kimi Raikkonen could not hit a personal best on his final Q1 lap as he was eliminated in 19th, only ahead of Mazepin, who did produce his best time on his last effort, which was nevertheless the slowest lap in the opening segment.

Cla Driver Chassis Time Gap
1 Finland Valtteri Bottas
Mercedes 1'22.998
2 Netherlands Max Verstappen
Red Bull 1'23.196 0.198
3 Monaco Charles Leclerc
Ferrari 1'23.265 0.267
4 France Pierre Gasly
AlphaTauri 1'23.326 0.328
5 Spain Fernando Alonso
Alpine 1'23.477 0.479
6 Mexico Sergio Perez
Red Bull 1'23.706 0.708
7 United Kingdom Lando Norris
McLaren 1'23.954 0.956
8 Canada Lance Stroll
Aston Martin 1'24.305 1.307
9 Japan Yuki Tsunoda
AlphaTauri 1'24.368 1.370
10 Germany Sebastian Vettel
Aston Martin 1'24.795 1.797
11 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes 1'22.868
12 France Esteban Ocon
Alpine 1'24.842 1.844
13 United Kingdom George Russell
Williams 1'25.007 2.009
14 Germany Mick Schumacher
Haas 1'25.200 2.202
15 Australia Daniel Ricciardo
McLaren 1'25.881 2.883
16 Canada Nicholas Latifi
Williams 1'26.086 3.088
17 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi
Alfa Romeo 1'26.430 3.432
18 Finland Kimi Raikkonen
Alfa Romeo 1'27.525 4.527
19 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin
Haas 1'28.449 5.451
20 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr.
Ferrari
shares
comments
Live: Follow Turkish GP qualifying as it happens
Previous article

Live: Follow Turkish GP qualifying as it happens

Next article

Wolff: Hamilton Turkey progress "tough" after FP2 traffic issues

Wolff: Hamilton Turkey progress "tough" after FP2 traffic issues
Load comments
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021