Formula One Turkish Grand Prix 2020: Driver Ranks

Lewis Hamilton secured victory in the Turkish Grand Prix as he claimed his seventh world title, equalling that of Michael Schumacher, but who was the best driver in Turkey?

10. Lando Norris, McLaren

The man who just turned 21 this weekend, was given a slap on the wrist for a late birthday present and a grid penalty for failing to slow down under double yellow flags on Saturday’s qualifying session.

Despite starting in 14th, after his three-place grid penalty amid wet weather conditions, Norris managed to battle it out and avoid spinning like many others to take home eighth place after he applied pressure onto Kevin Magnussen (Haas) to get himself into the points. 

9. Daniel Ricciardo, Renault

Ahead of the Mercedes duo, in fifth, it looked possible that fans were going to witness another ‘shoey’ on the podium from the Australian driver.

It was not to be. After he spun out on lap 49, he allowed his future teammate, Norris, to get by without an issue.

The Australian then had to settle for the final point ahead of his teammate, Esteban Ocon – in 11th, who he sent spinning at turn one on the first lap. 

8. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari

The Monegasque tamed his Prancing Horse to set the trends of the race – like a canary in the mine – as he was the first to venture out on the Intermediates and keep them later on, while everyone else followed suit.

But, in the final corners of the race the young driver swished his chances into the bin as he made a courageous move to take second from Sergio Perez. 

This move backfired and Perez regained his position, followed by Vettel who stole third as they all crossed the finishing line. 

7. Carlos Sainz, McLaren

If Norris’ grid penalty was a haymaker, then Sainz’ three-place grid penalty was the one below the belt for the British motorsport team. Penalised as he impeded Sergio Perez in qualifying on Saturday. 

However, the ‘smooth operator’ still managed to come home in fifth, despite starting outside the points behind his younger teammate, Norris.

Throughout the race, the Spaniard managed to climb into the points and stay in the middle of the top 10 running drivers. 

6. Max Verstappen, Red Bull

Verstappen, is an extraordinary talent in wet conditions with examples in Brazil 2016 where he overtook Valtteri Bottas (who drove for Williams Racing at the time) in a soaked section of the track. 

However, he could create a highlight reel suitable for a Fast and Furious movie as he struggled for grip on the newly-laid track.

During the race, the Dutchman had many instances, on the final corner, where the back end popped out – This forced the youngster to react – and least two separate spins which had cost him valuable points in the drivers standings 

5. Alexander Albon, Red Bull

Like a 2v2 wrestling match, Albon was tagged in by a wounded Verstappen once the Dutch driver spun out between turns 11 and 12 after sniffing Perez’ gearbox mid-race. From there, the pressure was on and it looked as if Albon had the opportunity to obtain his first ever F1 victory. 

But it was not to be as the driver spun out at turn four due to his worn, bald tyres and lack of grip on the new surface. However, by the end, the young London-born Thai still managed to recover P7. 

4. Lance Stroll, Racing Point

At the beginning it may have been like driving with blocks of ice as wheels while he remained stationary for some time, on the Formation Lap, as the rest of the field formed up. 

But, the young Canadian still managed to lead the pack for more than half the Grand Prix.

After biting his engineers decision of fresh intermediates – then followed the advice – Stroll started to tumble down the field, finishing ninth as his new inters wouldn’t ‘switch on.’

3. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari

Driver of the Day, a well-deserved title for the four-time world champion. After what has been a dismal year for the experienced F1 driver, Vettel claimed his first podium since Mexico 2019. 

While he had close battles with his teammate, Leclerc, as the Monegasque managed to overtake the German.

The experienced driver waited for the right time to pounce that luckily came to him at the very end as failed a move on Perez, from Leclerc, left the door to P3 wide open. 

2. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

Like Verstappen, Hamilton is another driver who is exceptional in wet conditions.

After completing a move on Ricciardo at turn one, when the field made their way to the first corner, the Mercedes driver seemed to be contempt with his track position as Bottas spiralled down the order.

However, as soon as he sniffed the possibility of a race win, like a shark smelling blood, he was hungry for it and managed to steal the race victory away from Racing Point.

1. Sergio Perez, Racing Point

Perez managed to maintain his position throughout the race once his pit strategy was completed and regained P2 from those who were yet to pit. 

Like Hamilton, Perez managed to stretch out his strategy to be a one-stop instead of the predicted two-stop, to finish the race in second with 48 laps old intermediate tyres.

It’s a shame his skills behind the wheel may not be used next season while he’s scavanging for an F1 seat next season.

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