Lewis Hamilton is a seven-time FIA Formula One World Champion after taking his 93rd career win in Turkey.
The Stevenage-born driver has won all but one of his world titles with Mercedes, with his first coming with McLaren in 2008. He has also won every championship between 2014 and 2020, with 2016 being the only exception when his then team-mate Nico Rosberg beat Hamilton in the season finale in Abu Dhabi.
A race in Turkey wasn’t on the original 2020 calendar, with Istanbul Park making it’s return when the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled the majority of non-European races and a series of replacement races had to be drafted in.
During practice it was Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen who lead the way, topping all three sessions. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc also looked to finally be in a Ferrari car that was competitive, with the low-grip and damp conditions helping the Italian team.
In qualifying it was Mercedes that led the way, but not the one you would expect. It was the ‘Pink Panthers’ Racing Point that topped the timesheets in the third qualifying session, with Lance Stroll taking his Mercedes-powered car to pole.
Stroll was the first Canadian to claim pole position since Jacques Villeneuve at the 1997 European Grand Prix in Jerez for his Renault-powered Williams car.
Verstappen joined Stroll on the front row of the grid, followed by their respective team-mates Sergio Perez and Alex Albon. Both these drivers do not have a seat for next season.
As was all sessions of the Turkish Grand Prix, the race was wet. Germany 2019 vibes were beginning to develop around 10 am UK time when the cars were almost ready to unleash their power on what would turn out to be an ice rink.
It was a slow start for the vast majority of the field, all struggling to get the desired grid to make up places at the race start. It was the Red Bull duo of Verstappen and Albon that struggled the most, being easily beat of the line by the cars behind.
Despite leading in the early parts of the race, Racing Point’s Lance Stroll fell well off the pace to eventually finish in ninth. Despite his frustrations, it was later revealed by his team that he suffered significant front wing damage that made him suffer from graining on his tyres.
Hamilton put in a storming drive to go from sixth on the grid to first, with his team-mate Valtteri Bottas spinning numerous times and finishing in 14th. Bottas needed to out-score Hamilton by at least eight points to keep the title fight going but was lapped by the new seven-time World Champion.
This result now means that Mercedes have sealed both titles for this season, with Ferrari putting themselves back into the mix for third place after their best result of the season.
The battle for fourth in the Drivers’ Championship is still close, with only four points separating Sergio Perez, Charles Leclerc and Daniel Ricciardo.
Formula One returns on November 26 for the start of the Bahrain Grand Prix, the first of two rounds on two different circuit configurations, with the oval-like track being used the weekend after.
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