Not since Hockenheim 2019 have we seen a race quite as wet as what Turkey served us in 2020. On that day in 2019 Hamilton failed to score a single point. However, In stark contrast Hamilton demonstrated on Sunday that greatness isn’t measured by a single lap or race, as he brought home his 7th world championship and sealed his place in history.
After a difficult year for millions around the world, Hamilton has been a shining light both on and off track not only as a driver but as an advocate for human rights, inclusion and sustainability. As he crossed the line he proved that success and greatness isn’t defined by colour, religion upbringing or status.
It wasn’t just Hamilton who proved his metal though. Both Sergio Perez and Sebastian Vettel, both fired by their current teams, stodod on the podium in P2 and P3 respectively. Whilst Seb has a drive secured for next year, this step on the podium could prove vital for Checo as he looks to secure a drive for next year as available seats start slipping away.
And talking of seats slipping away, Turkey was Alex Albon’s moment to shine and what started out as a great race ended up as a P7 which was made worse by Max finishing P6 after overtaking him towards the final stint. It wasn’t all smiles for Max though, with two spins without any contact as the cause, many have been quick to call him out as ‘not the driver Red Bull think he is’ after Hamilton and Vettel showed how champions drive in the rain.
Further down the grid, the battle for P3 in the constructors championship cleared another margin. After Checo’s P2 Racing point jumped ahead of McLaren and Renault and now lead 4th place by 5 points. McLaren did however have a pretty good day, after starting 15th (Sainz) and 16th (Norris) the dream team pulled out all the stops with Sainz coming home in P5 and Lando coming home in P8 after setting several fastest laps in the final stint.
Sadly though, the most hyped drive of the weekend ended in a pretty disappointing P9. On Saturday, Lance Stroll proved to his critics that he isn’t just driving because his Dad owns the team by putting his Racing Point on pole position in less than ideal conditions. However, after pulling out and giving himself an 8 second lead, his intermediates slowly started fading in to slicks after the wear took the majority of the grooving. After a pretty swift change in the pit lane, Stroll was back on track and well…started going backwards.
Strolls tyre’s just weren’t warm enough and thanks to the standing water on the track in a few turns, any temperature put inn was sapped away. Once he was backed down the order, getting ahead proved to be impossible. As the track dried out and the intermediates of everyone else transformed to slicks, Lance didn’t stand a chance. However, Saturday is definitely a result for people to take note of.
There were a few other stories of disappointment on Sunday. For Bottas it was a weekend from hell, with four spins he just couldn’t keep his Merc on the track and unfortunately came home P14. For AlphaTauri, an unfortunate P12 and P13 meant no points for Gasly or Kyvat and for the other Alfa on the grid, they came home in a solitary P15 (Raikkonen) as Giovinazzi returned a DNF.
Overall it was a good return to Turkey and it’s a track we’d definitely loved to see back on the calendar, similar to Imola. With the quadruple apex turn 8 we didn’t get to see at full speed, it does feel like we need another year here.