Updated: Nov 26, 2020
ROUND 14: Intercity Istanbul Park
In what can be described as one of the most incredulous races in Formula 1 history, Lewis Hamilton returned to mesmerise yet again! Having started the race from P6, LH44 displayed remarkable dexterity and patience as he clinched not just his 2nd Turkish win but also the crown for a record equalling 7th world championship! (Equalled Michael Schumacher)
This makes it his 10th win this season and a whopping 114th victory for the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team!
On the flip side, Valtteri Bottas had one of the worst races this year at Intercity Istanbul Park. He was spinning and sliding all over the track as he struggled for grip and finished outside the points at a disappointing P14, and even ended up getting lapped by team mate Lewis Hamilton!
If Hamilton had started on pole position, Istanbul would've been the 30th unique venue where LH44 would've started on pole which would've been another record in his name! OMG right?
The Dramatic Race
The race commenced and ended in dry weather but progressed on a very wet track, left by heavy rain before the race. Almost every driver started on full wets in total skepticism over the uncertainty arising from track conditions. In fact track was so slippery that there was no DRS for 29 laps or 50% of the race!
Racing Point had a fantastic start with both their cars as they rapidly gained time over the rest towards the start of the race. Interestingly, by Lap 7 race leader Lance Stroll was a whole pit stop ahead of Lewis Hamilton who was still at P6 at the time! In the same lap, Ferrari triggered a chain of reactions as they pitted Charles Leclerc, who was driving at P14 then, and put him on the faster intermediate tyres. Within two laps of that, Bottas, Hamilton and Vettel all switched to the inters.
Giovinazzi prompted a Virtual Safety Car in Lap 10 as he retired from the race due to technical difficulties on his Alfa Romeo.
The first 12 laps of the race saw 4 different race leaders, which hasn't happened in any other Grand Prix so far!
In Lap 19, Max tried to pull an overtaking manoeuver for P2 on Perez, (who was 9 secs behind race leader Stroll) but pushed in too close to the Racing Point at Turn 11 and spun away trying to avoid contact. The pit stop due to flat spotting of his tyres cost him 5 positions from P3 to P8!
DRS was enabled in Lap 30 as the track started drying out and drivers began gaining grip and pace along the circuit.
In Lap 36 Stroll pitted for new intermediates as he handed over the reins to teammate Sergio Perez and came out at P4. Unfortunately Checo was himself running on worn out tyres at the time and by Lap 38 Hamilton overtook him to become race leader.
Having pitted only once in the race, Hamilton did a stellar job of managing his tyres as he pulled away from Perez to finish 31.63 secs ahead of P2! In the last few corners of the last lap, Leclerc got a little greedy and tried to pass Checo for P2 but failed to do so and ended up conceding P3 to teammate Sebastian Vettel.
Lewis Hamilton now holds 6 outright world records:
Most Wins (94)
Pole Positions (97)
Podium Finishes (163)
Points Finishes (227)
Career Points (3738)
Points in a Season (413)
All pictures used in this post are the courtesy of the Formula 1 website, F1 Instagram page, the Instagram pages of all racing teams and the Pirelli website.