Formula 1

Max Verstappen Tops Tricky First Turkish Grand Prix Practice at Slippery Istanbul Park

3 Mins read
Credit: Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen went fastest in a difficult first practice session at the Turkish Grand Prix.

The Intercity Istanbul Park track has recently been relaid, and the track conditions were unfavoured by majority of the grid. Whilst grappling with his car, Verstappen said early on that “it’s like driving on ice”, a view shared by many others.  

Come an hour into the session, Lewis Hamilton and Daniel Ricciardo still hadn’t set a time and the current top-sitter of Verstappen had set a time of 1:41:741, a bit of a distance off the one-eighteen predicted qualifying lap time. It was apparent that it was not going to be a very quick session for any of the twenty drivers.

By the end of the sessions, all the timings on the grid were particularly far off from where they should be, giving no indication on who will do well this weekend.

The practice was red flagged early on in the session due to a rogue bollard on the track, caused when Charles Leclerc clipped it, but the issue only took about five minutes of the time to sort out.

Aston Martin Red Bull Racing duo of Verstappen and Alexander Albon completed a one-two in the session. This has been one of Albon’s stronger sessions, regardless of the conditions.

Scuderia Ferrari found themselves high up on the timing sheet. Leclerc finished the session in third with his team-mate Sebastian Vettel putting in a promising performance of fifth. Also impressive were Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda, who are proving to be a force not to be reckoned with come the back end of the season. Pierre Gasly has been putting in some stellar performances recently and he finished in fourth with team-mate Daniil Kyvat not to far behind him in sixth.

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team were nowhere to be found. Valtteri Bottas had been top on the last seven free practice one sessions but could not carry on that reign. He finished ninth with Hamilton down in fifteenth. Hamilton can clinch his seventh World Championship this weekend, but the session will not be one he will remember for long.

McLaren F1 Team’s Carlos Sainz Jr. did not have a good session. Sainz had to return to the pits early in the session with an electrical issue on the power unit. He was sent back out but beached his car towards the end of the session citing the issue had continued. A virtual safety car was deployed as marshals cleared his car away, with the Spaniard ending nineteenth, twelve places behind his birthday boy team-mate Lando Norris, who turns twenty-one today, in seventh.

Antonio Giovinazzi put his Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN car up into the top ten. He finished eighth, higher than both of the Mercedes duo. Kimi Räikkönen couldn’t climb as high as his team-mate and finished in sixteenth. Renault DP World F1 Team did not have the best of sessions either. Esteban Ocon managed to break the top ten and finish tenth, but Daniel Ricciardo could only get eighteenth, over ten seconds away from Verstappen.

BWT Racing Point Formula One Team finished one after the other with Sergio Pérez in twelfth and Lance Stroll in thirteenth. Haas F1 Team couldn’t get in the groove of the difficult session either with Romain Grosjean in fourteenth and Kevin Magnussen in seventeenth.

George Russell will serve a grid-penalty in the race due to a change to his ICE, turbo and MGU-H after taking his fourth of each. He will start at the back of the race regardless of what he does over qualifying. He finished the practice session last in twentieth with Williams Racing team-mate Nicholas Latifi in eleventh

PosNODriverNat.TeamTimeGapLaps
133Max VerstappenNEDAston Martin Red Bull Racing1:35.07729
223Alexander AlbonTHAAston Martin Red Bull Racing1:35.3180.24127
316Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari1:35.5070.43026
410Pierre GaslyFRAScuderia AlphaTauri Honda1:35.5430.46626
55Sebastian VettelGERScuderia Ferrari1:35.6200.54329
626Daniil KvyatRUSScuderia AlphaTauri Honda1:36.7381.66127
74Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team1:37.2162.13921
899Antonio GiovinazziITAAlfa Romeo Racing1:37.5032.42621
977Valtteri BottasFINMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team1:37.6292.55223
1031Esteban OconFRARenault DP World F1 Team1:38.4283.35123
116Nicholas LatifiCANWilliams Racing1:38.5083.43118
1211Sergio PérezMEXBWT Racing Point Formula One Team1:38.6123.53522
1318Lance StrollCANBWT Racing Point Formula One Team1:39.4844.40721
148Romain GrosjeanFRAHaas F1 Team1:40.0254.94825
1544Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team1:40.2255.14812
167Kimi RäikkönenFINAlfa Romeo Racing1:41.0355.95823
1720Kevin MagnussenDENHaas F1 Team1:41.8546.77721
183Daniel RicciardoAUSRenault DP World F1 Team1:45.15610.07920
1955Carlos Sainz Jr.ESPMcLaren F1 Team1:46.46211.38512
2063George RussellGBRWilliams Racing1:49.25614.17917

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