Lance Stroll will return to the scene of one of his best moments of his Formula 1 career this weekend, with the Canadian remembering fondly his first Turkish Grand Prix in 2020.
The Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team driver, then driving for the BWT Racing Point Formula 1 Team, took a surprise pole position in the wet conditions at the Intercity Istanbul Park last year and led a good number of laps at the start, only for a damaged front wing to compromise his second half of the race and drop him to ninth at the chequered flag.
However, he was pleased with how he performed in difficult conditions last year, and he is aiming to return to the points in Turkey this weekend.
“My first experience of Turkey last year gave me one of the best moments of my career when I took pole position before leading laps on Sunday,” said Stroll. “Those experiences showcased how challenging the track can be.
“Grip can be difficult to find, but that makes for a constant challenge. I’m looking forward to getting back out there and aiming for points.”
“I really enjoyed my race in Turkey last year” – Sebastian Vettel
Team-mate Sebastian Vettel took his final podium finish for Scuderia Ferrari in 2020 after finding his way ahead of his then-team-mate Charles Leclerc at the final turns, and the German is aiming high again this weekend.
Vettel was running fourth heading towards the final sequence of turns last year, but Leclerc ran wide after attacking Racing Point’s Sergio Pérez for second and allowed the German to slip through and take the final spot on the podium.
Vettel took victory for Red Bull Racing in Istanbul back in the 2011 race before the event dropped off the calendar, but he still says taking turn eight flat out is a rewarding challenge in Turkey.
“One of the most rewarding challenges at Istanbul Park is trying to take Turn Eight flat,” said Vettel. “It’s a 260km/h corner, with plenty of bumps, and a blind entry – so it’s always fun.
“I really enjoyed my race in Turkey last year, and I’ll be pushing to fight strongly in the midfield once again this weekend.”