Lance Stroll takes stunning Turkish Grand Prix pole after qualifying

Chaos in Istanbul puts Lance Stroll on pole! Racing Point stun big boys to take top-spot in a soaking Turkish GP qualifying session while Hamilton’s worst performance of the season puts him SIXTH

  • Lance Stroll stunned Max Verstappen during crazy Turkish Grand Prix qualifying
  • Canadian pipped the otherwise dominant Red Bull star to pole position 
  • Session had been delayed nearly an hour following heavy rain during Q1 
  • Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes struggled and team fail to take pole for first time 
  • But Hamilton is on the cusp of matching Michael Schumacher’s seven titles
  • Brit only has to finish in front of Valtteri Bottas on Sunday to claim championship 
  • Latest Formula One news, live action and results can be found her

Lance Stroll took an astonishing pole position after one of grand prix racing’s most extraordinary qualifying sessions at the Turkish Grand Prix.

The 22-year-old Canadian was told ‘P1’ – confirmation of this great one-lap upset at the wet Istanbul track.

The Racing Point driver will share the front row with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, with Stroll’s team-mate Sergio Perez third. Lewis Hamilton will line up only sixth, 4.7sec back, on a long, fraught afternoon for the world champion-elect.

Lance Stroll took an incredible pole position for Racing Point for the Turkish Grand Prix

The Canadian was left thrilled with his first ever pole position in Formula One

Stroll battled the severely wet conditions  in Istanbul to ensure he starts from the front

However, Hamilton only needs to finish ahead of Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas to be assured of title No 7 and he should manage that given the Finn lines up ninth.

Hamilton never looked likely to take pole through two hours of drama, struggling for rhythm and grip.

It promises to be an entertaining race with the possibility of more rain falling before the weekend is out.

Qualifying started in tricky wet conditions after rain pounded down intermittently in the build-up. The first qualifying session was soon red-flagged for 45 minutes, the conditions deemed too perilous to continue.

Lewis Hamilton endured his worst session of the year to line up only sixth on the grid

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was dominant all weekend before being pipped to pole by Stroll



1 Stroll (Can) Rac’ Point 1min 47.765s

2 Verstappen (Hol) Red Bull 1:48.055

3 Perez (Mex) Racing Point 1:49.321

4 Albon (Tha) Red Bull 1:50.448

5 Ricciardo (Aus) Renault 1:51.595

6 Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes 1:52.560

7 Ocon (Fra) Renault 1:52.622

8 Raikkonen (Fin) A. Romeo 1:52.745

9 Bottas (Fin) Mercedes 1:53.258

10 Giovinazzi (Ita) A. Romeo 1:57.226 E


11 Norris (Gbr) McLaren 1:54.945

12 Vettel (Ger) Ferrari 1:55.169

13 Sainz (Spa) McLaren 1:55.410

14 Leclerc (Mon) Ferrari 1:56.696

15 Gasly (Fra) AlphaTauri 1:58.556


16 Magnussen (Den) Haas 2:08.007

17 Kvyat (Rus) AlphaTauri 2:09.070

18 Russell (Gbr) Williams 2:10.017

19 Grosjean (Fra) Haas 2:12.909

20 Latifi (Can) Williams 2:21.611 

After a long time with the safety car trying out the track, and the deployment of a strange mopping truck, the action finally resumed in a pall of cloud. Hamilton only scraped into Q2 in 14th place – 10 seconds behind the then-perennial front-runner Verstappen.

There was another delay as Romain Grosjean’s Haas fell into the sand trap at Turn One.

Would there be time for the whole thing to fit in before dusk drew its curtain across?

The first session of qualifying was hit by heavy rain, causing nearly an hour delay

The delay came following a red flag as drivers struggled to stay on the low-grip circuit

Daniil Kvyat was one of many drivers who spun off during a chaos filled qualifying session

There was, just.

Stroll crucially moved on to intermediates tyres to grab the fantastical pole – some validation for the much-maligned son of team owner Lawrence Stroll.

Verstappen had been brilliant on full tyres, and ahead of everyone until right at the end, but could not match Stroll when he switched rubber and blitzed away at the peak moment in a Racing Point that was suddenly looked amphibious.

It was the first pole by a Canadian for 23 years, since Jacques Villeneuve.

Ferrari were appalling, with Sebastian Vettel 12th and Charles Leclerc 14th 

Road-sweepers were deployed to try and clear the track of excess water during the red flag

Romain Grosjean saw his qualifying session end in Q1 after spinning off into the gravel


Host commentator

1. Lance Stroll, 2. Max Verstappen, 3. Sergio Perez, 4. Alex Albon, 5. Daniel Ricciardo, 6. Lewis Hamilton, 7. Esteban Ocon, 8. Kimi Raikkonen, 9. Valtteri Bottas, 10. Antonio Giovinazzi.

Verstappen cannot get the intermediate tures to work! Have Red Bull blown this?

And that’s because Sergio Perez goes quickest, on the intermediate tyre! Ocon is last by the way – he just can’t get them to work.

Verstappen and Mercedes stick on the intermediate tyre. Bottas is sixth, Hamilton is eighth.

It’s another one minute 52 time from Verstappen but his dominance is incredible – he is FOUR seconds quicker than anyone else!

He has gone out on the intermediate tyre as opposed to everyone else and if he can generate temperature into those in the next few minutes, he could bag a cheeky pole position here…

Mercedes have been on pole position for every race this season, does opportunity now knock now for Red Bull?

By over two seconds… and even then the next driver on the road was his team-mate Alex Albon. Red Bull seemed to their car dialled up now.

ELIMINATED FROM Q2: Lando Norris, Sebastian Vettel, Carlos Sainz, Charles Leclerc, Pierre Gasly.

Both drivers are int he bottom five with two minutes left, Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc, are joined by Lando Norris, Pierre Gasly and Carlos Sainz.

Bottas and Hamilton are now third and fourth, although Verstappen and Perez both improve again out in front, the Dutchman does a 1:52.036.

He has gone quickest ahead of Racing Point’s Sergio Perez. Mercedes are fifth and sixth with Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton.

With the exception of the McLaren boys of Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris who are on the intermediate tyres. Norris sets the first flying lap with a flat two minutes… but that has now been deleted for breaking track limits.

Bizarro world continues. The session starts… under yellow flags as marshalls are still trying to clear Latifi’s car. Are those daylight concerns creeping in?

Many drivers improved with that final run, but they were set under double waved yellows. The trouble is so many drivers were already being careful going away the circuit, how could they possibly have gone slower?

They will ALL be investigated after qualifying.

ELIMINATED FROM Q1: Kevin Magnussen, Daniil Kvyat, George Russell, Romain Grosjean, Nicholas Latifi.

Lewis Hamilton only just scraped through in 14th…

He goes quickest by eight seconds!

He did the two best sectors on his out-lap as he goes for his final run.

Max Verstappen is keen to get out – he is on the bubble of the elimination zone, so no surprises there.

Marshalls are now clearing the track but that means Grosjean is out of qualifying as he was in the bottom five.

There are three and a half minutes left – so just time for one outlap but it’s not looking good for Charles Leclerc, Pierre Gasly, George Russell and Nicholas Latifi. We should be underway again shortly.

For goodness’ sake. Conditions still look really tricky and heading into turn one Romain Grosjean slides off the track into the gravel where his car is beached.

Which means he is probably the only driver with a clear view in front of him. Can he take advantage of that?

There are just seven minutes remaining and 10 seconds into the restart Kimi Raikkonen spins in his Alfa Romeo…

Big call now for the teams. Do you go to the end of the pit-lane and wait for your tyres to lose temperature? Or leave the garage with better trye heat but more traffic and spray on circuit. Decisions, decisions.

Smashing. The safety car does not even need to complete a lap before declaring we are fit to go racing again. Re-start time is five minutes to the hour.

I’ve just seen Esteban Ocon’s ‘fastest lap’ and to sum up just how jumbled up this grid could be, it looked like he was just trying to survive staying on the track rather than getting a better grip of the conditions than anyone else. The safety car is going around again to test the circuit conditions.

The rain does appear to have stopped but it’s not the best conditions or the time for evaporation. The good news is the stewards will make a call five-minutes before the session restarts rather than 10. Yes I know I’m clutching at straws rather than describing ‘good news’. 

Still no news on when the session restart, we now have roadsweepers on the circuit to help clear the standing water. The vehicle ones not one man and his broom.

The safety car is now on the circuit to test the track conditions, with the rain having eased a bit. In the mean-time here are the top 20 and their lap times.

You may be thinking they should be getting on with it, and that’s not a terrible call given daylight is already starting to dim in Turkey so we can’t wait around too long.

However the red flag was thrown with an eye on clear skies over in the distance.

That’s good news for the bottom five, because unlike practice the time does actually stop. Forecasts predict the rain should stop soon, so hopefully this delay won’t be too long.

It has become so wet out there, drivers are struggling to even keep the cars pointing the correct way on the straight. The race director has stopped the session with seven minutes remaining.

But the full wet tyre on is the only compound to be on now, with Esteban Ocon now fastest for Renault.

And it looks like more rain has arrived! In trouble in the bottom five are Charles Leclerc, Romain Grosjean, Pieree Gasly, George Russell and Nicholas Latifi.

Valltteri Bottas is fastest with a 2.07.001, I expect those times to come down at some point but those slow laps show you just how they are tip-toeing around the track – it’s about 40 seconds down on Juan Pablo Montoya’s lap record.

Most of them are on the intermediate tyre, including Max Verstappen who has already spun on his outlap. He of course says there is no grip. The first spin of many I’m sure.

With rain in the air but not quite here yet, many of the drivers instantly leave the garage to set a lap-time.

‘It’s S*** with a capital S!’: Lewis Hamilton blasts Turkish Grand Prix track, branding it ‘terrifying’ and like an ‘ice rink’ after limping to fourth in Friday practice in Istanbul

Here is what our current (and soon to be seven-time) champions makes of the track circuit…

FINAL PRACTICE RECAP: Lewis Hamilton FAILS to set a time as Max Verstappen goes quickest in final practice for the Turkish Grand Prix… but once again session is marred by low grip track and heavy rain

Madness around final practice… much like Friday’s sessions really. No grip, loads of rain, drivers struggling everywhere… I like it!

Then you have come to the right place! Wet conditions, ice-like levels of grip on the track, all the drivers complaining.

This is set to be an exciting afternoon as I welcome you to live qualifying for the Turkish Grand Prix.

The battle for pole position is set to be one of the most unpredictable of the season at the Turkish Grand Prix on a weekend Lewis Hamilton hopes to match Michael Schumacher’s seven world titles.  

Hamilton only needs to finish in front of Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas to land the championship with three races left but is prepared for a very tough qualifying session. 

But with many drivers including the Brit struggling on the wet and newly resurfaced circuit, it is set to produce one of the most jumbled grids of the season.

Follow Sportsmail’s DAN RIPLEY who will provide live F1 coverage of qualifying from Istanbul Park. 

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