Lance Stroll, Racing Point, Istanbul Park, 2020

Official: Stroll keeps first-ever pole position after stewards investigation

2020 Turkish Grand Prix

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Lance Stroll has secured the first pole position of his career after the stewards cleared him of failing to slow sufficiently for yellow flags during qualifying.

The Racing Point driver was under investigation for failing to slow sufficiently for yellow flags during his fastest lap in Q3. Stroll passed single waved yellow flags at turn seven where his team mate Sergio Perez had spun.

After examining video, telemetry and data from the marshalling system, the stewards ruled Stroll had slowed in response to the yellow flags. They noted that the rate at which the track was drying made it hard to judge how much he had backed off from his sector times alone.

“Car 18 [Stroll] approached turn seven with a single yellow flag showing for the sector due to car 11 (Sergio Perez) off track on the outside of the corner,” the stewards noted. “By telemetry, car 18 clearly came off the throttle, coasted into the corner, and then accelerated when clear of the incident.

“Sector times do not clearly show this as the track was rapidly drying and each lap was quicker than the preceding lap.”

The stewards are yet to rule on two other incidents relating to yellow flags. Lando Norris and George Russell are also under investigation, both for incidents in Q1.

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2020 Turkish Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    14 comments on “Official: Stroll keeps first-ever pole position after stewards investigation”

    1. So Mercedes are still on track to get pole at every track this year, albeit with last years car!!!

        1. Great news. He deserves it. Hope he gets into turn 1 with the lead and does not repeat Monza start this year.

      1. @minnis Conversely, you could say Racing Point has gotten pole at every single race so far (bar 1), but with their 2021 car instead…

    2. I haven’t seen a forward-facing view on the onboard from Stroll’s camera during the incident, and without that it’s hard to properly judge his reaction. But even taking the stewards’ explanation into account, given that he set a personal best time through the mini-sector where the yellow flag was (one of 20 around the lap; not the larger sectors of which there are three), I think he’s been fortunate to avoid as little as a slap-on-the-wrist reprimand for this.

      But perhaps they’re feeling generous given how foul the conditions were. Let’s see what they make of Norris and Russell’s infractions.

      1. @keithcollantine He lifted and that’s all he’s required to do.

        Rosberg did exactly the same in Hungary and got pole while passing double yellow flags. Now that was ridiculous since that brief lift hardly helped the car get ready for stopping, but “lifting” has always been enough for single yellow.

      2. Agreed, I think Stroll has been very fortunate here – maybe the stewards were too afraid of the backlash. However now seeing Norris received a penalty despite lifting, I’m questioning the consistency and fairness.

        1. Different flags were being waved.

          In Norris’s case, there were double waved yellow flags. He slowed down, but instead he was penalized because he wasn’t supposed to improve his laptime after going through double waved yellows.

          In Stroll’s case, there was a single yellow flag. He only needed to slow down for the yellow flag, he was free to improve his laptime (which, under changing conditions, was possible even if he lost time there).

          Whether he slowed down enough or not is debatable, but the stewards thought he did. At the exit of the corner he goes on the throttle hard enough that he has to countersteer right when he goes by Pérez’s car.

    3. Stroll no, Norris yes..

    4. Really a bad call – Stroll didn’t slow down and set fastest time in the yellow mini sector and doesn’t get penalized. His engineer even told him to push – that should be enough for the stewards to know RP nor Stroll care about safety.

      Norris clearly slows down – set a slower sector time and yet gets penalized just because he is much quicker in last 2 sectors due to better track conditions.

      Single of double yellow neither should allow the driver to set fastest (mini) sector. Aborting lap is stupid just because on 1 small section there is double yellow. If the situation is really that dangerous for laps to be aborted it should be red flagged.

      Stroll didn’t act correctly in terms of safety and deserved a penalty – Norris did act correctly in terms of safety and didn’t deserve a penalty.

    5. The face mask usage is a bit over the top. One would think they could come off for the historical photos.

      1. “Lance, smile and say “one point 3 million deaths!”

    6. Because of red flags, my DVR didn’t record all of the qualifying session, so I came here to see who got pole. This was NOT what I expected to see…

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