Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Istanbul Park, 2020

Verstappen makes it three out of three in treacherous, rain-hit session

2020 Turkish Grand Prix third practice

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Max Verstappen completed a sweep of all three practice sessions for the Turkish Grand Prix as rain made the slippery track surface even more treacherous.

Drivers found little grip on the recently-resurfaced track yesterday, and steadily increasing rain falling from the beginning of the session meant conditions deteriorated throughout the final hour running.

Intermediate tyres were the preferred choice for drivers as the session began. The rain was lightest at this point, and the quickest times were set at this stage. Verstappen’s a 1’48.485, left him 20 seconds off his benchmark from yesterday.

Charles Leclerc took up second place behind him, albeit almost a second slower in his Ferrari, followed by Alexander Albon. Esteban Ocon was fourth for Renault after being tapped into a spin by Leclerc at turn 12.

The drivers didn’t need any help losing control of their cars as the rain grew heavier. Car after car snapped out of control, though none made it as far as any barriers.

“I just don’t understand what we’re doing with these tyre temperatures,” exclaimed Carlos Sainz Jnr in frustration after going for a spin in his McLaren.

Some drivers preferred to stay out in the hope they would gain useful experience for tomorrow’s race, when further rain is possible. “It’s very slippery for sure,” said Leclerc, “but if we have this in the race we need to train and you know I want some practice in these conditions.”

The rain grew heavier, however, and gradually the drivers returned to the pits around halfway through the hour of running. “The session should be red-flagged,” remarked Sainz, “it’s not even possible to stay on the track on these tyres.”

The rain briefly eased towards the end of the hour and some drivers returned to the track, now on full wet weather tyres. Then it really started to pour, prompting another spate of spins, Antonio Giovinazzi alone going off twice.

Lewis Hamilton, one of three drivers who declined to even set a lap time, briefly popped out of the garage before a fresh downpour. “It’s impossible out here,” he remarked as he returned to the pits. Kimi Raikkonen agreed, telling his team “that was a waste of time” as he drove in.

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2020 Turkish Grand Prix third practice result

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
133Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’48.4856
216Charles LeclercFerrari1’49.4300.9459
323Alexander AlbonRed Bull-Honda1’50.0591.5745
431Esteban OconRenault1’53.8975.4129
54Lando NorrisMcLaren-Renault1’53.9955.5107
65Sebastian VettelFerrari1’54.4906.00514
711Sergio PerezRacing Point-Mercedes1’55.5777.0926
877Valtteri BottasMercedes1’55.6667.1814
920Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’55.8787.3934
1018Lance StrollRacing Point-Mercedes1’56.8248.3395
113Daniel RicciardoRenault1’58.4759.9906
1255Carlos Sainz JnrMcLaren-Renault1’59.54811.0637
1399Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari2’02.32513.84010
1410Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Honda2’02.47313.9887
158Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari2’04.74816.2635
167Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari2’06.35117.86613
1726Daniil KvyatAlphaTauri-Honda2’09.36820.8838
1863George RussellWilliams-Mercedes
196Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes
2044Lewis HamiltonMercedes

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Third practice visual gaps

Max Verstappen – 1’48.485

+0.945 Charles Leclerc – 1’49.430

+1.574 Alexander Albon – 1’50.059

+5.412 Esteban Ocon – 1’53.897

+5.510 Lando Norris – 1’53.995

+6.005 Sebastian Vettel – 1’54.490

+7.092 Sergio Perez – 1’55.577

+7.181 Valtteri Bottas – 1’55.666

+7.393 Kevin Magnussen – 1’55.878

+8.339 Lance Stroll – 1’56.824

+9.990 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’58.475

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

PosDriverCarFP1FP2FP3Fri/Sat diffTotal laps
1Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’35.0771’28.3301’48.485+20.15571
2Charles LeclercFerrari1’35.5071’28.7311’49.430+20.69979
3Valtteri BottasMercedes1’37.6291’28.9051’55.666+26.76168
4Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’40.2251’29.18053
5Alexander AlbonRed Bull-Honda1’35.3181’29.3631’50.059+20.69673
6Daniil KvyatAlphaTauri-Honda1’36.7381’29.6892’09.368+39.67977
7Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Honda1’35.5431’29.9442’02.473+32.52975
8Sebastian VettelFerrari1’35.6201’30.0221’54.490+24.46884
9Lance StrollRacing Point-Mercedes1’39.4841’30.2971’56.824+26.52763
10Lando NorrisMcLaren-Renault1’37.2161’30.9071’53.995+23.08867
11Sergio PerezRacing Point-Mercedes1’38.6121’31.1041’55.577+24.47365
12Esteban OconRenault1’38.4281’31.3801’53.897+22.51767
13Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’37.5031’31.4932’02.325+30.83269
14Carlos Sainz JnrMcLaren-Renault1’46.4621’31.4981’59.548+28.0559
15Daniel RicciardoRenault1’45.1561’31.6601’58.475+26.81560
16Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’41.0351’31.9322’06.351+34.41978
17George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’49.2561’32.30256
18Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’40.0251’32.5702’04.748+32.17862
19Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’41.8541’32.8071’55.878+23.07161
20Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes1’38.5081’33.48858

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2020 Turkish Grand Prix

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    Author information

    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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    25 comments on “Verstappen makes it three out of three in treacherous, rain-hit session”

    1. I can’t see them running qualifying if conditions are similar to this. Normally any indication that they might need the full wet tyres means that the red flags come out.

      1. Which is stupid. They have wets for a reason.
        Let the brave drive!

    2. Sunset time for today is 17:46, so maybe doing these sessions an hour earlier would’ve been wiser just in case. Kvyat’s laugh and sarcasm at the end, though.

    3. The only race on this year’s calendar where a Covid case among the drivers would’ve had team principals calling someone other than the Hulk… Felipe baby!

      Glad F1 is back in Istanbul. I was there for Button’s win in 2009!

    4. Bernie’s sprinklers in action again?

    5. I had high hopes for this GP but the race now seems to be an unusual one but for the “wrong” reasons.

    6. Leclerc was about to set a much faster time than Verstappen. Purple in sector 1 and 2, before halted by Ocon in final corners.

    7. We could be heading for a very interesting race!

    8. I don’t think there will even be a qualifying and a race with these conditions.

    9. Is there still a cut-off time for very slow qualifiers to be excluded before the race. Used to be 108% or something like?

      1. @frasier Yes, 107%, but drivers always get dispensation if they fail for reasons out of their control as long as they’ve set satisfactory lap times in a practice of the given event. The most recent occasion of a driver getting excluded for the 107% rule happened in early-2015.

        1. Really? Who was that. I did nit expect it to happen that recently.

          1. The last time someone wasn’t allowed to race was Narain Karthikeyan in 2012.

            The last one to not make 107% was Brandon Hartely in 2018 but was allowed to race.

            If this data is correct:
            https://f1.fandom.com/wiki/107%25_Rule

        2. @jerejj no, no driver was excluded for breaching the 107% rule at any point in 2015. That year, there were three occasions where a driver failed to set a time within 107% of the pole time in qualifying, but in every instance the drivers were allowed to start the race.

          Roberto Merhi failed to do so in the Malaysian GP, but the stewards permitted him to race because it was a wet qualifying session and thus the times were not representative.

          In Japan, Alexander Rossi failed to set a representative lap time, but the stewards ruled that, had he not been forced to slow down because of waived yellow flags – because of Ericsson spinning on his first run, and then because Verstappen broke down during his second attempt – he was on course to set a time within 107% of the best Q1 time, and so was allowed to race.

          The final time was Carlos Sainz at the United States GP where, after crashing during the heavier bursts of rain earlier in the session, his time was outside of 107%. Again, though, the stewards ruled that the adverse weather meant that the times were unrepresentative and Sainz was allowed to start the race.

          The last time that drivers were blocked from starting after failing to set a time within 107% would be de la Rosa and Karthikeyan at the 2012 Australian GP. In that case, both drivers were well short of 107% – de la Rosa was 1.2 seconds off and Karthikeyan 1.4s off – and, having consistently been outside of 107% for much of the race weekend, they were excluded from starting the race.

    10. @Keith Collantine – What’s the story behind this late decision to resurface the track? Was it actually that bad that the old surface couldn’t be used? Or is it some kind of misguided attempt to “improve” the track after many years away from F1 – as far as I know it hardly ever gets used now (like a lot of the tracks that were built outside of F1s traditional home)

      1. Ted Kravitz (SkySportsF1) was told that the circuit was on the original track surface from 2005, and it was in a very bad shape, very bumpy.
        They did not expect the new surface to be this slippery tho.

      2. The story was the track was too bobbely for motor and they took this opportunity to redo the surface when they heard F1 came back but everything was so short time as they finished 10 days ago. After that they should have races to rubber the track in. Or atleast to drive the oil (of new asfalt) off.

        1. I’m amazed the didn’t think laterally, eg invite any driver + car (road that is) to drive around the circuit as much as they like for nothing. For ten days straight before the event. With speed cameras at the dangerous bits, black flag for exceeding the limit of course.

          With that large a local population, there would have been a stampede, surely?

        2. @macleod it is not just that there are problems with the track being resurfaced much later than it should have been – there are also some rumours that they’ve botched the job as well.

          There are rumours now circulating that the asphalt itself is the wrong type, being designed for a standard highway and not for a race track – basically, take the problems that Silverstone had when they resurfaced their circuit and then magnify that by several times, and that is what the track is like right now. If it is also not a proper type of asphalt, you half wonder whether the race could see the track break up in the way that Spa did back in 1985, which forced the postponement of the Belgian GP.

    11. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
      14th November 2020, 10:44

      Prediction are gonna be a lottery now

      1. Not really just select the best rain drivers as you already saw them on top already (if Hamilton would drove he would be there too)

        1. Hamilton wins, Max 2nd or DNF, Bottas 3rd, Albon 15th.

    12. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
      14th November 2020, 10:44

      Predictions*

    13. I am having real problems reading the articles because the adverts make the whole page jump about.

      1. They have to put adverts on for people who think the world is a freebie

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