Lance Stroll takes the first pole position of his career, Mercedes fail to qualify in the top six for the first time in over seven years and both Alfa Romeos escape Q1 for the first time this season. Here are the facts and statistics from qualifying at the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix!
STROLL ON POLE
In a chaotic qualifying session, Lance Stroll became Formula 1’s 101st polesitter. Stroll is the first Canadian polesitter to take pole position in F1 since Jacques Villeneuve at the 1997 European Grand Prix. At that race, Villeneuve was crowned World Champion. Stroll is the first driver to take pole in Formula 1 who was born after the last Canadian champion was crowned. Stroll becomes F1’s fifth youngest polesitter.
The 2020 Turkish Grand Prix marks Lance Stroll’s 75th Grand Prix start. Only twelve drivers have made more starts before taking their first pole, including current drivers Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas.
This is the fourth time that the Silverstone-based team has taken pole position. Jordan did so at the 1994 Belgian Grand Prix with Rubens Barrichello and at the 1999 European Grand Prix with Heinz-Harald Frentzen. Force India took their only pole with Giancarlo Fisichella at the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix. Stroll’s pole is the first for Racing Point.
Stroll is the first non-Mercedes/Ferrari/Red Bull driver to take pole position since Felipe Massa did so for Williams at the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix.
Before the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix, the Silverstone-based team had never previously appeared in Q3 at Istanbul Park. Their previous best qualifying result at the circuit was eleventh for Adrian Sutil in 2010.
Lance Stroll is the first driver to take pole position by 0.290 seconds. Other drivers to do so are Jochen Rindt at the 1969 Dutch Grand Prix, Niki Lauda at the 1974 French Grand Prix, Mario Andretti at the 1978 Spanish Grand Prix and Jacques Laffite at the 1979 Spanish Grand Prix.
THE TOP TEN
Max Verstappen was fastest in both Q1 and Q2, but failed to set the fastest lap time in Q3. He lines up second on the grid, equalling his best qualifying result of the season.
Sergio Perez will start the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix from third on the grid – marking the first time he has ever started in the top three. This is not Perez’s best ever qualifying result, however. He qualified on the front row at the 2016 European Grand Prix, but had a five-place grid penalty. The 2020 Turkish Grand Prix is the first time Perez has been out-qualified by his team-mate since the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Alex Albon equalled his career-best qualifying position with fourth place. He also qualified in fourth for the Tuscan Grand Prix.
Daniel Ricciardo qualified in fifth position for the second race in a row. It’s the Enstone team’s best qualifying result at the Turkish Grand Prix since Fernando Alonso qualified third for Renault in 2006.
Lance Stroll’s pole position ended Mercedes’ run of fourteen consecutive poles, which is the sixth longest streak in F1 history. Lewis Hamilton qualified sixth, while Valtteri Bottas was ninth. It was the first time Hamilton has qualified outside the top five since the 2018 German Grand Prix, and the first time Bottas has qualified outside the top six since the 2018 Belgian Grand Prix.
This is the first time neither Mercedes driver has qualified in the top four since the 2017 Singapore Grand Prix, as well as the first time neither Mercedes driver has qualified in the top five since the 2013 Italian Grand Prix. The last time neither of the Brackley-based team’s cars qualified in the top five at the Turkish Grand Prix was in 2008, when the team was in its Honda guise.
For the first time since the 2019 Austrian Grand Prix, both Alfa Romeo drivers reached Q3. Kimi Raikkonen’s eighth place was his best qualifying position since the 2019 Belgian Grand Prix, while Antonio Giovinazzi’s tenth place was his best since the 2019 Austrian race.
OUT IN Q2
For the fourth time this season, neither Ferrari driver reached Q2. Since the knockout system was introduced in 2006, there have been only eleven occasions where neither Ferrari qualified in the top ten – it has now happened four times in the last eight races. It’s the first time that the team has failed to reach Q3 at the Turkish Grand Prix.
Charles Leclerc recorded his worst qualifying result of the 2020 season with fourteenth place. He was out-qualified by team-mate Sebastian Vettel for the first time since the Hungarian Grand Prix.
For the first time since the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix, neither McLaren driver reached Q3. Both Lando Norris, eleventh, and Carlos Sainz, thirteenth, equalled their worst qualifying results of the season so far.
OUT IN Q1
Daniil Kvyat recorded his first Q1 exit since the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix. With seventeenth place, he equalled his worst Saturday result of the 2020 season. He also qualified seventeenth at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
With both Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean eliminated in Q1, Haas equal Alfa Romeo as the team with the most Q1 exits this year. Both teams have recorded 22 Q1 eliminations so far this season.
For the fifth time in his career, Nicholas Latifi qualified last on the grid. He will not start last however, as his team-mate George Russell has an engine penalty, dropping him to the rear of the field.
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. The blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics.
Nicky also writes at F1Destinations and Motorsport Guides and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast. His work has appeared on WTF1, BadgerGP, motorsport.com, Sky Sports F1 and BBC Radio 5 Live. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast.