Bottas overtakes Stweart’s pole tally, Verstappen equals Lauda’s podium tally and Ocon completes a whole race on one set of tyres. Here’s a statistic from each driver’s 2021 Turkish Grand Prix weekend.
Lewis Hamilton was fastest in qualifying for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, making Istanbul Park the 31st different circuit at which he has set the fastest lap time in qualifying. However, Hamilton’s wait for a maiden Turkish Grand Prix pole goes on due to a ten-place grid penalty for a change of power unit element. Hamilton started from 11th – a grid position from which victory has been taken only five times previously. The last two wins from eleventh on the grid came at the 2003 Australian Grand Prix and the 2012 European Grand Prix. Strangely, race day in Turkey marked the exact same number of days since the last win from 11th as there was between the two previous wins from the grid slot! But it wasn’t to be for Hamilton, and he finished fifth for the 20th time in his F1 career. It’s the first time he’s finished fifth since the 2019 Austrian Grand Prix.
Valtteri Bottas inherited pole position for the Turkish Grand Prix from his team-mate. This was Bottas’ eighteenth pole, which saw him overtake Jackie Stewart for eighteenth on the list of Formula 1’s most prolific polesitters. Significantly, Bottas’ latest pole sees him equal Rene Arnoux as the non-champion with the most poles in F1 history. The Finn went on to win the race, taking his first victory since the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix and becoming the 35th different driver to record ten or more Grand Prix victories.
Max Verstappen finished as runner-up in the Turkish Grand Prix, recording his 54th podium finish. That saw him equal Niki Lauda for fourteenth in the all-time list of most podium finishes in Formula 1. With Verstappen finishing on the podium and Lewis Hamilton finishing fifth, Verstappen re-takes the lead in the Drivers’ Championship. He leads by six points. The championship has now been led by eight or fewer points at all of the last seven races. It’s the first time the title battle has been led by such a small margin for such a long period of time since the first seven races of the 2012 season.
Sergio Perez finished in third place, recording his thirteenth top three finish. It’s the second year in succession that Perez has finished on the podium at the Turkish Grand Prix. It’s also the second year in a row in which the driver starting sixth has finished on the podium in Istanbul. Sixth is the grid slot from which Lewis Hamilton won last year. This was the first time that Perez has finished on the podium since the French Grand Prix. The Circuit Paul Ricard race is the only other event in 2021 in which both Red Bull drivers have finished on the podium.
At the Turkish Grand Prix, Daniel Ricciardo recorded his, and McLaren’s, second Q1 exit of the 2021 season. He equalled his worst qualifying result of the year with sixteenth place – which is also where he qualified for the Portuguese Grand Prix. Ricciardo went on to finish in thirteenth place. It was the first time a McLaren driver has failed to score in Turkey since 2009, when both cars finished outside of the points.
The driver starting seventh has suffered poor luck in recent races in the 2021 season, having not scored in any of the five previous races. Lando Norris turned that around in Turkey though. He started where he finished, in seventh. It’s the first time the grid slot has scored since the British Grand Prix.
Sebastian Vettel finished the Turkish Grand Prix in eighteenth place – the first time he has finished eighteenth since the 2007 Italian Grand Prix. Surprisingly, eighteenth is not Vettel’s worst finishing position in Istanbul. He finished nineteenth in 2007, which is the worst position in which he has ever finished a race.
For the second year in a row, Lance Stroll finished in ninth place at the Turkish Grand Prix. Charles Lecerc was the only other driver to record the same result in Istanbul in 2021 as he did in 2020.
Fernando Alonso qualified in sixth place for a second consecutive race. Lewis Hamilton’s penalty meant that Alonso moves up to fifth on the final grid. It was his best starting position since starting fifth at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix. That race, and the preceding Singapore Grand Prix, are the last consecutive races at which Alonso qualified inside the top six. After a first lap spin, Alonso finished only sixteenth. It’s only the second time that Alonso has failed to score at Istanbul Park. He finished tenth in 2009, one year before the position awarded points. He lost eleven places in the race – the equal-most positions that the Spaniard has lost in a race which he has completed. He also fell eleven places down the order at the 2010 British Grand Prix. It’s also the most positions that any driver has lost in a race which they have finished at Istanbul Park. The previous record was ten places lost, by Heikki Kovalainen in 2009. Alonso is only the second driver to not score points having started fifth in Turkey. The last time it happened was in 2006, when Nick Heidfeld finished only fourteenth.
Esteban Ocon finished in tenth place, completing the entire race on just a single set of tyres. It was the first time that a driver completed a race distance without stopping for tyres or refuelling since Mika Salo did so at the 1997 Monaco Grand Prix.
For the second year in a row, Charles Leclerc narrowly missed out on a podium finish at the Tukrish Grand Prix. While the Ferrari driver finished 1.898 seconds away from third place in 2020, he was 4.073 seconds away from a podium result in 2021.
Carlos Sainz started nineteenth – but that didn’t stop him scoring points. With his eighth place finish, Sainz scored for a ninth consecutive race, equalling the longest points-scoring streak of his career to date. The Spaniard has now started nineteenth or further back ten times, and has scored on six of those occasions. He did so at the 2015 Monaco Grand Prix, the 2015 United States Grand Prix, the 2016 Canadian Grand Prix, the 2019 Austrian Grand Prix, the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix and the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix. Sainz’s points make nineteenth the second-furthest back grid slot from which points have been scored at the Turkish Grand Prix. The only driver to have scored from further back is Kamui Kobayashi, who started 24th and finished tenth in 2011.
After equalling his best ever grid slot with fourth place, Pierre Gasly finished the Turkish Grand Prix in sixth place, recording points at Istanbul Park for the first time. It’s the best ever result for a Red Bull junior team driver in Turkey, and only the second time that the team has scored at the venue. Their other points-scoring appearance came in 2009, when Sebastien Buemi finished ninth for Toro Rosso.
Though he failed to score points, Yuki Tsunoda reached Q3 for the first time since the Austrian Grand Prix.
Kimi Raikkonen qualified only nineteenth for the Turkish Grand Prix, equalling his worst qualifying result of the 2021 season to date. He also qualified nineteenth at the Belgian Grand Prix. This was the first time that Raikkonen has not qualified in the top eight at the event.
Antonio Giovinazzi finished just outside of the points in eleventh place, equalling his second-best result of the 2021 season. He also finished eleventh at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. His only better result result in 2021 is tenth place at the Monaco Grand Prix.
For the second time in his career, Mick Schumacher reached Q2. This was the first time he was actually able to compete in the second qualifying session, as he crashed after setting his lap time in Q1 at the French Grand Prix. Fourteenth place is the Haas driver’s best-ever qualifying result, and the Haas team’s best qualifying result since Romain Grosjean qualified fourteenth at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.
While team-mate Mick Schumacher reached Q2, Nikita Mazepin was slowest of all 20 drivers in Q1. His best lap time was 2.894 seconds slower than Schumacher’s best. All 20 cars finished the race – with Mazepin finishing last. He has finished last both times that all 20 cars have completed a race which has run to full distance in 2021.
For only the second time in the last six races, George Russell failed to score. He finished the Turkish Grand Prix in fifteenth place – one place higher than where he finished last year.
After qualifying seventeenth, Nicholas Latifi moved up to fifteenth on the grid at the Turkish Grand Prix. He finished where he qualified, losing two positions in the race. It’s the first time that Latifi has completed a race in a worse position than where he started since the Stryian Grand Prix.
Read more statistics from the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix in our Post Race Statistics article!
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. Now in its sixth season, 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. In 2017 and 2018, he wrote for Badger GP. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast.