Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen topped F1 Turkish GP FP1 session from Alexander Albon and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in slippery run.
It was a tricky start to the F1 2020 Turkish GP at a hugely slippery Intercity Istanbul Park circuit as the re-laid surface coupled with a washout before FP1 session, made it difficult for the drivers to drive around at full pace initially by keeping the cars straight.
There was also a brief red flag to fix the broken bollard by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc at the pit entry. There were multiple offs started by McLaren’s Lando Norris with teammate Carlos Sainz, Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull’s Verstappen also involved in it at Turn 1.
AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly had a big spin as well, while Sainz’s session came to an early end due to power steering issue. The team tried to fix it initially and send him out again but it broke again, resulting in a Virtual Safety Car period towards the end of the run.
There was also a spin for Bottas, similar to Gasly late in the session, with AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat and Williams’ Nicholas Latifi too having one with few minutes remaining. But overall, the lap times were not even close to what it will be in qualifying.
Most opted to stick with the hard tyres, where few had the mediums used, with Williams’ George Russell only one to use the soft compound. With times not mattering huge, Red Bull’s Verstappen ended up quickest in F1 Turkish GP FP1 session.
The Dutchman set a 1m35.077s on his final attempt, going off-track at one moment beside Alfa Romeo Racing’s Antonio Giovinazzi. He had a spin himself later on at the same corner as Bottas at Turn 9, as he led teammate Albon (1m35.318s) in a Red Bull 1-2.
Both used the hard tyres like Ferrari’s Leclerc (1m35.507s) in third as Gasly (1m35.543s) slotted in fourth on the mediums, while Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel (1m35.620s) ended up fifth on the hard, from Kvyat (1m36.738s) – who started string of medium runners.
It was the birthday boy Norris (1m37.216s) in seventh from Giovinazzi (1m37.503s) as Bottas (1m37.629s) and Renault’s Esteban Ocon (1m38.428s) rounded out the Top 10 with Latifi (1m38.508s) slotting in 11th – where the Finn was the only one on the hard tyres.
The two Racing Point drivers, Sergio Perez (1m38.612s) and Lance Stroll (1m39.48s), were 12th and 13th from Haas’ Romain Grosjean (1m40.025s), who set his best time on the medium tyres, ahead of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton (1m40.225s).
The Brit only did 12 laps – the lowest along with Sainz. Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen (1m41.035s) was 16th from Haas’ Kevin Magnussen (1m41.854s) with Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo (1m45.156s) 18th, Sainz (1m46.462s) 19th and Russell (1m49.256s) 20th.
Even though Russell used the soft compound, his best time came on the hard. No matter how far he goes in qualifying, he is likely to start from the back due to engine penalty with new ICE, TC and MGU-H taken up for the F1 Turkish GP weekend.
Sticking with the Turkish GP action, Ferrari’s Vettel revealed a special Together As One helmet for the Istanbul weekend, showcasing his idea of oneness – titled as ‘No Borders, Just Horizon – Only Freedom’. Here’s a photo from Jens Munser Designs:
The focus of this new helmet design is a rainbow as a symbol of the diversity of people in a united and harmonious world.
The color spectrum is embedded in the basic color of the helmet, which flows from white into black without separation.
Together As One 🏳️🌈 pic.twitter.com/DIahwIt8Tp
— Jens Munser Designs (@JMD_helmets) November 13, 2020
Aside the track action news, Renault announced further testing for Fernando Alonso, this time at Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi, where the Spaniard would be driving the R.S.18 on November 15-16, with Guanyu Zhou driving on November 17.
This will be Alonso’s second proper running in the R.S.18 after Bahrain, and third with Renault, including the R.S.20 filming day run at Barcelona. For Zhou, it will be his third time in the 2018 F1 car after Hungary and Bahrain.