Formula 1: Lance Stroll claimed his first pole in a crazy qualifying in Turkey

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On a day marked by rain at the Istanbul circuit, the Canadian did the best lap around the clock. Hamilton, who is going for his seventh title, will start sixth and Bottas, ninth.

In an exciting qualifying session conditioned by tough track conditions, with rain and lots of water, Canadian Lance Stroll (Racing Point) achieved a surprising pole position, the first of his life, for the Turkish Grand Prix, the 14th round of the Formula 1 season, which will be raced on Sunday at the Istanbul circuit and which will be able to crown the British Lewis Hamilton champion for the seventh time.

After two red flags, a lot of waiting and, above all, a lot of excitement, Stroll made history by taking the first starting position of his career. This also gave his team a pole position for the first time since its predecessor structure Force India won it with Giancarlo Fisichella at the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix.

The classification was defined in some last heartbreaking laps in the Turkish capital. The Mexican Sergio Pérez (Racing Point) dethroned in the final minutes the Dutch Max Verstappen (Red Bull), who had dominated much of the session, but, with time almost up, his teammate flew to snatch the privileged position from him .

Meanwhile, the Mercedes could not cope with the prevailing conditions on the Turkish track and will start, for the first time this season, outside the front row. Hamilton will start sixth, while Finn Valtteri Bottas will start ninth.

The threat of rain on the track revealed the division of opinions among the riders when choosing tires, intermediate for some and wet for others. With everyone already on the track about to decide which was the correct choice, the excess water forced the safety car to leave and stop the session.

More than 40 minutes later, the session resumed and, although the red flag was once again waved by a spin from Frenchman Romain Grosjean (Haas), the competition continued with Verstappen setting the fastest time.

In the chaos in Q3, Racing Point was king. “It’s one of the best moments of my career. We dreamed about this since we were little,” said an euphoric Stroll, who will start in the front row with Verstappen and ahead of Pérez, third.

The first ten places were completed by the Thai Alexander Albon (Red Bull), the Australian Daniel Ricciardo (Renault), Hamilton, the French Esteban Ocon (Renault), the Finn Kimi Räikkönen (Alfa Romeo), Bottas and the Italian Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo). ).

Further behind were the British Lando Norris (McLaren), the German Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari), the Spanish Carlos Sainz (McLaren), the Monegasque Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), the French Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri), the Danish Kevin Magnussen (Haas ), the Russian Daniil Kvyat (AlphaTauri), the British George Russel (Williams), Grosjean and the Canadian Nicholas Latifi (Williams).

The Turkish Grand Prix, which will span 58 laps of the 5,338-meter track and start at 7.10, will represent the first opportunity for Hamilton to clinch his seventh title. With nine races won out of 13, the Briton scored 85 points from Bottas. The Finn can achieve a maximum of 78 units in the last three tests (two in Bahrain and one in Abu Dhabi), so the Englishman will confirm his title if he wins the race this Sunday or also if he finishes second, as long as the other Mercedes don’t get the victory plus the extra point on the fastest lap.

In any other combination, it is also worth having Bottas cut you seven points maximum. While in a hypothetical (and very difficult) event of a tie in points at the end of the season, Hamilton will be the winner due to the races won: 9v2 at the moment.

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