Live updates from Istanbul Park
aWelcome to our live coverage of qualifying for the Turkish Grand Prix from the Intercity Istanbul Park, just outside of Istanbul. The championship resumes with things in as good a position as possible, with Lewis Hamilton edging out Max Verstappen by just two points after 15 rounds. Astonishingly close.
The big news this weekend is that Hamilton will receive a 10-point penalty after changing the internal combustion engine of his Mercedes. He has already exhausted the three allotted to him for this season, and this is his fourth, hence the penalty. It’s only 10 places – unlike Verstappen in Russia which relegated to the back of the grid – because it’s not a complete power unit changeover, just ICE. Whether or not that turns out to be a good move – they may have to change more components or the entire PU later – we’ll find out. But we can assume they have a pretty good idea of what’s going on.
What are Hamilton’s chances of starting in 11th and then racing across the field? Pretty decent given Friday’s run where he dominated, comfortably topping my two training sessions. Red Bull seemed a little off their pace, although given Hamilton’s kick, they may have been focusing on the long-range pace rather than the single lap speed.
What happened in the training session this morning? Here’s Phil Duncan from Istanbul Park with a quick summary.
Lewis Hamilton took a cautious approach first and completed just five laps in the rain-stricken Istanbul park, finishing 18th out of 20 drivers.
AlphaTaur player Pierre Gasly led the standings after the one-hour session was red flagged when George Russell hit Williams Beach.
The Briton lost control of his mechanism in slippery conditions at Turn Two and broke off in the gravel.
Work was suspended for five minutes as Russell’s doomed car was removed from danger and Williams’ man played no further role.
A number of drivers were arrested due to inclement weather as Max Verstappen escaped no damage after turning 360 degrees.
Verstappen then completed his best lap in the last moments to take second, 0.164 behind Gasly, with Sergio Perez third in the other Red Bull.
Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc, who rotated in Turn 9, finished fourth and fifth respectively for Ferrari.
Qualifiers begin at 1 PM GMT. The weather is starting to get dry, so (unfortunately or fortunately) it could be slippery conditions by the time the weather starts. Though, maybe not. Fingers intertwined with a little rain.