Ride against Verstappen for the win, Perez against Albon for a Red Bull seat? RaceFans

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Rain is often said to be the “great leveler” of motor racing.But rain, a freshly paved circuit, and low temperatures created a bizarre mix of conditions in Istanbul Park. Add to that the ever-present challenge of keeping Pirelli tires in the correct operating window, and that combination of circumstances was the big randomizer. Consider the changes in shape between Q2 and Q3: Max Verstappen has gone from the best part of two. seconds faster than the peloton to lose pole position by less than three tenths of a second. Racing Point found five seconds between the two sessions, while world champion Lewis Hamilton struggled to beat his time in Q2.

It’s framed a fascinating grid for the race: Lance Stroll in pole position, Verstappen alongside and their respective teammates directly behind them.

So what does this mean for the race? Obviously, the first question is whether the weather will give the teams a break from these difficult conditions.

Albon equalized his best starting position

Given the common practice that we have seen so far, it can be expected that Racing Point will struggle to maintain the advantage it has gained under any circumstances. The pink car was the one to have in the particular condition of the track at the end of Q3, switching from fully wet tires to intermediate tires. At other times this weekend it was a Red Bull.

That’s why Verstappen was so sorry to be beaten on pole position. After all, he led the three practice sessions and the first two stages of qualifying.

But he may not be able to assert himself easily when the race begins. Sharing the race points may turn out to have done more harm than good to his chances as it means Verstappen will have to start from the race line. There, grip levels can turn out to be nonexistent rather than just atrocious. Racing Point’s one-three on the grid could be a one-two at turn two – that’s certainly Perez’s expectation.

However, under stable conditions, Red Bull should prove to be significantly faster. Verstappen certainly looked fast enough to pull off the pink cars, but what about his teammate?

That’s a particularly intriguing question when you consider that Alexander Albon is starting alongside the very driver who has been tipped to take his Red Bull seat next year. This is Sergio Perez, who is also 18 points ahead of Albon in the Drivers’ Championship.

The stakes are high for Albon. Red Bull gives him every chance of winning a result that would allow him to stay in the team next year a no-brainer. They will look at this grid expecting to pass Racing Point and keep Mercedes behind and claim their first double of the season. Albon must play his part in it.

There is also the small question of the drivers’ championship. The idea of ​​Hamilton claiming his seventh championship with nothing less than a win, let alone a podium, seemed far away before the start of the weekend.

Yet he is there, sixth on the grid. In the race that could see him equal Michael Schumacher’s world championship record, he will have to pull off something really special if he is to celebrate it with a victory.

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Yours

Can Lance Stroll achieve another surprise and win the Turkish Grand Prix? Can Valtteri Bottas achieve an even bigger surprise and keep the championship fight alive?

Share your take on the Turkish Grand Prix in the comments.

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Turkish Grand Prix 2020

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