Racing Point: Stroll's F1 Turkish GP pole not down to luck

Racing Point Formula 1 team boss Otmar Szafnauer says Lance Stroll's surprise pole position at the Turkish Grand Prix was not just down to luck

Racing Point: Stroll's F1 Turkish GP pole not down to luck

The Canadian bounced back from a recent run of misfortune to take the top spot in the dying moments of a dramatic wet qualifying, beating Red Bull's Max Verstappen and his own team-mate Sergio Perez.

Szafnauer explained that Stroll had led the way in choosing intermediate tyres for the closing minutes of Q3, a decision that paid off handsomely.

Perez briefly held pole but spun on his final lap when running ahead of Stoll, triggering a yellow flag infringement investigation which led to no further action against the Canadian driver meaning he kept hold of his maiden F1 pole.

"It's great, well-deserved," said Szafnauer of Stroll's achievement. "You can say that he's been unlucky in the middle part of this year.

"But I don't think this was luck. I think this was well-judged really. He came in and said, straight away that towards the end of Q3, it's going to be intermediates.

"He said it right at the beginning of Q3, 'It's not quite there yet, but it will be at the end.' He came in and put the intermediates on, and he was absolutely right. And he got the tyre to work, and deserved pole position.

"Both of them did a fantastic job. The conditions were the trickiest I've seen. A freshly resurfaced track that's pretty slick without even water on it. And then add water and low temperatures as well, and it was like driving on ice, and they both did a great job.

"I mean, they're very composed, Lance especially very calm, he communicated very well with the pitwall, told us what the conditions were like. Really good."

Szafnauer also felt his team had made all the right calls.

"What you had to try to do is estimate and guess as to when the track was going to be the quickest," he said. "And make sure you're out there at that time on the right tyre. And I think we did well today. We hypothesised as to when the drivers should be out, when they shouldn't be out, and we got that right.

"Always nervous moments when it is as slippery as it was out there, as slick as it was you never know when a driver could go off, damage a wing, get stuck in the gravel, all sorts of stuff can happen.

"And that does make for a stressful situation when you know you're doing your best to qualify as high up as you can, but you have no control of what's happening in the car. The drivers do."

Szafnauer is upbeat about prospects for Sunday's race, whatever the conditions: "I think either way, we'll be in good shape.

"Obviously we've got a quick car in the rain and we've set the car up properly, so if it is a wet start and it stays wet, I think that'll bode well for us but if it's not, I think we'll have a good car that drives well."

shares
comments
F1 start time: What time does the Turkish Grand Prix start?

Previous article

F1 start time: What time does the Turkish Grand Prix start?

Next article

FIA to review procedures after Turkey qualifying crane incident - Masi

FIA to review procedures after Turkey qualifying crane incident - Masi
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Lance Stroll
Teams Racing Point
Author Adam Cooper
How Ferrari plans to recover from its 2020 F1 nightmare Plus

How Ferrari plans to recover from its 2020 F1 nightmare

The 2020 Formula 1 season was Ferrari's worst for 40 years as it slumped to sixth in the standings. A repeat performance will not be acceptable for the proud Italian team, which has adopted a notably pragmatic approach to forging its path back to the top

Why Aston Martin’s arrival is more than just new green livery Plus

Why Aston Martin’s arrival is more than just new green livery

In the most eagerly anticipated Formula 1 team launch of the season, the rebranded Aston Martin squad’s changes go much further than the striking paint job. But rather than a restart, the team hopes to build on top of solid foundations.

Formula 1
Mar 3, 2021
The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with Plus

The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with

The team formerly known as Racing Point gambled successfully on a Mercedes look-alike in 2020 as it mounted a strong challenge for third in the constructors' race and won the Sakhir GP. Now clothed in British racing green, Aston Martin's first Formula 1 challenger since 1960 provides the clearest indicator yet of what to expect from the new-for-2021 regulations

Formula 1
Mar 3, 2021
The driver problems facing Mercedes in 2021 Plus

The driver problems facing Mercedes in 2021

Ahead of the new Formula 1 season, reigning world champions Mercedes will take on challenges both old and new. This also can be said for its driver conundrum which could become key to sustaining its ongoing success

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
How Alpine's cure to 2021 F1 rules starts at the front Plus

How Alpine's cure to 2021 F1 rules starts at the front

A new name, new faces and new colours pulls the rebranded Alpine Formula 1 team into a new era while carrying over core elements of its 2020 car. But under the surface there's more than meets the eye with the A521 which hints at how the team will tackle 2021

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
Can Mercedes' W12 retain the team's crown? Plus

Can Mercedes' W12 retain the team's crown?

Replacing Formula 1's fastest car was never going to be an easy feat for Mercedes. Amid the technical rule tweaks to peg back the W12 and its 2021 rivals, the new Mercedes challenger will remain the target to beat

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
The big F1 questions of 2021 Plus

The big F1 questions of 2021

After an unprecedented season last year, there are plenty of questions and storylines for the upcoming Formula 1 campaign. Sky Sports F1 pundit Karun Chandhok gives his verdict

Formula 1
Mar 1, 2021
The pointed note that starts Ferrari's Leclerc vs Sainz era Plus

The pointed note that starts Ferrari's Leclerc vs Sainz era

Ferrari is starting its post-Sebastian Vettel age by welcoming Carlos Sainz Jr in alongside Charles Leclerc. But while Sainz has a tough challenge to match his new team-mate, Ferrari is also sending a message that previous intra-team spats must end

Formula 1
Mar 1, 2021