Max Verstappen emerged fastest in Friday Practice for the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix as Formula One returned to Istanbul for the first time since 2011.
Drivers however had to contend with a low-grip surface throughout both Friday Practice sessions as Red Bull dominated proceedings ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, whilst the midfield teams tried to establish an early foothold over one another in a massive weekend for both driver and constructor championships.
Now here is a full roundup of both practice sessions as Verstappen looks the man to beat heading into Saturday.
McLaren’s Birthday boy, Lando Norris was amongst the first to hit the track as Verstappen complained about the surface, describing it as “… like driving on ice.” before Sebastian Vettel knocked over a pit entry bollard, forcing an early stoppage to allow it to be refitted to its bolts.
Track conditions however were still treacherous once the session resumed with Bottas seeing his first lap time deleted for running wide at Turn One, although the Finnish Silver Arrow proceeded to improve to 1m 43.009, as several drivers slowly began to emerge onto the track to explore conditions as tracks slowly began to tumble with Verstappen going top in the 44th minute on a 1m 42.753.
Pierre Gasly however suffered a spin on exit of Turn One after dipping a tyre on a wet patch before the Dutchman went fastest whilst Carlos Sainz was instructed to switch his McLaren to “Scenario One” due to an electrical issue which forced him to pit.
Bottas soon proceeded to set a series of fastest laps, which fell as low as 1m 39.204 just before the hour mark until Verstappen set a 1m 38.523 on hard tyres to go top, whilst Sainz pulled over at Turn Seven with a loss of power steering to cause a brief Virtual Safety Car.
Times thereafter began to rapidly get faster as several drivers opted to switch to medium tyres whereas others found time on the hard compound, as Verstappen eventually finished the session fastest with a 1m 35.077 which was 0.241 seconds quicker than Red Bull teammate – Alex Albon.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc finished third fastest ahead of Gasly and Vettel with the trio split by just 0.113s but ahead of Daniil Kvyat who survived a late spin to finish sixth ahead of Norris, Antonio Giovinazzi, Bottas and Esteban Ocon.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton endured a tricky session with just 12 laps and a set-up change as he found himself 15th fastest and 5.148s off Verstappen’s pace in what was a difficult session on a slippery track.
Alfa Romeo’s Giovinazzi was straight out onto the track when the pit exit light went green with Raikkonen and Bottas following suit, as Bottas soon set the pace which fell to a 1m 35.307 in the opening 12 minutes before Raikkonen went fastest with a 1m 34.940.
Bottas quickly bettered his compatriot’s time with a 1m 34.300 which was 0.344s quicker than Hamilton’s first effort of the session before Leclerc went quickest, only for Albon to better the Monegasque’s best time with a 1m 30.872 ahead of the soft-tyre qualifying simulations.
Leclerc set the initial pace until Albon posted a 1m 29.627 which triggered a series of fastest lap exchanges between the pair plus Verstappen, with the Dutchman eventually making it a Friday Practice double with a day topping time of 1m 28.330.
Ultimately, Leclerc finished 0.401s slower in second with his best lap coming towards the end of his high fuel qualifying simulation which covered nearly 20 laps, as his times fell throughout the run from 1m 32.705 at the start to an eventual best flier of 1m 28.731.
Bottas eventually finished third quickest ahead of Mercedes’ teammate, Lewis Hamilton and Albon as AlphaTauri’s Kvyat and Gasly finished ahead of Vettel in sixth and seventh, with Lance Stroll and Norris rounding out the top ten.
Romain Grosjean, George Russell and Raikkonen meanwhile were the only drivers to suffer spins during this session.
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1m 35.077|
|2||Alex Albon||Red Bull||+ 0.241|
|3||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||+ 0.430|
|4||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri||+ 0.466|
|5||Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari||+ 0.543|
|6||Daniil Kvyat||AlphaTauri||+ 1.661|
|7||Lando Norris||McLaren||+ 2.139|
|8||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||+ 2.426|
|9||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||+ 2.552|
|10||Esteban Ocon||Renault||+ 3.351|
|11||Nicholas Latifi||Williams||+ 3.431|
|12||Sergio Perez||Racing Point||+ 3.535|
|13||Lance Stroll||Racing Point||+ 4.407|
|14||Romain Grosjean||Haas||+ 4.948|
|15||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||+ 5.148|
|16||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||+ 5.958|
|17||Kevin Magnussen||Haas||+ 6.777|
|18||Daniel Ricciardo||Renault||+ 10.079|
|19||Carlos Sainz||McLaren||+ 11.385|
|20||George Russell||Williams||+ 14.179|
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1m 28.330|
|2||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||+ 0.401|
|3||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||+ 0.575|
|4||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||+ 0.850|
|5||Alex Albon||Red Bull||+ 1.033|
|6||Daniil Kvyat||AlphaTauri||+ 1.359|
|7||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri||+ 1.614|
|8||Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari||+ 1.692|
|9||Lance Stroll||Racing Point||+ 1.967|
|10||Lando Norris||McLaren||+ 2.577|
|11||Sergio Perez||Racing Point||+ 2.774|
|12||Esteban Ocon||Renault||+ 3.050|
|13||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||+ 3.163|
|14||Carlos Sainz||McLaren||+ 3.168|
|15||Daniel Ricciardo||Renault||+ 3.330|
|16||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||+ 3.602|
|17||George Russell||Williams||+ 3.972|
|18||Romain Grosjean||Haas||+ 4.240|
|19||Kevin Magnussen||Haas||+ 4.477|
|20||Nicholas Latifi||Williams||+ 5.158|