Lewis Hamilton tops qualifying but will start 11th, with Valtteri Bottas on pole to ensure best-case scenario result for Mercedes; Max Verstappen third in shootout but starts on front row, with Charles Leclerc third for Ferrari ahead of Pierre Gasly and Fernando Alonso
By Matt Morlidge
Last Updated: 09/10/21 2:41pm
Lewis Hamilton topped qualifying for the Turkish GP but it is team-mate Valtteri Bottas who will start on pole due to the championship leader’s grid penalty, with Max Verstappen moved up to the front row.
In a best-case scenario result for Mercedes after Hamilton’s 10-place grid drop for a new engine, the Englishman dominated the shootout and will start Sunday’s race 11th, while Bottas beat his title rival Verstappen.
Hamilton was fastest in a wet-dry Q1 and Q2 before setting a new Istanbul Park track record in Q3 – but Bottas finished just a tenth of a second off that 1:22.868 to assume pole position.
He will start on the front row ahead of Verstappen, who finished third and showed signs of improvement in a slower-than-expected Red Bull but was still 0.3s off Hamilton, the man he trails by two points in the championship.
Charles Leclerc secured a brilliant fourth in qualifying and third on the grid for Ferrari, pipping the similarly in-form Pierre Gasly and Fernando Alonso on his final lap.
Sergio Perez was only seventh in the other Red Bull, ahead of Lando Norris as McLaren struggled to replicate their form from Monza and Sochi.
Daniel Ricciardo suffered a shock exit in Q1.
Turkish GP Qualifying Result, top 10
1) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes*
2) Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes
3) Max Verstappen, Red Bull
4) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
5) Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri
6) Fernando Alonso, Alpine
7) Sergio Perez, Red Bull
8) Lando Norris, McLaren
9) Lance Stroll, Aston Martin
10) Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri
*has 10-place grid penalty for new ICE
More to follow…