Istanbul, FP1: Hamilton quickest in FP1 for Turkish Grand Prix

But will take engine-related grid penalty


By Olivier Ferret

8 October 2021 - 11:33
Istanbul, FP1: Hamilton quickest in (...)

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton beat title rival Max Verstappen to the top of the timesheet in the opening practice session for this weekend’s Turkish Grand Prix, outpacing the Red Bull driver by over four tenths of a second. Charles Leclerc was third for Ferrari.

Following an extreme lack of grip last year on a brand new surface, this year’s first session took place on a track that has been water blasted to reveal more of the underlying material and drivers reported significant improvement in the levels of adhesion available around the 5.3km circuit.

So much so that Hamilton was able to set a new track record with a lap of 1:24.178, just under six tenths faster than Juan Pablo Montoya’s previous benchmark dating from all the way back in 2005.

The positives of Hamilton’s were softened, however, by the revelation at the start of the session that Mercedes have made an engine change to his car and he will take a 10-place grid penalty for Sunday’s race.

Hamilton led the early running in FP1 with a lap of 1:24.511 but when he moved to soft tyres soon after the midpoint of the session he quickly found his way to the new record time to eclipse Verstappen by 0.425 seconds.

Verstappen’s deficit to the champion was largely due to handling difficulties with his RB16B, with the Dutch driver saying that he was struggling with front-end grip throughout.

Leclerc ended the session just five-hundredths of a second behind the Red Bull, while Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas took fourth place, six-tenths of a second off teammate Hamilton, while Carlos Sainz took the second Ferrari to fifth place. Sainz will also take an engine-related penalty on Sunday when he takes the upgraded PU introduced on Leclerc’s car in Russia.

Sixth place in the session went to Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, with McLaren’s Lando Norris seventh ahead of AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly. Fernando Alonso finished ninth in the second Alpine and the final top 10 place was taken by Red Bull’s Sergio Pérez.

01 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W12 1:24.178 26
02 Max Verstappen Red Bull Honda RB16B 1:24.603 24
03 Charles Leclerc Ferrari SF21 1:24.654 27
04 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes W12 1:24.842 28
05 Carlos Sainz Ferrari SF21 1:24.860 25
06 Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault A521 1:24.909 30
07 Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes MCL35M 1:25.347 26
08 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri Honda AT02 1:25.382 30
09 Fernando Alonso Alpine Renault A521 1:25.383 26
10 Sergio Pérez Red Bull Honda RB16B 1:25.459 24
11 George Russell Williams Mercedes FW43B 1:25.685 25
12 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren Mercedes MCL35M 1:25.750 26
13 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin Mercedes AMR21 1:25.810 26
14 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Ferrari C41 1:25.813 24
15 Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes FW43B 1:25.863 28
16 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo Ferrari C41 1:25.933 23
17 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Mercedes AMR21 1:26.361 29
18 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri Honda AT02 1:26.424 28
19 Mick Schumacher Haas Ferrari VF-21 1:26.636 25
20 Nikita Mazepin Haas Ferrari VF-21 1:27.019 28


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