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Turkish Grand Prix - Lewis Hamilton claims the FIA Formula One Drivers' Championship for the seventh time


 

Istanbul, 15 November, 2020


Weather: overcast, 12.7-13.0°C air, 15.8-14.0°C track

  • Lewis Hamilton claims the FIA Formula One Drivers' Championship for the seventh time – a record equalling total
  • Lewis claimed his 94th F1 career victory - his tenth of the 2020 season and his second at Istanbul
  • Valtteri finished in P14 after a challenging race
  • Lewis (307 points) leads the Drivers’ Championship by 110 points from Valtteri (197 points) - an unassailable lead in the Drivers’ Championship with 78 points still to be scored
  • The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team (504 points) leads Red Bull Racing (240 points) by 264 points in the Constructors’ Championship
  • Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, accepted the Constructors’ trophy on behalf of the team



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Lewis Hamilton #44
F1 W11 EQ Performance /01

I know often we, or I say, it’s beyond my wildest dreams, but I think my whole life I secretly have dreamt as high as this. But it always felt so farfetched. I remember Michael winning those championships, and all of us drivers here are doing the best job we can, and just to get one, two or three is so hard to get. So, to get seven, is just unimaginable. But when you work with such a great group of people, and you communicate, and trust one another and listen to one another, there is just no end to what we can do together, this team and I together. And I’m so proud of what we’ve done. And them trusting me out there today like they did, that comes with experience. This year has been so tough… I haven’t gone out, I haven’t gone for dinner, I’ve just stayed in my bubble. Getting room service every day, and not really anything exciting and that’s naturally because I‘ve got a championship to fight for. I think this year I’ve sacrificed more than ever before in my whole life. That’s made it quite difficult. Making memories like this, I want to wait until I can be around my family, be around all my friends, because I want to share it with them. I feel so proud of this race today. I was thinking about moments when it went wrong before, like China 2007 when I lost the championship on worn tyres in the pit lane. All these things I’ve learned along the way, I was able to apply today, and that’s why you saw the result and the gap you did today. At the same time, I feel like I’m only just getting started, it’s really weird. I feel physically in great shape, and mentally this year has been the hardest year for many people, for millions of people. I know things always look great on here, on the big stage, but it’s no different for us athletes. And it has been a challenge I didn’t know how to get through. But with the help of great people round me, with the help of my team, Team LH, I managed to keep my head above water and focused. I’m hopeful for a better year next year. And I’d love to stay, I feel like we’ve got a lot of work to do here. I am working to push to hold ourselves accountable as a sport, to realise we’ve got to face and not ignore the human rights issues that are around in the countries that we go to, and how can we engage with those countries, and how can we empower them to really change, not 10 or 20 years from now, but now. And I want to help Formula One, I want to help Mercedes in that journey to become more sustainable. I hope to be a part of that, at least the initial phase, for a little bit longer.

Valtteri Bottas #77
F1 W11 EQ Performance /06

That was a long race. Such a long day. From the first lap onwards, everything went wrong. I don’t know who it was, but someone was spinning in front of me in the first corner and I was avoiding, and then I spun as well. Then I had contact in Turn 9 and then the car wasn’t the same anymore. I struggled to stay on track. I couldn’t stay on track, the steering wheel was like this, and there was a piece missing from the front wing. It was just about surviving from then on, not good. Congratulations to Lewis as well. He deserves this title completely: he was the better one of us this year overall and seven titles is a very impressive achievement in our sport.

Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG
Huge congratulations to Lewis on this seventh World Championship – what an incredible achievement! Lewis has been a part of our Mercedes family for over 20 years now. He joined us as an incredible karting talent; today, he’s one of the best drivers of all times. Lewis keeps improving even when it might seem like there’s little left to perfect, and I’m excited to see where else his journey will take him. It’s not just Lewis’ development on track that is impressive, but also his inspiring journey off track. Lewis has become a passionate advocate for more diversity and inclusion. He has also taken tangible steps to support this important cause. As a team and as a company we stand with him. We’re proud you’re part of our family, Lewis. Thank you for seven world championships powered by Mercedes!

Toto Wolff
Today once again showed how Lewis is capable to cope with a situation that went against him in the beginning, he was the one who kept it on the road, looked after the tyres and let the race come to him. And that made the difference today, he was hungry as a lion. Driving a car on slicks at the end, with the risk of rain, he just brought it home for a 94th win in Formula One and to take the seventh title – it’s such an impressive achievement. This year has been very special because it was so difficult for everybody in the world. I hope we have been able to bring people some joy, some entertainment, and coming out on top after a race like this feels incredible. Looking at Lewis, we have such a strong relationship that has built up over our years together; the team is 100 per cent behind him, he is 100 per cent behind the team, and this was one of those days where that trust really shined, taking the win against all odds. We simply need to say congratulations to Lewis and to recognise the amazing job he is doing, setting new benchmarks in this sport. We will be flying home together, so we will have to see how we celebrate – I’m sure we will find a way!

Andrew Shovlin
We didn’t need a reminder as to why Lewis deserves to be a seven-time champion today, but he gave us one anyway. He deserves every bit of success that he has had, and it was a privilege to see him celebrate that championship on the top step of the podium. The race itself was pretty unpredictable.  We were able to make some changes to the car with the rules around ‘change of climatic conditions’ and for the first time this weekend managed to get the tyres working. The opening laps were clearly quite tricky, and it was surprisingly hard to get close to anyone to pass, especially when we didn’t have DRS. Valtteri had a good start but spun trying to avoid a Renault at turn one and then had contact later at turn 9 causing some damage that compromised his car for the race. Lewis also had a good start but ran a bit long into turn 9 and lost a couple places which made his day more difficult as he spent a long time stuck behind Seb. The strategy ended up being more straight forward than we’d expected, the biggest point of discussion on the pit wall was how far we could go on a set of inters and we didn’t really know the answer to that as we’ve gone that far before. Lewis did a great job of looking after the tyres and managed that stint well avoiding the need for an extra stop. We’ve still got three races to go and are looking forward to some warm weather in the Middle East and hopefully finishing this season with some strong results.

Scuderia Ferrari

16 places gained overall and a third podium finish of the season, as well as the best team result of the year. Today, Scuderia Ferrari delivered the perfect antidote to yesterday’s very disappointing qualifying in the Turkish Grand Prix.

The result was down to a great job from everyone at the Istanbul Park track as well as from those back in Maranello, including Team Principal Mattia Binotto and especially from Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc who had started from 11th and 12th respectively. They went on to finish third and fourth and brought home 27 points. It means that while the team is still sixth in the Constructors’ classification it is now just 24 points off third place. This was Seb’s first podium of 2020 and follows on from Charles’ in Austria and Great Britain.

Constrasting starts
Vettel’s result owed much to his first lap when he jumped all the way up to fourth, then third next time round after Lewis Hamilton made a mistake at turn 11. Drivers starting on the right hand side of the grid had a clear advantage in terms of grip and Seb made the most of it. Charles, like the others starting on the left, got away badly, losing two places.

First part
The early stages saw Sebastian fending off the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alex Albon, while out in front were the Racing Point duo of Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez. Charles however was losing time in the pack and so the team decided to bring him in early, changing from the wets to the intermediate tyres. He immediately had a great pace, moving into the top ten in the space of just five laps.

Middle part
On lap 32, Stroll and Perez still led, while Albon had got past Seb. Charles had just pitted for his second set of intermediates and was ninth ahead of Lando Norris in the McLaren. On lap 34, Vettel pitted for new intermediates, rejoining ahead of Albon but losing places to Hamilton and Verstappen. On lap 40, Seb passed Stroll for fourth place but shortly after, he had to give best to Charles who was coming back at a stronger pace on newer rubber.

Closing stages
Charles caught and passed Verstappen, who then pitted, which handed fourth place back to Seb. In the closing laps, the Scuderia pair rapidly closed on Perez in the Racing Point. They pounced on him on the very last lap. Perez made a mistake at turn 11 and Charles got past but Checo stuck with him and tried to get the place back. As Leclerc tried to defend by braking late, he went wide at turn 12. Sebastian made the most of the scrap to get ahead of his team-mate, crossing the line just three tenths behind Perez, with Charles fourth. The race was won by Hamilton who took his seventh world title, thus equalling Michael Schumacher’s record. Congratulations to Lewis for a very well deserved championship win!

Statistics
This was Sebastian’s 121st podium, his 55th with Ferrari and the Scuderia’s 773rd. Formula 1 now has its final short break of the year before the Bahrain Grand Prix kicks off the final season-ending triple-header of 2020.

Sebastian Vettel #5
“There are some races that are special, where anything can happen. I think today’s race confirmed that I have a special relationship with Istanbul Park. One could say my Formula 1 career began here and here again, in what has so far definitely been a difficult season, I have managed to finish on the podium for the first time.
The first lap was incredible. I got away well and with the heavy wet tyres, I had great grip. Then, when we switched to the intermediates, I struggled a bit more. I think the fact there was less water on the track helped and so, in the closing stages I was really quick. In the last few laps I caught Charles and Perez who were fighting.
Charles overtook the Racing Point, but locked up at turn 12, so I went inside and I only just missed out on getting second place too. I am sorry for him and I can understand he is very angry about what happened, because in many ways, I see myself in him. But he is so strong that very soon, this day will be completely unimportant in his mind. He drove a great race.”

Charles Leclerc #16
“I am extremely disappointed with myself. I messed it up in the last corner and there’s not much else to say really, because in the end it’s the result that counts.
My start was bad, from the dirty side of the track, but then things went better and in the middle part of the race we were extremely quick and I did a good job of catching up with the leading group that had been several seconds in front, but then I threw everything in the bin at the end.
I am sorry for the team, as we could have finished second today. On the other hand, I am pleased for Seb as he has had a difficult season so far and completely deserves this first podium.”

Mattia Binotto Team Principal
After a very difficult Saturday, it’s great to end up as the team that scored the most points on Sunday. We knew that, in these conditions the race would come to those who made the fewest mistakes. Overall, as a team, we did a good job, particularly in terms of strategy. We made brave choices at the right time. It’s also worth noting that we might have done even better, getting both drivers on the podium. Overnight, we worked very hard at the track and back in Maranello to work out why we hadn’t got the tyres to work yesterday and today, that collective effort paid off, as could be seen with both the wets and the intermediates.
It’s particularly pleasing that Sebastian finally got into the top three. He drove a very strong race, especially that fantastic start. Charles was very quick for long parts of the race. If it had not been for the start and that final slip on the last lap, he would have finished second, but he still had a great race. We’ve made up a bit of ground in the Constructors’ classification, but the gap to those ahead of us is still significant. Here in Istanbul, we confirmed that we have been making progress since Monza and we want to continue doing that in the final three races of the year in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi.
Finally, I wish to congratulate Lewis for this very well deserved Drivers’ title, which means he equals the number held by Michael Schumacher.


Team Renault

Things had looked good off the start with both drivers – on the preferred, right side of the grid – rocketing off the line to contest the top four positions at Turn 1. However, that would prove to be the downfall when Daniel was unfortunate to clip Esteban, which forced the Frenchman to spin. Daniel had been nudged by Lewis Hamilton on the inside of Turn 1, which led to his minor contact with Esteban who recovered to fourteenth. Esteban was hit again by Valtteri Bottas at Turn 9, which caused a left-rear puncture and he had to pit for new Wets on lap one.

Daniel held onto seventh until the first pit-stop, with both drivers pitting for new Intermediates on lap 10. Esteban began his recovery from there to edge his way back into points contention. Daniel stopped again for Intermediates on lap 32, but he couldn’t get them into the optimum operating window and slipped back to ninth, before conceding that position late on. Despite an impressive 48-lap effort on Intermediates, Esteban followed Daniel home in eleventh.

The team is fifth in the Constructors’ Championship on 136 points.

Daniel Ricciardo
We made a great start today, but I was squashed in between Lewis [Hamilton] and Esteban into Turn 1, so I had nowhere to go and I clipped my team-mate which is the last thing you want to do. We lost a couple of positions from the incident and then when we switched to the Intermediate tyres and we just couldn’t make them last. There were moments during the race when I was told I was one of the fastest out there, then just a few laps later my tyres were completely gone so it was all a bit of a lottery. Obviously, a big congratulations to Lewis for wrapping up his seventh drivers’ championship and to do it in such a dominant fashion today is very impressive.

Esteban Ocon
It was a difficult race for us today. I got hit twice at the start and that ended our chances of scoring good points. I was happy with my start and it was probably my best one of the year. I was third or fourth at Turn 1 and then I was unlucky to spin after Lewis [Hamilton] got close to Daniel, who clipped my rear. I then got hit at Turn 9, which punctured my rear tyre and from there it was always going to be hard to recover. We did our best and we move onto the next one. Congratulations to Lewis on the seventh world title.

Marcin Budkowski, Executive Director
Today’s race result is very disappointing. It was unfortunate that Daniel and Esteban touched at the start. Daniel looked competitive in the first part of the race, but his pace significantly deteriorated after his second stop as he struggled with his tyres. Esteban drove a solid race to finish eleventh and that was the best we could have hoped for after the first lap incidents and the lack of pace with the Intermediate tyres. Big congratulations to Lewis for his seventh title. We now turn our focus to the final three races in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi where we expect to be competitive on more conventional and grippy surfaces and aim to fight back for third position in the Championship.

Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN and CEO Sauber Motorsport AG
“We weren’t able to capitalise on the very strong performance we delivered in qualifying yesterday, when we were among the fastest on track. Our race was challenging, with tyres being very hard to manage: we would have probably been able to hold our own on a wet track, but in progressively drying conditions we did struggle. In the end, we lost Antonio due to a technical issue early in the race and Kimi finished 15th, which is not what we had hoped. As a positive, at least, we didn’t lose any ground on our championship rivals and we are one step closer to confirming our eighth place in the standings, with three races left.”
 
Kimi Räikkönen #7
Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN C39 (Chassis 05/Ferrari)

“The race was far from fun, but it’s a bit what we expected once we saw the weather. We would have probably had a much better speed in a full wet race, but the mixed conditions definitely didn’t work in our favour. We struggled to make the tyres work, when they did they’d be good for ten laps and then fall off, so it was hard to get into a good rhythm. At least, we didn’t lose any points in the championship to our rivals.”
 
Antonio Giovinazzi #99
Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN C39 (Chassis 04/Ferrari)

“It’s been a challenging Sunday after yesterday’s strong qualifying results. I lost the car on the way to the grid, but luckily I only damaged the front wing: the crew did a great job changing it and getting the car ready for the start of the race. Unfortunately our race didn’t last long: we had a gearbox issue and had to retire the car. It was a day like this, the conditions were even trickier than yesterday and in the end luck was not on our side. I’m just looking forward to the next race.”

The final three races of the year take place in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi.

 

1

44

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes-AMG

1:42:19.313

58

2

11

Sergio Pérez

Racing Point

+ 31.633

58

3

5

Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari

+ 31.960

58

4

16

Charles Leclerc

Ferrari

+ 33.858

58

5

55

Carlos Sainz jr.

McLaren

+ 34.363

58

6

33

Max Verstappen

Red Bull

+ 44.873

58

7

23

Alexander Albon

Red Bull

+ 46.484

58

8

4

Lando Norris

McLaren

+ 1:01.259

58

9

18

Lance Stroll

Racing Point

+ 1:12.353

58

10

3

Daniel Ricciardo

Renault

+ 1:35.460

58

11

31

Esteban Ocon

Renault

+ 1 lap

57

12

26

Daniil Kvyat

AlphaTauri

+ 1 lap

57

13

10

Pierre Gasly

AlphaTauri

+ 1 lap

57

14

77

Valtteri Bottas

Mercedes-AMG

+ 1 lap

57

15

7

Kimi Räikkönen

Alfa Romeo

+ 1 lap

57

16

63

George Russell

Williams

+ 1 lap

57

17

20

Kevin Magnussen *

Haas F1 Team

Did not finish

55

NC
16

99

Antonio Giovinazzi

Alfa Romeo

failure

11

NC
17

8

Romain Grosjean

Haas F1 Team

failure

49

NC
19

6

Nicholas Latifi

Williams

retired

39