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Stroll stuns Formula 1 with first pole by a Canadian for 23 years since Jacques Villeneuve

Stroll stuns Formula 1 with first pole by a Canadian for 23 years since Jacques Villeneuve

F1 News

Stroll stuns Formula 1 with first pole by a Canadian for 23 years since Jacques Villeneuve

Stroll stuns Formula 1 with first pole by a Canadian for 23 years since Jacques Villeneuve

Lance Stroll and Racing Point stunned Formula 1 by claiming pole position from a treacherous qualifying session for the Turkish Grand Prix.

Stroll is the first Canadian to clinch top spot on the grid since Jacques Villeneuve in the 1997 European Grand Prix, and the first for the team since Giancarlo Fisichella in the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix when it was known as Force India.

Around an 'ice rink' of an Istanbul Park track made worse by heavy rain on occasions, Stroll made it count right at the death to edge Red Bull's Max Verstappen by a quarter of a second, with Sergio Perez making it a one-three for Racing Point.

As for Lewis Hamilton, who can clinch his record-equalling seventh championship on Sunday, the Mercedes driver will start sixth, three places ahead of his only challenger in team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

The rain that caused chaos during final practice and turned the circuit into even more of a skating rink than was the case in the dry on Friday had at least abated come the start of qualifying.

With the circuit still very wet, however, it resulted in the majority of the drivers starting Q1 on the full-wet tyre.

There were exceptions, such as Verstappen, Alex Albon, McLaren duo Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz, along with Ferrari pair Charles Leclerc, Sebastian Vettel and Perez and Stroll, who all opted for the intermediates.

Verstappen, however, immediately ran into trouble, sliding at one point across the track, and despite complaining of "no grip", opted to continue on.

Such a plan, though, did not last long as the rain returned to create dire conditions, and as the numbers of spinners increased it ultimately led to the session being red-flagged with just under seven minutes remaining.

After the rain finally relented, and track sweeping took place in turns seven and 12, in particular, to clear standing water, qualifying resumed again after a 44-minute delay.

But with three minutes and 30 seconds remaining, the red flags returned after Romain Grosjean beached his Haas after sliding off at turn one into the gravel.

Following a further five-minute break, the session resumed. At the time, Verstappen was just seven-thousandths of a second above the drop zone, only to conjure a stunning lap to top Q1, at the time beating the previous best from Ocon by nine seconds.

Several drivers improved, notably the likes of Albon, Kimi Raikkonen, Vettel and Leclerc, although the FIA is to investigate all lap times set under yellow flags, notably when Williams' Nicholas Latifi spun off and sparked double-waved yellows.

The bottom five contained most of the usual suspects, with Haas' Kevin Magnussen to start 16th ahead of Kvyat, Grosjean and Latifi, with George Russell at the back of the grid.

Although he qualified 18th, the Briton has been hit with power unit penalties, with his FW43 requiring a fourth internal combustion engine, turbocharger and MGU-H.

The second session at least avoided any stoppages, with Verstappen underlining his mastery of the conditions by finishing two seconds clear of the rest of the field spearheaded by team-mate Albon.

While Alfa Romeo stunning the field by getting both drivers into Q3, it resulted in Norris, Vettel, Sainz, Leclerc and AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly being knocked out, with the quintet starting 11th to 15th respectively.

For Norris and Sainz, in particular, a McLaren gamble badly backfired as they were the only drivers who attempted to reach Q3 on intermediates, with the rest on full wets.

For Q3, it was a question of whether to start on the full wets or intermediates, with Verstappen initially claiming top spot on the former before being deposed by Perez soon after on the latter.

It resulted in Verstappen switching to inters midway through the session just as he was on another flying lap that would have seen him claim provisional pole.

Come the conclusion, though, it was Stroll who stole their thunder, with Verstappen's best lap as last man over the line not enough, albeit the Dutch driver managed to split the two Racing Points.

Albon will line up fourth in his Red Bull, followed by Renault's Daniel Ricciardo, Hamilton, Esteban Ocon in his Renault, with Alfa Romeo duo Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi sandwiching Bottas.

Before you go...

Red Bull to keep Perez and Albon waiting until after season's end

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