Formula 1

Lance Stroll claims shock Istanbul GP pole position as Hamilton and Verstappen falter dramatically in soaking qualifying

LANCE STROLL produced a stunning lap to grab a maiden Formula One pole in Turkish Grand Prix qualifying.

Max Verstappen appeared a shoe-in for much of Saturday’s soaking wet session, which had to be stopped twice.

Lance Stroll clocked in at 1:47.765 to claim pole position in Istanbul

But Racing Point pulled a rabbit out of the hat in Q3 to put Stroll on pole and Sergio Perez third.

The team’s decision to go early on the Intermediates allowed both drivers to warm their tyres up quicker than their rivals.

World Championship leader Hamilton was another left in Stroll’s wake, qualifying sixth with Valtteri Bottas ninth.

That would be enough for the Brit to win his seventh title tomorrow, which he can claim by beating his Mercedes team-mate.

A rainy evening in Istanbul played havoc with each team’s preparation for qualifying.

Two red flags interrupted Q1 amid constant complaints of drivers being unable to see through thick spray.

Romain Grosjean’s miserable season continued with a spin into the gravel

Race stewards sent out trucks to clear away the water amid the Q1 downpour

The weather combined with a newly-relaid surface to make for hugely tricky, and unpredictable, conditions.

Romain Grosjean and Nicholas Latifi both spun out in Q1, the latter drawing yellow flags late in the session that hangs a big question mark over the grid.

A number of drivers improved their times despite the flags, all of which face an investigation by stewards.

The decision to delay any punishment was highly criticised by the likes of Kevin Magnussen, who exited qualifying having said he did slow down.

There was also concern that Q2 was allowed to begin while the safety truck remained on the gravel, rescuing Latifi.

That session saw both Ferrari and McLaren cars fall out of qualifying, and they will start in the middle of the pack for tomorrow’s race at 10.10am UK time.

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