The Istanbul Park circuit has been pretty challenging because of its slippery surface. Just when the track was beginning to improve, the weather destroyed it all, with the heavy rain. Both Mercedes were lost in the competition, so who was going to take pole position? Max Verstappen is a wet master, but Lance Stroll already showed, in the past, how much he loves the rain.
And he did it: the Racing Point strategy was perfect, on the right time. The Pink Panthers, in Q3, first went out on track wearing full wet, but then, for their last chance, wore the intermediate and Stroll was three tenths faster than Verstappen. The canadian clinches his first pole position.
“Today was incredible and one of the best moments of my Formula 1 career" he admitted.
"When I was told over the radio that I had taken pole position, I was thinking: ‘pinch me, I’m dreaming!’. I’m still a little lost for words: I’ve dreamt of days like these and it’s a special moment".
"The conditions out there were incredibly slippery and it was very tricky to drive, but my confidence in the car was just building throughout qualifying and I was piecing it all together. Precision, concentration and finding the flow is absolutely key in the wet because it can always be unpredictable from corner to corner on the track - he explained - when the car is feeling this good and the tyres are switched on, it’s like a dance and I love driving in those situations. The session showed that it was so important to be on the right tyre at the right time and we definitely made the correct call by being on intermediate tyres at the end. It worked out perfectly. We knew it would come down to the final lap and we put it all together for pole. I’m going to let this sink in and enjoy it before thinking about tomorrow. We know it’s going to be tough with Max close by and the Mercedes will probably make progress, but we have both cars in great positions and we can aim to score important points for the team to make it a really special weekend. I’d never been to Istanbul before this weekend, but I definitely love it now!”