latest updates from a damp Istanbul

Verstappen has Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas ahead of him on pole. Bottas clearly has a huge role to play for Mercedes in a) trying to win the race and b) not letting Verstappen ahead. It could post some interesting tactical questions throughout the race. 

Further down the field, Charles Leclerc found some speed in his Ferrari to put it fourth (he starts third) and Pierre Gasly did what Pierre Gasly tends to do these days and got the absolute maximum from his AlphaTauri. He starts an excellent fourth. He was not too far off (just 0.130sec) from Verstappen’s time. McLaren had a bit of a shocker, with Lando Norris only eight and Daniel Ricciardo getting knocked out in Q1 for the second time this season. 

As with the past few rounds, we’ve had a fair bit of rain in Istanbul this weekend. Final practice was the most affected, but the track was fairly dry by the end of qualifying. That did not make it easy however. The good news, rain fans, is that there has been rain this morning at the circuit, it looks pretty grey and it is doubtful whether the track will dry out in time for the race start at 1pm BST. Another wet/damp race? Yes please. 

As ever I’ll be here for all the build-up, live updates and reaction. 



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