Lance Stroll, Racing Point, Istanbul Park, 2020

Stroll’s pole ‘wasn’t luck, it was well-judged’ – Szafnauer

2020 Turkish Grand Prix

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Lance Stroll’s first Formula 1 pole position came about because of his “well-judged” call to switch to intermediate tyres, his team principal Otmar Szafnauer has said.

The Racing Point driver has endured a tough series of races. He hasn’t scored in the last five rounds, one of which he missed after testing positive for Covid-19.

Following that tough spell his first F1 pole position was “well deserved”, said Szafnauer.

“You can say that he’s been unlucky in the middle part of this year but I don’t think this was luck, I think this was well-judged.

“He came in and said straight away, towards the end of Q3, ‘it’s going to be intermediates’. He said it right at the beginning of Q3, said ‘it’s not quite there yet but it will be at the end’. But he came in, put the intermediates on, he was absolutely right. And he got the tyre to work and he deserved pole position.”

Sergio Perez held provisional pole position but fell to third after being held up by Antonio Giovinazzi on his final flying lap.

“We expected to be good but I [don’t] think we expected pole and third,” said Szafnauer.

“They were all very composed. Lance especially, very calm, communicated well with the pit wall, told us what the conditions they were like. Very good.

“I think Sergio didn’t get the last lap, Lance did. [He was] a bit disappointed, Max [Verstappen] and Lance got one more lap in if I remember correctly.”

“Both of them did a fantastic job,” he added. “The conditions were the trickiest I’ve seen. A new, freshly re-Tarmaced track that’s pretty slick without even water on it, then you add water and low temperatures as well. It was like driving on ice and they both did a great job.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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12 comments on “Stroll’s pole ‘wasn’t luck, it was well-judged’ – Szafnauer”

  1. I wish people would NEVER use the cliche that ‘rain is the great equalizer’ anymore after today. In the rain you probably rely on your machinery even more than in the dry. I don’t want to take anything away from Stroll and Verstappen, what they showed was really impressive, but it was clear that Verstappen had the best car and Stroll had the best tyre (temperature) for today’s circumstances.

    1. @matthijs Except when it’s the right driver doing well. Then it’s all just skills on display of course..

      1. Exactly, if it was Verstappen they would hail the new rainmeister.

    2. Stroll has consistently excelled in the wet. I give him as hard a time as anyone on this site, but he deserves credit for putting in a good lap. His quali lap in Monza a few years ago was also extraordinary.

      Oh yeah, and you say it’s just down to tyre temperature, well it is the driver who has to put that temperature into the tyre. Si Stroll did the best job today all round.

  2. Pity his “good judgement” is so rarely seen in any races this year (or most races in previous years) LOL.

    The team let the cars out very late in that final session and they had clear air for the most part, and didn’t get caught in yellow flag incidents. This was the key reason to getting good laps. Most others, didn’t enjoy that good fortune.

    1. “Most others, didn’t enjoy that good fortune.”

      They did, but okay. Let you blind hate cloud your judgement

      1. No hate; just reality. Based on his F1 record to date, he only has a 29% chance of a points finish tomorrow, and a 20% chance he won’t finish at all. The stats don’t lie. LOL (only winding you up, as it appears so easy)

    2. He almost always has great judgement in the first lap to be able to gain the number of positions on the first lap he often does. Look back to russia where yes, he may have lost a couple of places off the line, but then he launched past around 8 drivers in the first few corners and seemed to have more grip than everyone around him. It isn’t the first time he’s had starts like that either. And a lot of the time he’s been outqualified Perez this year, he has outlaunched him and kept his driving clean until the end of the race.

      He’s had a couple of poor races recently, but would say he’s had plenty of good judgement in races this year.

  3. Otmar still showing how out of touch with reality he is in 2020 …

  4. Agreed….

  5. Stroll mouthpiece praises Stroll.

    1. @skipgamer What does he say that’s wrong though? It was a great lap and he put in the best lap.

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