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Race recap: Lance scores points in damp Turkish GP

Lance Stroll scored points for Aston Martin Formula One™ Team in the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, as team-mate Sebastian Vettel's top 10 run was impacted by a strategic gamble.

Lance Stroll, 2021 Turkish Grand Prix

The race at Istanbul Park began in damp conditions, and the circuit never dried enough for slick tyres, despite the entire field continually evaluating strategy in preparation for a drier second stint.

Lance's ninth-place finish secured two points for the team in the Constructors' Championship.

Lance

Lance began the race from eighth on a set of Intermediate tyres and was alert to avoid a coming together further ahead at Turn One.

Pierre Gasly and Fernando Alonso's battle on the outside of the corner led to contact, and Lance pounced to move into seventh.

The Canadian was able to extend a small gap over Yuki Tsunoda behind as the AlphaTauri driver attempted to keep the out-of-position Lewis Hamilton at bay.

While Lance and Tsunoda both lost out to the Mercedes driver, Lance drove a solid first stint on a challenging circuit.

Turkish Grand Prix

Race report

Uncover the story of the Turkish Grand Prix with our in-depth race report. Discover the data underpinning our race and hear from Lance, Sebastian and CEO & Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer as they review the Sochi race.

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Lance Stroll, 2021 Turkish Grand Prix
Lance Stroll, 2021 Turkish Grand Prix

"It was tricky out there because the track was so slippery," said Lance.

"There was also the challenge of the circuit drying in some places, which was causing graining of the tyres, and the question mark about a switch to slicks was always there."

Once it was clear that slick tyres were unlikely to feature, Lance pitted from ninth on lap 39 of 58 to switch to a new set of Intermediate tyres.

The slow pitstop cost him precious time, and Lance returned to Istanbul Park in 15th, but quickly worked his way up the order as the field’s strategy cycled through.

I am happy with today's result and I think we got everything out of the car, so it is a job well done by the team.
Lance Stroll
Lance Stroll, 2021 Turkish Grand Prix

While the stop had cost him a place to Alpine Esteban Ocon, Lance was able to recover the position with a decisive move up the inside at Turn One with five laps remaining.

He then continued to the finish and took ninth.

"I am happy with today's result and I think we got everything out of the car, so it is a job well done by the team," added Lance.

"We lost a little bit of time during the pitstop, but I don't think it made much of a difference to our final result.

"I am excited to head over to the United States next because it is a chance to spend a bit of time at home in Canada before we focus on fighting for points in Austin."

Sebastian

Like the rest of the Formula One field, Sebastian started the race on the Intermediate tyre, lining up in 10th.

The collision between Alonso and Gasly helped the German retain his place inside the top 10 on the opening lap, and he was firmly in contention for the points places.

He would lose a position to the recovering Hamilton early on, but he was able to keep Ocon behind to hold 10th.

As the strategy began to unfold, Sebastian went for a gamble on lap 36 by taking on a set of used Medium tyres.

But on his out lap, it became clear that the circuit had not dried sufficiently.

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Sebastian's Turkish Grand Prix helmet
Sebastian's Turkish Grand Prix helmet

"The gamble did not work out today," said Sebastian. "Something inside me was calling me to try dry tyres because there was nothing left on my Intermediate tyres and I thought the dry tyres might work, even if the track was still damp.

"But as soon as I left the pits, I knew it was the wrong decision: there was no grip, and I could not make them work."

Sebastian used all his experience to keep the AMR21 on track, but minor offs at several corners preceded another pitstop at the end of the lap.

A switch to another set of Intermediate tyres yielded an immediate improvement in pace, but, now in 18th, he was unable to make up ground.

I was really surprised how slowly the track improved and it was similar to last year because it just did not dry out.
Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel, 2021 Turkish Grand Prix

"It [the switch to Mediums] probably cost us a point or two because we ran inside the top 10 until that moment," reflected Sebastian.

"I was really surprised how slowly the track improved and it was similar to last year because it just did not dry out."

Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team will be back in action at the Circuit of the Americas for the United States Grand Prix on October 22-24.

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