Both Mercedes and Red Bull will eyeing the top of the podium as always this weekend in Turkey, as the competition for the drivers championship and the constructors championship is closer than ever.
Lewis Hamilton currently sits at the top of the driver’s standings so far, only two points ahead of Red Bull rival Max Verstappen. However, the Mercedes driver, who won his 100th race in Formula One two weeks ago, will have a tough task on his hands on Sunday as he has accepted a 10-place grid penalty after taking a new engine.
Max Verstappen made an impressive comeback in Russia after starting from the back of the grid to finish in second place. The Dutch superstar will look to capitalise on Hamilton’s penalty in order to climb back to the top of the driver’s championship, and help to close the gap to Mercedes.
McLaren have been on a high since their one-two finish in Monza last month, with both Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo only set to improve for the British team. Norris faced heartbreak in Russia after coming agonisingly close to winning his first F1 race, but a late rain shower sent him way back to the middle of the grid before the chequered flag.
Ferrari have also looked increasingly impressive in recent race weekends, with both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz biting at the heels of the top three constructors. Hamilton’s penalty could also be a great opportunity for them to capitalise and get some good points to close the gap on McLaren.
Alpine and AlphaTauri have also put in some excellent performances throughout the season so far, surprising some of the bigger teams in certain races. We saw how Hamilton struggled for a large part of the Hungarian Grand Prix when trying to pass the experienced Fernando Alonso, will we see a repeat of this if the Spaniard starts ahead of the Brit this weekend?
Last year Turkey proved to be one of the most challenging races on the calendar, and with rain forecast for this weekend the experience of drivers such as Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel could be crucial. Kimi Raikkonen of Alfa Romeo is also likely to put in a solid drive in his final visit to Turkey as a Formula One driver, he won this race 16 years ago in 2005 whilst driving for McLaren.
Williams driver George Russell has become a fan favourite this year after pulling off some results which appeared to defy the odds. He out-qualified future teammate Lewis Hamilton in Russia and is set to do the same this time around as the Mercedes driver will start Sunday’s race outside of the top 10.
Haas are the only team that have not yet gained any points. Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin are yet to finish in the top ten this year, and based on recent performances and results it looks unlikely that the first points will come from Turkey.
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