Formula 1 Rolex Turkish Grand Prix 2021 Preview

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Formula 1 Rolex Turkish Grand Prix 2021 Preview

Round 16 of the FIA World Driver’s and Constructor’s Championship sees Formula One travel to Turkey and Istanbul Park for the second time in two years following a nine-year break from 2011 until 2020.

Last time out in Turkey, Lewis Hamilton won the Grand Prix and claimed his record-equalling seventh world title, going level with Michael Schumacher in what was a dramatic race in the rain at Turkey which saw Sergio Perez finish in second, whilst Sebastien Vettel who was then at Ferrari overtook his teammate Charles LeClerc at the second to last corner, following the Monegasque driver’s tussle with Perez in the BWT Racing Point.

The Russian Grand Prix was the most recent race in this year’s calendar which also threw up another classic F1 race in the rain, as once again, Hamilton managed to earn a vital victory to move ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in the World Driver’s Championship by two points, as the Dutchman drove an incredible race, coming from 20th on the grid, up to second, having been seventh with only a few laps remaining, whilst Carlos Sainz earned Ferrari a podium, with the latter two taking advantage of Lando Norris’ and McLaren’s ill-judged call not to pit for intermediates with only six laps to go, costing the 21-year-old his opportunity to win an F1 GP for the first time, in effect, gifting Hamilton his 100th win, the only driver in the sport’s history to reach triple figure wins.

F1 Turkish GP RABs

skybet betting tip

BOTTAS FASTEST LAP, BOTH MCLAREN TOP 6, GASLY & VETTEL POINTS @ 33/1

Qualifying Prediction

With being so deep into the 2021 championship, it is vital to drop as few points as possible coming into the last six scheduled races, meaning that pole position will be vital, with Hamilton and Verstappen expected to vie for it once again, whilst it will be crucial for each team if they can have teammates Valtteri Bottas or Perez up close in support, but, in recent GP’s this hasn’t happened, although with two relatively new power units, former Williams driver Bottas will be expected to compete for podiums between now and his scheduled move to Alfa Romeo.

At present, the weather forecast reads that it should be a hot week at the circuit at 22 degrees, so rain looks unlikely, which barring freak results, should rule out the likes of George Russell qualifying in the top three for what would be the third time this season. A driver that will likely push hard to be on the first two rows is McLaren’s Norris, who qualified on pole in Russia due to the wet weather circumstances, as well as his overall pace and talent.

Prediction: Pole Position - Verstappen. 2nd Hamilton 3rd. Bottas

F1 Turkish GP RABs

skybet betting tip

NORRIS & RICCIARDO TOP 6, RUSSELL POINTS @ 11/2

Race Prediction: Red Bull vs Mercedes

Verstappen will know that a win at Turkey will be vital for his Championship ambitions with being just two points behind Hamilton in the standings. The Dutchman actually had a chance of winning the race at Istanbul Park last time out, but naively spun his car on rumble strips on the outside of turn 11 whilst chasing his current teammate Perez, who Red Bull will be desperate to see repeat last year’s result that he managed for Racing Point at this GP.

A victory for Hamilton would significantly ramp up the pressure on Verstappen, as it could open up a significant lead for the Brit in his pursuit of a record-breaking eighth World Drivers Championship. Bottas managed to record a fifth-place finish in Sochi in what was an eventful race for the Finn, who like Verstappen, capitalised on the rain towards the end of the race. The Finn who currently sits 31 points clear of Perez will be hoping to edge his team closer to the Constructors Championship.

Prediction: 1st. Verstappen. 2nd. Hamilton. 3rd. Bottas.

F1 Turkish GP RABs

skybet betting tip

VERSTAPPEN TO WIN, BOTH MCLAREN TOP 6, SAINZ & PEREZ POINT @ 6/1

Other Drivers to Look out for

As mentioned above, Norris will be in the mix to try and get on the podium, following his heartache in Russia. The Brit is currently fourth in the standings with 139 points to his name, 19 more than Perez and only 12 fewer than Bottas. Meanwhile, teammate Ricciardo also suffered pain in Russia, having had a slow pit stop which meant that the Australian finished in fourth, whereas he could’ve finished on the podium, but, his recent form is very encouraging for McLaren who are looking to strengthen their grip on third in the Constructors Championship ahead of Ferrari.
Sainz managed a podium last time out, whilst LeClerc ended up in 15th following a costly driver error late in on in the race in the damp conditions, having been close to Verstappen throughout the race, leaving the Monegasque to wonder what could have been.

AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly will be desperate to re-find the former that has seen him as best of the rest outside the top four teams, as the Frenchman currently sits in 9th place with 66 points to his name. The 25-year-old hasn’t scored points since his fourth-place finish at Zandvoort, having retired in Italy and finished 13th in Russia.
Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso is one of the most in-form drivers on the grid at present having finished outside the top ten just once in the last 10 races, with that one being an 11th place finish in the controversial Belgium GP. Alonso finished sixth last time out and will be desperate to show the sport once again why he is regarded as one of the best drivers in its history.

Vettel has had it rough in his last couple of races, having finished 12th in both Italy and Russia, as well as having contact with his teammate twice, significantly compromising his chances at Monza. The four-time world champion is one of just three drivers to have previously won here who are still on the grid, alongside Hamilton in 2010 and 2020 and Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen who won here for McLaren in 2005. Raikkonen had his best result of the season at Russia, scoring four points.

And as ever, “Mr Saturday” as he has often been referred to as on Sky’s F1 coverage, Russell is currently on a roll in his last season at Williams before departing to Mercedes, as the 23-year-old has scored points in four of his last five races which looks to have all but guaranteed his team eighth in the Constructors Standings.

F1 Turkish GP RABs

skybet betting tip

MERCEDES DOUBLE PODIUM, RED BULL DOUBLE TOP 6 & FERRARI DOUBLE POINTS @ 6/1

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