The Turkish Grand Prix could well see history made, with Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton looking to seal a record-equalling seventh drivers’ title.
He racked up a ninth win of the season (a third in a row and a record-extending 93rd overall in his career) when he took the chequered flag at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola earlier this month.
The result left Hamilton 85 points clear of nearest chaser and Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas at the top of the drivers’ standings. With a maximum of 104 points left to play for in the season, the British racer need only finish ahead of Bottas to join the legendary Michael Schumacher on seven drivers’ championships the only mark Hamilton doesn’t already have the all-time record for in the sport of F1.
Hamilton insists he isn’t thinking of the records and dropped something of a bombshell when claiming there is no guarantee he will be part of the grid in 2021: “I feel great and still very strong… but you mentioned about Toto [Wolff, Mercedes team boss] and shelf-life and there’s multiple things that do stay on the top of my mind. I would like to be here next year but there’s no guarantee of that, for sure. There’s a lot that excites me of the after life (after racing), so time will tell.”
Elsewhere, Max Verstappen will hope for better luck after he crashed out of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in Imola earlier this month, his fourth retirement this season. Yet in every race Verstappen has finished, he has claimed a podium, underlining his remarkable consistency and status as the only driver anywhere close to challenging the dominance of Mercedes.
“The car was feeling quite good, and then suddenly on the straight I lost the car because there was a tyre blow out,” said Verstappen of his crash at Imola. “I don’t exactly know what happened but when I quickly looked at the car there was nothing broken on the car, so it’s a big shame.”
Lower down the pack, Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo has racked up seven successive top-10 finishes, including two third-place results at the Eifel Grand Prix and Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in recent weeks.
However, the Australian is only 10 points ahead of nearest chaser Charles Leclerc of Ferrari and needs to keep up his consistency, starting with a trip to the Intercity Istanbul Park, which should give Ricciardo plenty of opportunities to show off his overtaking skills.
“They’re [podium finishes] all pretty good, for sure,” Ricciardo said of the result at Imola. “I’m also not going to take this for granted. It’s the second in three races but I’m excited as I was in Nurburgring.”
He is also hoping to lead Renault to third place in the manufacturers’ championship: “Obviously it’s great that we got big points with one car but I think if we’re going to keep our noses in front then for sure we need both cars in the points.”
Viewers on DStv and GOtv can look forward to Round 14 of the 2020 Formula 1 World Championship, the Turkish Grand Prix, live from the Istanbul Racing Circuit on the morning of Sunday 15 November 2020. SuperSport is definitely your #HomeOfSport and the ultimate destination for motorsport fans. No rival can compete with SuperSport’s coverage. Our viewers on DStv can see all the action from the fastest sport in the world on their Channel of Champions.
Visit www.dstv.com to subscribe or upgrade, and join in on the excitement. And while you’re on the move, you can stream live action on DStv.
Turkish Grand Prix broadcast details, 14-15 November 2020
Saturday 14 November
11:55am Qualifying – LIVE on SuperSport Grandstand, SuperSport Motorsport and SuperSport Maximo 1
Sunday 15 November
10:05am Race – LIVE on SuperSport Grandstand, SuperSport Motorsport and SuperSport Maximo 1