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Agony and The Ecstasy for Leclerc & Hamilton in the Wet in Turkey

Both wet and dry conditions and a highly criticized newly-surfaced track led to an awful start to the Turkish Grand Prix for Ferrari – Leclerc 14th in qualifying with Vettel just ahead in 12th – 6 seconds off the pace. 

Leclerc even fell back from 12th on the grid to 19th on Lap 7 in the early stages of the race proper. And then the magic – Leclerc roared into contention on the initially impossibly challenging wet Istanbul surface and was amongst the first of the drivers to have the intelligence to switch from wet to intermediates tyres on the seventh lap. By Lap 31 he had advanced to 9th and set about launching his attack for a spot on the podium. 

Such was his mastery of the wet, and then drying track he had third place as good as in the bag. There was no catching Hamilton for first though but now second place became a gleam in his eye. And just as he had passed Sergio Perez’s Racing Point to take 2nd place, the Monegasque lost the prize he had so brilliantly harvested as he came into the last corner. A braking error, enough of a gap outside for Perez and Vettel and the Ferrari n° 16’s podium place slipped out of grasp. Mind you 4th position, behind Vettel in the top 3 is nothing to really cry about.

But for the young Monegasque genius it was a minor heart-break nevertheless: “So disappointed with myself today. We were extremely quick but my last lap mistake is what cost us the 2nd place. On the other hand, happy for Seb, it’s been a very difficult season overall and he deserves the podium so much.”

And showing his class Charles had congratulations not only for team-mate Sebastien Vettel but for the winner Hamilton too: “And of course, a huge congratulations to @LewisHamilton for being a seven times World Champion. What an achievement!”

Lewis Hamilton

What can one say about Hamilton. This was truly the world champion at his magnificent best. He kept up a relentless pace with his exemplary touch as other cars spun off on the wet. 

By the chequered flag Hamilton was over 30 seconds clear of Pérez in second place. Hamilton is giving notice that even more is likely to come. Leclerc is giving notice that with the right car Hamilton will not have it so easy!

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