Racing Point’s Lance Stroll said he “nailed pretty much every corner” on his way to a sensational pole at the Turkish GP.
Max Verstappen had been in a league of his own throughout a rain-interrupted qualifying at Istanbul Park, and with the water falling on an already slippery track it was somewhat of a lottery out there.
But come Q3 Racing Point found themselves enjoying the intermediate tyres and Stroll’s team-mate Sergio Perez put his RP20 on provisional pole.
Red Bull decided to abandon Verstappen’s lap on the full wets, which was going to be enough for pole, to also put the Dutchman on the inters, but the gamble didn’t pay off.
In the end though it wasn’t Perez on pole, instead Stroll delivered a stellar 1:47.7 to take a first pole position of his career.
“I can’t really put into words right now, I’m shocked,” the Canadian racer told Sky F1 after a sensational qualifying at the Turkish GP.
“I didn’t expect us to be up here after FP3, there were a lot of things that we weren’t sure of coming into qualifying, we didn’t look too competitive in FP3.
“But I’m so happy right now, I really put that lap together at the end. I was under a lot of pressure, I only had one lap to do it there at the end because we started on the wet tyre.
“And then we boxed for inters I had one lap where I got traffic, I had Valtteri [Bottas] who spun in front of me and then I had had one lap at the end to do it and I had the confidence in the car.
“I just nailed pretty much every corner and pieced it together pretty nicely, it’s such a great way to bounce back after a few rough weeks, since Mugello it’s been a really rough ride for me. It feels really good right now.”
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Asked if he felt the potential for pole in his RP20, Stroll replied: “I knew we were up there at the front, listening to my engineer he was giving me feedback every lap on where we were.
“But in these conditions you don’t really have time to think about where you are and what’s going on around you, it’s really just the next corner in front of you.
“Once I got on the inter I knew we were in good shape and the car felt like it was pretty hooked up for these conditions around here.
“To put it on pole is a special moment for me, one of the biggest highlights of my career for sure, we dream about these moments growing up and it’s really special.”