Hamilton selects his ‘stand-out’ race of 2020

Jon Wilde

Lewis Hamilton has unsurprisingly selected the Turkish Grand Prix as his “stand-out” performance in a dominant 2020 campaign.

Lewis Hamilton has unsurprisingly selected the Turkish Grand Prix as his “stand-out” performance in a dominant 2020 campaign.

The 35-year-old Briton romped to his record-equalling seventh World Championship title, winning 11 of the 17 races that were possible as the season was disrupted considerably by the global health pandemic.

It was a year when the Mercedes driver was at his absolute best, arguably reaching new heights of excellence in the cockpit even though his car was comfortably the best on the grid.

And when put on the spot as to which was his best race, Hamilton opted for victory No 10 of 11 in the most difficult track conditions experienced during the campaign – a success that clinched the title with three rounds to spare.

“Turkey, naturally, is the closest one to memory because it was not that long ago,” said Hamilton, quoted by Motorsport.com.

“I think that was [the best] for me, in the circumstances we were faced with as drivers, and with it being so pressured – the Championship could be won in that moment.

“I would say that, for me, was my stand-out performance.”

Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel on the Turkish Grand Prix podium

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The weekend at Istanbul Park was a difficult one for all of the drivers, with the weather initially cold and the circuit slippery having recently been resurfaced with Formula 1 returning there for the first time since 2011.

A rainy qualifying session exacerbated matters, with Lance Stroll taking pole position in the Racing Point while Hamilton started sixth on the grid.

In an initially wet race, Hamilton did not look like winning for much of the contest, but when the track began to dry he made a set of intermediate tyres last for 50 laps while most of his rivals pitted for slicks and kept going to take the chequered flag 31 seconds in front.

Hamilton also reflected on how he had dealt with an unprecedented year of F1 action that began with the circus leaving Melbourne before a wheel had turned and finally got under way in Austria nearly four months later.

“I always take it one race at a time, it doesn’t change the approach at all,” said Hamilton.

“It’s just the season started much later, which meant the normal build-up, the normal race prep I would have in building up to the first grand prix and arriving ready to peak shortly after…and then there was no races for a period of time.

“It was just trying to discover the best way to train and prepare yourself for the opportunity if it comes along that the season is going to start.

“It was weird to start mid-year and all be in Europe and have the triple-headers. But I think we showed strength and real depth this year as a team.”

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