Stroll Scores Shock Pole For Turkish Grand Prix

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Lance Stroll earned his first Formula One pole on Saturday in Turkey. (Racing Point Photo)
Lance Stroll earned his first Formula One pole on Saturday in Turkey. (Racing Point Photo)

TUZLA, Turkey – Lance Stroll took advantage of soggy conditions to score his maiden Formula One pole for the Turkish Grand Prix on Saturday at Intercity Istanbul Park.

Stroll, driving for for the BWT Racing Point Formula One Team, used a late flier during Q3 to jump to the top of the scoring pylon. His best lap of 1:47.765 in the wet conditions proved to be enough for him to earn the shock pole over Max Verstappen, who had been fastest in every practice leading up to qualifying.

He is the third Canadian driver in Formula One history to earn a pole, joining Jacques and Gilles Villenueve. The last Canadian driver to earn a pole in Formula One competition was Jacques Villeneuve, who won the pole for the European Grand Prix in 1997.

“I can’t really put it into words,” Stroll said moments after climbing from his car. “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 there at the end.

“I only had one lap to do it there at the end because we started on the wet tire and boxed for inters. I had one lap where I had Valtteri (Bottas), who spun in front of me. I had one lap at the end to do it. I had the confidence in the car and I just nailed pretty much every corner and pieced it together nicely.”

Verstappen will start second on the grid for Red Bull, with Stroll’s Racing Point teammate Sergio Perez qualifying third after leading most of Q3 until Stroll’s late lap bumped him from the top of the order.

Alexander Albon qualified fourth for Red Bull, with Daniel Ricciardo fifth for Renault. Lewis Hamilton struggled throughout Q3, managing only the sixth fastest time. Renault’s Esteban Ocon, Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen, Mercedes’ Bottas and Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi completed the top-10.