Venue: Intercity Istanbul Park
Lewis Hamilton can wrap up a record-equalling seventh world championship if successful in Istanbul and is a red-hot favourite at 2/5 in the Turkish Grand Prix odds.
The Briton is on the brink of matching Michael Schumacher’s all-time title haul after his Emilia Romagna Grand Prix victory put him 85 points ahead, with just 104 points available.
However, being this close to the ultimate target may lead to Hamilton playing it safe in qualifying, especially as Istanbul Park has plenty of overtaking opportunities on race day.
Teammate Valtteri Bottas beat Hamilton to pole position at Imola last time out and 37/20 for him to repeat the trick here is the first of our Turkish Grand Prix predictions.
That was the fourth time Bottas has qualified fastest in 2020, with Hamilton going quickest in the other nine races.
The flying Finn was arguably a touch unlucky to end up finishing second two weeks ago after setting the early pace.
He told the F1 website: “The start was really good but then on lap two, out of Turn 7, there was some debris on the track.
“I didn’t have time to avoid it, so I aimed for the middle of the car, trying not to run over the debris with the tyres.
“But it caused some damage and got stuck on the car somehow, which made the car really tricky to drive and also cost a chunk of performance.
“It was a bit of an unlucky day for me after such a promising start, but it’s still good to pick up another podium and play my part in the constructors’ title win.”
On a track where power is expected to prove decisive, bwin’s price boost of 7/10 for the Mercedes drivers to finish first and second in either order is added to our Turkish Grand Prix betting tips.
How the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix finished
1 Hamilton (Mercedes), 2 Bottas (Mercedes), 3 Ricciardo (Renault), 4 Kvyat (Alphatauri), 5 Leclerc (Ferrari), 6 Perez (Racing Point), 7 Sainz (McLaren), 8 Norris (McLaren), 9 Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo), 10 Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo), 11 Latifi (Williams), 12 Vettel (Ferrari), 13 Stroll (Racing Point), 14 Grosjean (Haas), 15 Albon (Red Bull), DNF Russell (Williams), Verstappen (Red Bull), Magnussen (Haas), Ocon (Renault), Gasly (Alphatauri)
Pierre Gasly was forced to make an early exit in Italy last time out, but it was another promising weekend for the Frenchman and Alphatauri.
Gasly qualified in fourth place and was moving well in the opening exchanges, until technical issues forced him to retire.
“This one is quite difficult to take,” he declared. “It’s very sad because there was a big opportunity.
“The guys spotted a drop of water pressure on the laps to the grid before the race, they tried everything to fix it but unfortunately we had to retire the car after a few laps.
“The whole weekend went so well, it was the best practice and the best qualifying we’ve had and the car felt very strong from the beginning.
“It’s never nice to retire, but it’s especially tough here in Imola for our home race, because we knew there was a potential top-five result on the table.”
As it happened, teammate Daniil Kvyat went on to finish fourth, but Gasly has picked up 37 points more than the Russian this season and remains Alphatauri’s number one.
Since the start of September, Gasly has claimed a surprise success at Silverstone, finished sixth in Germany and fifth in Portugal.
Past Turkish Grand Prix winners
2011 Vettel (Red Bull)
2010 Hamilton (McLaren)
2009 Button (Brawn)
2008 Massa (Ferrari)
2007 Massa (Ferrari)
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