Venue: Intercity Istanbul Park
With doubts about Lewis Hamilton’s power unit, Max Verstappen has to be a percentage pick in our Turkish Grand Prix predictions.
The Red Bull ace heads into this race two points behind his title rival but looks ready to reclaim the advantage at the top of the table.
Verstappen took his engine penalty in Russia last time out but went from last to second thanks to late gains in the rain.
Reflecting on Sochi, Verstappen beamed: “Wow, we will definitely take that result! Of course, to come from last to second is very good and I definitely didn’t expect this result.
“To finish where we did with the penalty we had, we didn’t lose as many points as we could have, so as a team we did a really good job.
“A lot of things can happen when you’re starting from the back of the grid, but we stayed out of trouble, kept it clean and managed our race very well.”
Verstappen has come off badly in some clashes with Hamilton of late but will be hoping for a clean-run race in Turkey.
The weather forecast for Istanbul this weekend is fair and an eighth victory of the year is the aim for Red Bull’s top dog.
How the Russian Grand Prix finished
1 Hamilton (Mercedes), 2 Verstappen (Red Bull), 3 Sainz (Ferrari), 4 Ricciardo (McLaren), 5 Bottas (Mercedes), 6 Alonso (Alpine Renault), 7 Norris (McLaren), 8 Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo), 9 Perez (Red Bull), 10 Russell (Williams), 11 Stroll (Aston Martin), 12 Vettel (Aston Martin), 13 Gasly (Alphatauri), 14 Ocon (Alpine Renault), 15 Leclerc (Ferrari), 16 Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo), 17 Tsunoda (Alphatauri), 18 Mazepin (Haas), 19 Latifi (Williams), DNF Schumacher (Haas)
The rain in Russia went against Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez, who was set for a fine podium finish until getting caught out on slick tyres in the closing stages.
Perez has had a difficult campaign but can take heart from that performance and it is worth remembering he was second here for Racing Point 12 months ago.
“We were on for a great result with a podium through pure merit,” said Perez. “Despite a slow pit stop, we still managed to come through the field to third, but sometimes this is how racing is.
“It is frustrating for me, but I feel like I got so much out of the car, which is only promising going to Turkey.”
We’re going for the Mexican to secure a top-three finish for just the third time this season at 2/1 in our Turkish Grand Prix betting tips.
McLaren’s drivers also endured mixed fortunes in Sochi, with Lando Norris suffering late heartbreak and Daniel Ricciardo far happier with a decent fourth.
“I just missed the podium, but P4 is a solid result,” commented Ricciardo. “Good points and, for those tricky conditions, it’s always nice just to get out with your nose clean.
“There are definitely some positives and personally still a few things to work on, so we’ll keep our head down.”
McLaren have made great progress throughout this year and, although Norris has produced the more eye-catching displays, Ricciardo did pick up a recent victory in Italy.
Let’s finish off our Turkish Grand Prix predictions by taking 9/10 for the Australian to make the top six for the fifth time in the last seven races.
Past Turkish Grand Prix winners
2020 Hamilton (Mercedes), Perez (Racing Point), Vettel (Ferrari)
2011 Vettel (Red Bull)
2010 Hamilton (McLaren)
2009 Button (Brawn)
2008 Massa (Ferrari)
2007 Massa (Ferrari)
Join bwin today and receive up to £20 money back as a FreeBet if your first wager (3+ selections at odds of 1/2 (1.5) or greater) is a loser! Terms and conditions apply.