Lance Stroll ends Mercedes’ streak with shock pole

Lance Stroll ends Mercedes' streak with shock pole

Canadian Lance Stroll celebrated a stunning first career pole position for Racing Point at the Turkish Formula One Grand Prix on Saturday to end Mercedes’ season-long stranglehold on qualifying. Rapidly evolving weather conditions meant that an early switch to intermediates in the final round gave Stroll a crucial advantage, allowing him to set a time of 1:47.765s, almost three tenths quicker than Red Bull’s Max Verstappen who had been quickest in both Q1 and Q2. Sergio Perez confirmed the team’s pace with third place ahead of Alex Albon, while there were storm clouds at Mercedes after Hamilton was just sixth fastest and Bottas ninth. Qualifying had earlier been disrupted by two red flag stoppages in Q1, the first for heavy rain. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc both missed the cut at the end of the second round, as did McLaren drivers Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz. “I can’t put it into words right now. I’m shocked. I didn’t expect to be here,” said Stroll, who greeted his pole with shouts of ‘let’s go, let’s go’ over the team radio. “I had the confidence in the car and I just nailed pretty much every corner. It’s such a nice way to bounce back after a few rough weeks, so it feels really good. “It’s a special moment for me, one of the biggest highlights of my career.”