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I’m a dentist for monsters. There’s nowhere you can hide from them.
It’s me, Doctor Dayna Danworth. Your anti social neighbourhood monster dentist, back again.
Wow, that was a mouthful.
I’m sorry to keep leaving you all hanging, we’ve reached parts that are difficult to relive.
I don’t even know what to say. I was as confused as all of you were by the sudden change in the Beast of Cordyline Hill at the end of our appointment. I wish I could provide satisfactory answers, but that would mean there were answers that I deemed satisfactory.
I could understand his reservations; a long and soiled history with humanity, a deceased family and the idea of someone with no biological monster connection raising a child he felt was rightfully his.
Regardless, that didn’t explain the aggression he showed me, especially not after our polite and cordial prior interactions.
I was baffled. If I hadn’t been so dumbstruck I’d have tried to speak to him at the time. To calm him down. But if you’d seen the look in his eyes you’d have frozen just like I did. The Beast could’ve snapped me in two without giving me time for a last breath.
That aggression, that look in his eyes, the speed he flipped... whatever caused it didn’t matter. It showed me that he wasn’t fit to care for Pearl.
My use of the term monster, that he claimed had been the issue was never intended to offend. It was laughable. I don’t think that was the issue at all. I was the issue. Tolerable until I affected him, he couldn’t get past one thing.
I was human.
He had hatred for us; that much had been apparent long before he spotted Pearl’s photograph, although somewhat more subtly. I suspected that hatred, however, lay somewhere with jealousy and that gave me an inkling of hope that some of his human self, Edric, was left behind.
After he left and some time had passed for me to babble an explanation to Coco, we locked up and got straight in the car, she sped the entire way to my flat - nothing new but somehow more urgent than usual. In the car I was hysterical, unsure what to do.
The Beast knew where I worked but as far as I knew he didn’t know my home address. Still, I found myself shaking as I fumbled at the door, struggling to zone in on the keyhole, desperate to see my baby. It was ridiculous and unnecessary.
Pearl was fine.
Of course she was. She was home, giggling over a baby TV show that Evan had put on to entertain her while he cooked. The pure love I felt as I saw my sharp toothed daughter melted a lot of the anxiety away. She may have had the Beast’s teeth, but she had a beautiful spirit.
The Beast said he’d find her, but he hadn’t said when. A monster of his proportions in the city wouldn’t have the luxury of waiting and following. The more time that passed and the less I feared the monster turning up at my door demanding my child, the more of a plan started to formulate in my mind.
“Dayna! Wasn’t expecting you back so early, Pearl’s... what’s wrong?” Evan’s face dropped as he turned and noticed the look of horror in my eyes.
I sat down and hysterically told him the same story I’d struggled to tell Coco back at the practice.
“Where did he go?” Evan asked, Pearl now sat on his knee as he bounced her gently. She warmed my soul.
I stuttered. Realistically I didn’t know where he’d gone. I had speculation but no assurance. Coco had been certain we weren’t followed on the way home and I suspected the Beast would need to make inquiries about me to get any further than the practice.
If he had killed me he couldn’t get to Pearl and I think he knew I wasn’t going to lead him to her after his outburst. That’s why he fled. I didn’t think for a second that he was going to turn up an hour later and rip me to shreds.
The monster in him couldn’t keep in his rage and the human didn’t want to let it explode.
Like I mentioned, The Beast of Cordyline Hill didn’t have the option to walk around waiting either, he stuck out too much in such an average part of the city, visiting me had been enough of a risk. If my office hadn’t been so close to a Connected station he would have been a home visit for sure. Maybe that would’ve been best.
If he stalked me he’d be lynched. As long as he didn’t know where I was going home to, we were safe. Pearl was safe.
“He left... I don’t know. I know he took the train here, connected railways. Maybe the station?” I babbled again, trying to get my head straight.
“And you weren’t followed?” Evan continued, gripping Pearl so she didn’t wobble and fall, he was so good to her.
“I made sure.” Coco rebutted seriously. I wasn’t sure how she could be so certain but I didn’t doubt her.
“That’s good, did he see the car?”
Evan presented a point I hadn’t thought about, Coco’s car was innocuous yet distinctive, full of charms and dangling things and always parked directly outside the practice. If the Beast had made the connection it was now a beacon, Pearl’s car seat in the back the treasure.
“He probably did.” I answered, noting Coco’s panic as she realised the same. “We have to presume he did.”
“What are we going to do?” He asked.
The “we” was poignant. It felt good to know that Evan was on side, protecting my daughter. Not many babysitters would be willing to help shield a baby from a Beast without severe renegotiation of pay. I made mental note to give him a rise regardless.
“We’re going to hide her, and I’m going to talk to him. He didn’t give me a chance and I will get my turn to speak. But Pearl can’t be anywhere near the situation.” I slowly forced out. “I’ve met worse monsters than him.”
That was all the plan I had. I thought of the Beast’s story, the revelations about the Harakungu and the hypocrisy of monsters rejecting humanity. The death and the hatred didn’t benefit either party. The words I’d accidentally shared with the ancient monster in his underground palace at the paranormal services convention sprung to mind.
This plan was... painfully human.
“You can stay with me if you like, my flats small but you’ll be safe. Then if he looks for Coco’s car it’s still here but you aren’t. My car’s parked two streets away and if he’s considered that a nanny might exist he’ll go back to no more nightmares first to try and get information out of Armand.”
“He’s right Day, you should call Armand.” Coco looked genuinely frightened. She never did. Something about seeing her like that and watching Pearl smile up at me changed something in my head. Removed all the fear.
“No! I can fix this. Thank you Evan, we’ll stay with you tonight just as a precaution but tomorrow I’m heading to Cordyline Hill and I will fix this. Coco can deal with the patients and Pearl can stay with you. He was angry and emotional. There’s a person in there and I will get through. I’m not raising Pearl running.”
Both of them looked at me uncomfortably but I didn’t care. I was determined that Edric Miller would be reachable, reasonable and the person that I’d known right up until those last tense moments.
“You aren’t going alone Day, don’t be ridiculous.” Coco piped up.
“I have to. He has to know I’m not scared.”
That was it. It was risky, full of potential problems and came without a contingency for failure. It was also non negotiable and both of them knew that. So we packed some things and we bundled into Evans car.
Passing Mrs Pepperbottom’s car I was relieved to be going. I doubted the Beast would be so brazen, but I didn’t need my neighbours subjected to a world they knew nothing about.
“How far do you live?” I asked, realising I didn’t even know what Evan went home to. I felt a pang of sadness at my own self interest and made a conscious note to pay better attention to others.
“Oh I’m only down the road from to practice, just opposite the opening to the park. The big tower block.”
I cuddled Pearl to my chest; we’d had to leave her seat in Coco’s car and I’d wrapped her in my jacket in an attempt to keep her safe and hidden.
I didn’t have much practical knowledge of the Beast and his abilities, did he have acute scent? Tracking abilities? Or was he just a poor, misunderstood, angry healer? I’d packed my journal that formed part of my database in my bag. Despite the stakes, I still hoped to learn something.
I had more than a few patients who lived in the same block as Evan and I was familiar with it by mention only. Thinking about those patients I wondered if Pearl would even be a spectacle at all in that building. I’d suspected we lived in somewhat of a hotspot for a long time and Evan’s block had made me a hell of a lot of money. I struggled to hold in a burning question.
“Are you a monster?”
There was a silence. Coco cringed, she’d always hated that question, probably one of the reasons she was such a difficult receptionist. She thought I threw it around far too easily. From the backseat I couldn’t see Evans face, focused on the road.
“Well, how did you even know about the job you were applying for? And that block - Coco how many times have you written that address on patient forms? It’s a valid-“
“I’m not a monster.” Evan replied sincerely, his smile still audible but a slight sadness in his voice. Unbothered by the response either way, I sighed with relief that I hadn’t caused major offence. I had to stop doing that. “I grew up in cordyline hill, my mother is Carla Parks, she was recruited from a normal university just like you were.” He finished.
“Carla is your mum!?” Coco exclaimed.
“Parks isn’t my surname, people don’t often make the connection. It isn’t something I advertise.” Evan answered, solemnly.
I didn’t respond to his revelations. I was reeling. Carla Parks was head of one of the most controversial services in the monster industry. She lead the so called Ethical Organ Collectors, an organisation steeped in scandal and conspiracy.
It was originally set up to provide sustainable, ethically sourced food for monsters that exist solely on organ based diets. It isn’t a huge market of monsters but the consumption from that market is positively enormous.
I hadn’t met him at this point in my tale but looking back I expect Mosaph Eurastix, who first prompted me to share my story, was a regular customer of Evans mother.
TEOC, as Carla’s organisation was commonly known, claimed to contact those who were terminally ill and near to their final breath, asking them to voluntarily donate their organs to save the lives of a new species. It was sketchy and not a whole truth, but TEOC marketed it brilliantly, focusing on the long and fulfilling life the human lead.
I’d always struggled to think of humans as if we were free range chickens.
In reality there were stories of a black market style organ harvesting ring. The worst of the stories involved kidnapping and sourcing humans as live prey for monsters to play with, the best of them involved manipulating dementia patients on their death beds. Either way, The “ethical” organ collectors made my skin crawl.
Evan felt the same. That much was obvious; he remained quiet after his admission until we pulled up on the familiar road, my office just yards away from the towering block of flats we were next to.
“Home sweet home!” Evan chirped, helping me out of the car with Pearl.
“It’s just one night. I promise.”
“Well you’re welcome for as long as you need.”
I was grateful for Evan, I really was. But I couldn’t shake the thought of his mother. The mentally invasive theory that maybe, just maybe, he worked for her. That we might be walking to our deaths. I didn’t want to feel that way, paranoid and desperate. Fearful of someone who had been nothing but a friend for months by this stage.
I had always taken pride in my decent judge of character but after the Beasts appointment, that confidence had been shattered.
I will only admit this once, here. But prior to his freak out, I had genuinely started to liked Edric Miller, the Beast of Cordyline Hill.
I shook aside my paranoia and followed Evan into the looming building, noticing a small but well manicured patch of garden to the side of the concrete and one small bench facing away from me. A young girl sat on it alone in the dark, just watching the garden, she could only have been in her early twenties.
My thoughts turned back to Evans home and my fascination with its inhabitants that had already made it into my database. I was certain there were plenty more in the building that weren’t on my books. I silently cursed myself for not bringing a few business cards.
Clutching Pearl I made a beeline to the lift that stood perfectly opposite the main door.
“No Dayna, we’re taking the stairs, I’m not too far up, don’t worry.”
“She’s too lazy for stairs.” Coco giggled back at Evan, mocking my inactive disposition as she bounded towards the cold metal doors with me.
“No honestly... it breaks down all the time. Come on. I’m only on floor five.” Evan looked sincere, serious even and I wasn’t prepared to argue with someone showing me such kindness.
I sighed and readjusted my baby on my hip, making sure the blanket covered her face and in turn, her teeth. We started to climb the stairs. After what felt like a few too many steps - a symptom of my poor fitness I’m sure - and passing more of those bald cats than I’d ever seen in one place, we reached a landing with a large painted number 5.
“Don’t mind him. He’s never been a bother.” Evan piped up, in response to Coco approaching a still man in the stairwell, so astoundingly human and average that I was sure he couldn’t be human at all.
“What’s the deal with this place?” I asked, trying and failing to take in the man’s facial features. I remember getting close to him, inches away, and I still couldn’t tell you what he looked like. The man didn’t flinch. Not even a blink. “Who is he?”
“I don’t know. Does it matter? We’re all just... living.” Evan answered, nonchalantly.
I was a scientist. I’d never been satisfied with any answer containing the word just. Mr Average, stoic in the stairwell, was a type of monster I’d never seen before, a catalyst for my natural curiosity. I parted my lips to speak again but Evan had already opened the main door to the hall of flats and was ushering Coco through.
I considered one last glimpse at Mr Average but decided that interestingly, it would be fruitless. A note that would later make its way into my journal.
Evan’s flat was small but neat and clean. We set up Pearl’s travel cot that we’d bundled into the boot of the car and our host set up the sofas for Coco and I. Once we settled, I nursed a cup of tea and cuddled my sleeping daughter as the other two looked at me disapprovingly.
Everything felt so surreal. A few months prior to that moment I would never have imagined myself with a baby, let alone hiding with her from a vicious beast as an unknown monster stood just metres outside. In the home of the most controversial woman in the industry’s son.
“How long has that man outside been there?” I asked, trying to break the silence.
“About six months now. He never moves, never does anything. Just stands there.”
“And no one is this building finds that strange?”
Evan just laughed at my question. It was a warm laugh, one that said he’d probably heard that question asked about different things a thousand times. He seemed so comfortable around the unexplainable though, I could swear he smiled at the walls.
“Not everything needs an explanation, Dayna. There’s no humans or monsters here, no one’s that self aware. I like it. Have you ever considered just sharing your world with monsters? Not separating the two; no experiments or notes, just existing? It’s peaceful.”
I paused, thinking about his words. I thought about the man, not too far from the flat door.
“You sound like a hippy, you know?” Coco butted in before I could respond. Evan, exasperated at her inference, sighed.
“You sound like my mother.”
Eurgh. Coco cringed as she thought of Carla Parks, practical supervillain and former university colleague of ours. She realised her visible reaction and the look on Evan’s face and steadied herself. “I’m sorry, it just..”
“It’s ok. I get it.”
“Are the stories true?” I asked.
Evan lowered his eyes and scoffed solemnly. “Which ones?” He responded. “The human trafficking or the live stream events?”
“I haven’t heard anything about a live stream.” I answered, mind racing, feeling queasy at the thought of what sick entertainment her business must have made.
“That’s because most people don’t know the half of it, they think it’s all just conspiracy so no one looks into it. I’ve tried to talk to people, but no one takes me seriously. Carla never advertised the fact she had a kid, so I sound like another lunatic. It’s been that way since I left. She doesn’t even deem me enough of a threat to come after.”
“When did you leave?”
“I left as soon as I thought I could survive on my own. I’ve been alone since I was sixteen. This was the only place that didn’t ask for a guarantor, the neighbours were strange, but they’re nice. I didn’t have to put up with... help with....”
“I’m sorry Evan. You must have seen some real shit.” Coco interrupted, taking a seat next to him and placing a comforting hand on his shoulder. “I always thought there was something creepy about your mum, even before the Organ Collectors started.”
I tried to fight my insatiable curiosity. I tried to let Evan and Coco have their emotional moment. I did. Motherhood bought with it a level of restraint I wasn’t sure I had but it couldn’t quash that remaining fascination. I’d always had it and I always would, it was my hubris.
“What does she live stream? What happened to make you leave?”
Evan looked visibly sickened. It was instantly apparent that I’d unlocked something quite traumatic. I felt bad but I had to know. I had to.
“I held the camera for a long time. She puts on a real performance; hosting as if it were some kind of sporting event. Human hunting. Those monsters... the ones that only eat people... they aren’t the fluffy creatures her marketing guys make them out to be. They’re predators. And they pay a lot of money for prey they can hunt without risk or human interference.
“My mother provides that. She owns land all over the country where she hosts these events, an entire shadow staff of retrievers, who collect the type of prey she’s looking for.
“The weak mostly; sick, disabled, dying. Her ethics aren’t entirely a lie, just twisted. Well... I thought so.” A single tear rolled down Evan’s cheek. Coco moved her hand from his shoulder to around his neck, holding him close.
Pearl gurgled a little and I gestured for him to wait a minute as I got up and bounced her gently for a moment before placing her back down and taking my seat.
“I’m sorry, carry on.”
“The few months before I left things had started to escalate. Some of the customers were making tougher and more disturbing requests. Carla was more than happy to oblige.
“The night I left was a major event, she claimed it was being streamed at a prestigious club night in Las Vegas. The hunter for the night was some kind of big deal in the monster world and he’d handpicked his own prey. We were there just to give him the private space to hunt and to film it...”
The tear that had escaped turned into another, which turned into a whimper and an inability to continue his story. I could see the guilt written all over his face, the disgust that he was ever party to what went on.
“You don’t have to-“ I started.
“No. I do.” He cut me off, took a deep breath and continued his story. “He was only about four foot tall, with this sickly blue skin and claws that could slice through metal if he tried. I don’t know who he was but he was excited when he arrived.
“He stood in the tree line and I put my eye to the camera. I focused on the cage, waiting for the prey -people- to get let out, mother said the people in Vegas would want to see their scared faces.
“The collector waited for the sound of the starting gunshot then released the door of the giant cage. Two people piled out, one teenage girl about my age and an older man, about sixty. It took them a few seconds to realise they could run but they ran. They took off so fast I struggled to pan the camera quick enough to catch it. The monster didn’t run after them though. It waited. I couldn’t work out why and I wish I never had.
“Carla hit me from behind and pointed back at the cage without a word so she wouldn’t interrupt the stream. I panned back to see the third victim. The little girl.”
Coco gasped, I felt my heart sink. For years there had been whispers in the industry about Carla’s sketchy behaviour but no one took it seriously, no one listened and no one suspected the level of evil it was at.
“She couldn’t have been more than six.” Evan sobbed, unable to steady his emotion any longer. “The fear in her eyes was the worst I’d ever seen. She wasn’t dying. She wasn’t sick. She hadn’t signed away her organs to a friendly hospital visitor. I felt every lie I’d ever been told smack me in the face in that moment.
“She was a fucking terrified little girl and my mother was prepared to watch her torn apart for money. And she expected me to film it.”
My throat filled with bile. I’d never been extra sensitive to the suffering of children before. All suffering was suffering, right? But imagining a girl like Pearl, only a few years older, being hunted by Carla Parks set off a special kind of hatred I didn’t know I could feel.
“What happened to her?” I asked.
“I don’t want to know.” Coco interjected, knowing that her protest wouldn’t stop me asking.
“It was so fast, the monster took one look at her and started to sprint. I dropped the camera and I just ran. For the sake of filming I was just that much closer that I got to her first. I threw myself in front of her and took the claws while she ran into the woods behind the cage.
“If Carla hadn’t stopped him I’d be dead. She had just enough sway to get that creature off me. There must be a heart somewhere in that cold bitch, she couldn’t watch her own son die. But she was angry. She told me to go. Said I could find my little friend and a new place to stay. That she wasn’t prepared to keep a liability around.”
Evan stood up and slowly lifted his t shirt, revealing thick, deep, purple scars across his back confirming his story. They’d healed badly, with raised lumps and indented flesh.
“I looked for the little girl but I couldn’t find her. Honestly I probably just spared her from a monster to hand her to the elements. I was on the streets for a while until I could get a job and afford this place. But it was all worth it to be away from her. I thought I’d take down TEOC but I didn’t stand a chance. She’s bulletproof.”
Coco and I spent a while comforting Evan but it was difficult to know what to say. We were shocked. I wanted to think of a way to help him, to take down Carla, but I had to focus on one issue at a time.
Until I’d fixed my problems with the Beast of Cordyline Hill, the Ethical Organ Collectors had to stay off my radar. I didn’t need to make anymore enemies or put my friend and babysitter in danger at the hand of his abhorrent mother.
After Evan retreated to bed and Coco began to snore on the sofa opposite the one that would be my bed for the night I laid awake plotting my journey to the village Edric Miller called home. I’d never taken a train with connected railways and I couldn’t be certain my miserable plan would work.
I wish I’d saved myself the hope and admitted I already knew that it never could.
A faint noise from outside got my attention, some sort of minor kerfuffle coming from the park opposite. As I sat up to peer down from the window to the street outside I felt the air knocked from my body.
There he was, staring up at me. The Beast of Cordyline Hill.
2020 Turkish GP Race Debrief - r/Formula1 Editorial Team
2020 Turkish GP DebriefWords by u/Felix_670, u/ShowstopperNL, and u/UnmeshDatta26
Live Session Discussion Threads
Welcome Back Turkey, We Missed YouAfter one hell of a qualifying session yesterday, we were greeted with our first wet race of 2020 at this glorious circuit, which has given us many epic moments in the past.
For the 2020 race, Istanbul Park did just that and, oh boy, how well did it treat us.
Lewis Clinches His 7th World Drivers’ Championship TitleLewis Hamilton won his 7th title and now he stands beside Michael Schumacher with a record equaling 7 titles. The question about what is Hamilton’s status amongst the greats should be well and truly out of the window now. Throughout his career, he has proven to be a legendary fighter, with a killer mentality, and a vast amount of talent to boot. His success on track speaks for itself, and now he is the only other man to win 7 titles.
As he crossed the line to take the chequered flag today, he began to shed tears of joy, remembering the days dreaming of just reaching Formula 1, let alone matching the seemingly untouchable records Schumacher was setting at the time. Now Hamilton has cemented his place in the pantheon of Formula 1 legends. From all of us at Formula1 Editorial Team, hearty congratulations to Lewis Hamilton on equaling another momentous record in history.
Red Bull Fights Racing Point (and Their Car)Lance Stroll, Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez, and Alexander Albon were the talking point leading up to today’s race. The quartet started the race in front but, over the course of 58 laps of madness, that order would not hold to the end, at least for Verstappen, Stroll, and Albon. So let’s start from the beginning.
Verstappen had a dreadful start, as did his teammate Albon, both suffering with wheelspin off the line, their cars struggling to find traction on the wet track. Both cars lost positions at the start, with Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel sneaking past in the chaos that was Turn one. While this was happening, both the Racing Points scampered off into the distance, already opening a considerable margin to the trailing pack. As the early laps developed, however, Hamilton lost places to Verstappen and Albon after making progress initially as he struggled to warm up his brakes and tires.
The order held until the first round of pit stops started. Second-placed Perez opted to stay out for an extra lap, while pole sitter Stroll pitted for his first set of intermediate tires. Charles Leclerc, out of the top 10, had pitted a few laps earlier and was setting fastest sectors almost every lap.
Meanwhile, Verstappen was hot on the heels of Vettel and remained so for a number of laps, and even if was impatient to get past, being often on the knife edge of losing control of his Red Bull, the Ferrari would not yield, the scarlet car seemingly unperturbed by the conditions. Verstappen would only get by once Vettel pitted. Albon stayed out even longer than Verstappen, as Red Bull tried to assure their best finishing positions, but that strategy would ultimately not help their cause. After both Red Bulls pitted, the pink cars were back on top, with Perez now pushing to catch his younger teammate, which he was doing slowly but surely.
After the first round of pit stops was completed, it became evident that Red Bull and Racing Point were running two separate races. On one end, the Red Bulls were both fighting to maintain control while in wheel to wheel combat with the Vettel and Hamilton. On the other hand, the Racing Points were in a much more comfortable situation, out in front leading with multiple second gaps.
Once the second round of pit stops came, however, everything would change.
After leading the race for a significant amount of time, Lance Stroll’s race started to unravel. The Canadian would drop from the lead down to ninth and he could not recover. Perez, on the other hand, thrived on the alternate strategy, managing his intermediate tyres for a staggering 50 laps while to eventually finish in a well-deserved second place. It was another sterling performance from the veteran, and hopefully a balm to the pain of losing a podium at Imola.
Over at Red Bull, things were not going quite as smoothly as for Perez. Max Verstappen spun his Red Bull while going wheel to wheel with Perez, going wide at the back straight kink, splashing into the run off and losing all grip. Alexander Albon would also spin at Turn 4 in the latter stages of the race. To add to the team’s misfortune, their car was simply not able to match the stint Perez did on his intermediates, and Verstappen crossed the line in P6 with Albon right behind him in P7. After their superb qualifying, it was a disappointing race for the Milton Keynes team.
Ferrari Gets a Podium – But Not Who You ThinkWith the team announcing that Team Principal Mattia Binotto would not be making the trip to Turkey, remaining back at Maranello to oversee the latest developments of the new PU for 2021, the pressure to perform was already very high for Leclerc and Vettel. But they did not seem to have the right car on Saturday, as the duo qualified in P12 and P14 respectively.
With a noticeably poorer car and engine package compared to previous seasons, the SF1000 has not been close to the podium’s top step, with Leclerc grabbing two lucky podiums in an otherwise hard year for the Scuderia. Vettel’s results have been even worse, the former champion seemingly on a downward spiral all season, and this race was the perfect opportunity to score a good result for 2020.
Vettel had a great start, even if his initial getaway was difficult, managing to use the chaos and carnage ahead of him to muscle his way into P4 by the end of Lap 1. He made short work of a struggling Hamilton ahead and then held P3, using his tires efficiently to keep a charging Verstappen behind him, before he followed his teammate in pitting for intermediate tires on Lap 9.
He came out behind Albon, and kept challenging the Red Bull while keeping Hamilton behind him, even dropping him at one point near lap 25. The 4-time champion also played his cards extremely well, pitting for a second set of inters on Lap 34.
The pit stop took an agonizing 5 seconds, with problems getting the new rear tires bolted on. If that was not bad enough, after this pitstop, Vettel seemed to lose even more time, dropping behind Leclerc. He did manage to ward off a serious threat from former race leader Stroll, who had also just pitted for inters and also to stay close to Leclerc, who was P4, holding the other SF1000 in his sights until close to the end.
On the last lap, going through the 3 final corners, Vettel found a sliver of space and took his chance, earning an emotional 3rd place finish, his first podium since that great race at Mexico last year. In contrast to much of this season, the German’s steering looked smooth as butter, and he made wise strategy decisions from the cockpit, timing the transition to a second set of inters just right. He looked very patient and had the mental fortitude to keep putting in great lap after great lap. This race showed why, on his best days, Vettel is a driver not to be messed with. He has been through a lot with Ferrari, and this podium is sure to put a spring in his step as he moves to, erm, greener pastures next season.
Vettel’s teammate Leclerc had a solid race as well. The Monégasque had a poor start on Lap 1, failing to get the traction away from the line, bogging down and losing two places. With nothing to lose, he pitted very early on Lap 7 to go the intermediates, at a time when Stroll and Perez were putting up fastest laps on the blue-walled wet tires. It turned out to be the right call, as he pumped out a few fastest laps, followed by a series of consistently fast laps, which helped him undercut a number of drivers ahead of him, finding his way into 9th after the pitstop cycle had over.
There is no doubt, though, that he closed down the large early gap through sheer hard work and fight. All through the rest of the race, he kept his cool, fending off his experienced teammate, before losing it in the last 3 corners of the last lap, coming home in 4th. The young driver will have to prove that he can pull a team out its doldrums, and today is a step in that direction, leading Vettel almost to the end and helping Ferrari collect its highest point total of the season.
For a team that has had troubles throughout the season with their performance, Ferrari showed up in a big way today, from the great strategy call to put Leclerc on intermediates early to getting the timing of the second pit stops right (with a little help from Vettel), the team did a great job. Both the drivers showed why they are such a formidable pair on paper, and Vettel achieved something he had longed for throughout the year: stability. Leclerc, meanwhile, is showing why Ferrari is relying on him to carry the team into the future.
Orange v BananaFocusing on the action slightly further back. Both Esteban Ocon and Daniel Ricciardo had great reactions off the line, both Renaults finding themselves side by side with Hamilton heading into Turn 1. A slight bump from the Mercedes into Ricciardo, however, made him nudge his teammate, who was on the outside of both of them, the unlucky Renault sent into a 360 spin. Just behind this squabble, Valtteri Bottas found himself with nowhere to go as he tried to avoid the spinning Renault and ended up spinning his Mercedes as well.
While Ricciardo’s initial getaway was good, he struggled in the first and second sectors and that saw him finish the first lap having lost 2 places. Ocon, in the meantime, got going again and made some moves, but was hit by Bottas at Turn 9, a puncture forcing him into the pits for an early stop, removing him from the fight at the front for the rest of the race.
McLaren had all their work cut out after a horrendous qualifying session, with a poor result compounded by penalties for both drivers. Starting from P14 and 15, they would have to claw back through the field to salvage points, as Racing Point and Renault looked set for good scoring days both.
Carlos Sainz had a decent getaway, but won most of his positions by his good spatial awareness through all the chaos, coming around to finish Lap 1 in P9. Lando Norris, on the other, seemed to struggle with getting heat into his rear tires, the lack of grip significantly hindering his traction out of corners.
Sainz got past Kimi Räikkönen, who slid off the track at Turn 7, and set his sights on the Renault of Ricciardo but after his first lap trouble, the Aussie was driving in a consistent pace, maintaining the gap to Sainz at 6 seconds until the crossover point. After both drivers made their stops for inters a similar scenario occurred, only at a closer distance. The McLaren got the inters to work faster and Sainz managed to shrink that gap from 6 seconds before the stop to 1.5 seconds, Sainz pressuring Ricciardo, who fought hard to defend his position. Eventually, after a frustrating 25 laps, the Spaniard found his way through, as a slight mistake from Ricciardo out of Turn 9 gave Sainz the opportunity to take P6. He would eventually finish P5, ahead of the Red Bull pair, while Ricciardo finished 10th, disappointing given the fact he started 5th.
Norris had a fairly anonymous but mostly successful outing. He drove a fine race and finished P8 after overtaking Stroll in the final laps, relegating the pole sitter and early leader to a painful P9. Considering their starting position and the prospects of big scoring days for their rivals, these were both excellent results for the McLaren pair, and the race for 3rd in the WCC is still wide open.
Not for the first time this season, Renault looked set for a great finish, but could not match the pace of the Racing Points and McLarens. Ocon will certainly be annoyed after the tangle with his teammate and Hamilton on the first lap, but once he settled down he drove from last back to P11, in what was an excellent recovery drive. It is a shame it was necessary due to the early mishap. It is more of a mystery why Ricciardo’s pace vanished halfway through the race, as after Sainz overtook him, he dropped like a brick down the order, barely finishing on the lead lap and scoring the single point for P10.
Hamilton wins the races, Bottas has his worst performanceLewis Hamilton sealed his 7th title by finishing more than 8 points ahead of Bottas today, and he outscored Bottas by quite a bit by taking the win as Bottas was nowhere to be seen. The 7-time World Champion started the race nearly 25 seconds behind the leader in Stroll, and by the end of the race, he was 30 seconds ahead, showing once again why he has won more races than anyone in history, and once again demonstrating he is unquestionably the best all-round driver on the 2020 grid. He showed incredible poise to fight his way through the field, past his longtime friend and rival Vettel, and lapping his own teammate.
Bottas had possibly the worst day of his Mercedes career, finishing a lap down to his teammate, scoring no points, and finishing 14th place. He had an early spin on Lap 1 due to Ocon’s spinning Renault but from there on he spun around 6 times, ensuring that he never found the pace to push his way through the field. He said that he had front wing damage and steering issues, and we suspect that he may have also suffered some floor damage as well. On a day when he would have to perform mightily to stop his teammate winning another title, he failed to even keep the car pointing in the right direction.
Other Race TidbitsBefore the race started, the drama had already begun in the stewards’ office, as Pierre Gasly changed his entire PU following a request from Honda after qualifying. The car was disassembled only for the team to decide not use the new parts. By then, there was no way for the delegates to supervise and confirm that no parts had been changed and that the setup of the car had not been modified post-disassembly and the Stewards had no option but to hand Gasly a grid penalty, forcing him to start from the back of the grid, in a severe mistake from AlphaTauri.
Further back, George Russell had a decent race for Williams, although he did have a clumsy moment at the pit lane entry, finishing last of the runners, with Nicolas Latifi struggling throughout the race before being hit by Romain Grosjean and retiring on lap 39.
At Haas, Grosjean’s tangle with Latifi was not the last of their troubles. While Grosjean retired on Lap 49 after heavily damaging his floor in the ham-fisted crash with Latifi, Kevin Magnussen almost left the pitlane with a loose tire, and had to be wheeled back to his pit lane box, then ended his race on lap 55.
Teşekkürler TürkiyeToday marked the first time since 2011 that Formula 1 raced in Istanbul. With the track being resurfaced, it created a host of problems for the drivers as the oil started to seep out of the fresh track, and water exacerbated the problems.
Those problems notwithstanding, the track has great flowing corners and good straights, which all drivers seemed to enjoy. While the track record of the Juan and only Juan Pablo Montoya from 2004 survived, if F1 decides to return again next season, spectators can expect that record to tumble quickly. With one race being potentially cancelled in Vietnam next year, a return to Turkey remains a viable option.
And as it is the place where the second ever 7th World Drivers’ Championship was won, Istanbul Park will from this day on hold an important place in the history of Formula 1.