Lance made his first appearence at Istanbul Park, as the Turkish Grand Prix returned to the Formula One calendar for this first time since 2011.
The newly resurfaced track proved chaotic, as the low-grip surface provided a unique challenge to the drivers throughout the opening Free Practice sessions.
Qualifying further compounded matters, as torrential rain meant for treacherous conditions using the Pirelli Extreme Wet Tyres.
Despite the difficult conditions, Lance made it through to Q3 for the final shootout.
Lance decisively decided to start on the Wet before a switch to the Intermediate, knowing the final moments would be key to the result.
After getting temperature into his Intermediate tyres and building confidence into the closing stage - Lance would move into P2, only for Verstappen to jump back ahead of him. With the Red Bull driver and Lance now head-to-head, Lance smashed in a stunning 1.47.765 lap time to take pole position!
This would be the first pole position for a Canadian since the 1997 European Grand Prix and Lance became the 5th Youngest Pole Sitter in Formula One history with his brilliant qualifying performance.
Race day saw Lance and teammate Sergio Perez make brilliant starts - with Lance leading a Racing Point 1-2 at the front.
The pair would lead the race for the opening 9 laps as the duo pulled well clear of the chasing pack before Lance switched from Used Wet tyres to a set of New Intermediates, with Checo making the same stop on Lap 10.
It took until Lap 13 for Lance to cycle back into the lead, as he continued to pull clear of the field as the conditions began to catch out their rivals.
Lance held the lead right until reports of inclement weather began to influence the strategies of the teams on the pitwall ¬– with question marks over when or if slick tyres could come into play.
While some drivers began to stop on Lap 33 of 58, Lance was reporting a dry line but with plenty of wet patches on the Istanbul Park circuit.
Three laps later, Lance pitted for a new set of Intermediates and he returned to the track in P4 but would soon report excessive graining that was beginning to affect his pace.
Lance battled on, but succumbed too his graining tyres - finishing in P9 at the chequered flag.
It was an unfortunate end to the race - after he led for much of the proceedings, but his points finish helped the team regain P3 in the Constructors’ Championship going into the final three races.
Nevertheless, Lance proved his star quality - becoming the only driver to take Pole Position other than the dominant Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport drivers this season, and in the trickiest of conditions!
Following the race, the team discovered damage to the underside of Lance's front wing that was a significant contributor to the graining issues that he experienced in the second and third stints.
Lance: "It’s really hard to understand what happened today and we need to go away and figure it out. I made a good start from pole position and I was able to build up a lead of over 10 seconds in the first stint, which gave us a real platform for the second stint to get a great result.
Throughout the race, I was struggling with graining on the intermediate tyre. The team made the right call to pit when we did because the graining was extremely difficult and it didn’t look like slick conditions would ever arrive.
But we then had significant graining on my second set of intermediates, and I couldn’t push to make up places. In hindsight, maybe staying out would have allowed the tyre to clean up, but it’s easy to say that now.
Getting pole yesterday was a great achievement, but the points are scored on Sunday. It was fun to lead so many laps, but we didn’t lead enough! While I’m frustrated today, Checo’s scored valuable points and we’ll switch focus to the final few races.”
Lance's attention now turns to a double header of races in Bahrain, with the first taking place in two weeks time on the 27-29 November.
Russian Grand Prix
September 26, 2021
Difficult weekend in Sochi for Lance as he ends Formula One’s Russian Grand Prix in P11.