Lewis Hamilton would be lining up from pole position for tomorrow’s Turkish Grand Prix, after being the fastest driver in qualifying at the Intercity Istanbul Park Circuit, his penalty however for a new ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) means he lines up eleventh. Team-mate Valtteri Bottas inherited pole position.
It was a perfect qualifying for Hamilton and the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team, who knew that with the British driver’s penalty, eleventh place would be the best starting position possible. The seven-time world champion has looked strong all weekend and qualifying was no different, in what were difficult conditions following a light shower during Qualifying One.
Had it not been for the penalty it would’ve been Hamilton’s first ever time on pole in Turkey, the venue where he claimed his seventh crown last season. Overtaking appears to be difficult around the circuit meaning that coming through the field from eleventh will be no easy task for Hamilton, who is going to give it everything.
“It’s so good to be back in Turkey, last year was an unbelievable visit here for myself and the Team! Coming back, the track is completely different – the grip level we’ve got now is absolutely awesome. The session today was really tricky because there were still some damp patches and getting temperature into the tyres for the first lap wasn’t easy. But it was a really, really great job by the Team, they got us out at the right time and put in a great performance.
“Tomorrow is going to be difficult, but I’ll give it everything! Overtaking isn’t the easiest at the moment and we’re all on the same tyre so I imagine tomorrow is going to be difficult to move up. We’ve got the long straight down the back so we’ll see what we can do. Hopefully we can give the fans here a good race!”
“The lap was really nice” – Valtteri Bottas
With Hamilton losing pole due to his 10-place penalty, Bottas will be lining up from pole position on Sunday, after qualifying in second only +0.022s behind his team-mate. Bottas too has looked strong this weekend and will be hopeful of a strong race.
The first lap will be key to Bottas’s race, with Max Verstappen starting alongside him and with the rapid Scuderia Ferrari of Charles Leclerc behind in third. The team will be hoping the Red Bull Racing driver doesn’t have the lead after Turn One. Bottas knows the race will be tough but is fully focused on himself and not making any errors.
“Today was a good Quali – not easy conditions, especially in Q1 which was on the edge with the damp parts and still in Q3 there were damp sections but I put together some good laps! On the final lap, I missed a little in the last sector with some understeer but other than that, the lap was really nice. I enjoyed it and obviously as a team result, today was pretty ideal.
“Max is starting next to me and the Ferrari has looked strong this weekend, so it’ll be a tough race but we’ll give it our all. We have a good race car, I just need to keep the focus on my own race, avoid mistakes and stay ahead. Strategy will always play a part but I’m feeling confident and looking forward to the start and getting the job done.”