Qualifying for the Turkish Grand Prix was among the hardest of Lewis Hamilton’s career in terms of grip, but the championship leader was happy with his performance as he secured sixth on the grid.
Hamilton never looked like being a contender of pole position on Saturday as Mercedes struggled in the wet conditions on an Istanbul Park track that had already proven to be low on grip even in the dry. After qualifying sixth — some 4.8 seconds behind pole winner Lance Stroll — Hamilton says he has never faced such difficult conditions.
“One of the hardest, if not the hardest for grip,” Hamilton said. “Usually in the wet it is already quite poor in general, but here is 10times worse than any other track I’ve been to in terms of grip. So it was a challenge, but we are all in the same boat.
“We tried our hardest and did the best we could and that was the fastest we could go.”
Although the margin to pole position was huge, Hamilton was 0.7s clear of teammate Valtteri Bottas and says he’s content with his personal performance.
“I’m super chilled, man. I’m not disappointed whatsoever. I did the best job I could today with the circumstances I was given, and I didn’t spin or make any mistakes. I delivered as good as I could and it was tricky for everyone and I will give it my best shot tomorrow.
“The track feels terrible. It’s just like driving on ice. For whatever reason some people can get the tires switched on better than us; I think ultimately we were all struggling out there but some were better than others. But… I’m generally happy that I did everything I could with what I had.”
While Hamilton only needs to drop no more than seven points to Bottas in order to be crowned world champion, he says he will attack as much as possible even if the conditions are the same on Sunday.
“You’ve got to jump at opportunities if they are in front of you but we’ll see … It’s not going to be too much fun, but it’s going to be a challenge as we saw today. It’s definitely not going to be fun if it’s wet.
“You know I like driving in the wet but here the tires aren’t really working and you are just driving around on cold tires most of the time. So it won’t be the most fun. If it’s dry, it’s going to be slippery also but we are all in the same boat and I will give it everything I’ve got.”