The Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team’s Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas endured a disappointing qualifying session for Sunday’s Turkish Grand Prix at the Istanbul Park circuit.
Lewis Hamilton who starts the race from sixth place can win the championship if he outscores Valtteri Bottas by eight points and speaking following the action he said:
It was so challenging out there today and we were all struggling, but for whatever reason some people could switch on the tyres better than us. We were limited on tyre temperatures and just couldn’t find the grip we needed. We tried our hardest and did the best we could, but this was the fastest that we could drive today. It’s going to be a challenge tomorrow and I think we’ll find it hard to get the tyres to work, but I’ll give it everything I’ve got.
Valtteri Bottas starts the race from ninth place and speaking following the action he commented saying:
It’s been very tricky out there all weekend, but today was particularly challenging. We have a great car, but in the end it’s the tyres that connect the car to the ground – and if you can’t get the tyres to work and you don’t generate any grip, it doesn’t matter how strong your car is. The teams that managed to get the tyres to work ended up at the top and we clearly didn’t do a good enough job on that front today. I really struggled on the Inters in Q3 as I just couldn’t get any temperature into them at all. It’s not the grid position I wanted, but I’m looking forward to the race. I know I have nothing to lose.
Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team Principal and CEO Toto Wolff says:
It wasn’t a great day for us today – it was cold and wet on a newly surfaced tarmac and in the end these unusual circumstances caught us out as we couldn’t get the tyres to work. We didn’t really get on top of these issues all weekend long and that’s why we ended up P6 and P9 on the grid. But as we always say, the days where we are beaten are the days where we learn the most. I’m absolutely confident that the team that will analyse the situation and try and understand our issues today, will help us progress and make sure that we will be stronger in similar circumstances next year. Congratulations to the Racing Points – to Lance for his pole position and to Checo for being right up there as well. I’m looking forward to an exciting race tomorrow.
Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team’s chief race engineer Andrew Shovlin commented saying:
We were struggling to get the tyres into the right window today, it’s a problem that we had been battling with since we arrived here. We’ve got some freedom to make a few changes to the car tomorrow and we need to have a good look at things ahead of the race because tyre warm-up is going to be critical. Once we get temperature in the tyres, we seem to be in decent shape and the car seems to be working well, so getting the rubber to work is our main concern. It’s an interesting weekend with many opportunities to grow our understanding of the car and the tyres. The unusual grid should make for an exciting race and we’re looking forward to it.