It was mission accomplished for Lewis Hamilton as he topped the timing sheets in qualifying, meaning he will start the Turkish Grand Prix in 11th place after a penalty for an engine change.
Mercedes were concerned about the state of Hamilton’s car, and opted to change his internal combustion engine.
Hamilton piled pressure on himself by saying he had to win qualifying to limit the damage, and he did exactly that with a time of 1:22.868.
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“It was a tricky session,” Hamilton said. “There were some damp patches, getting temperature in the tyres in the first lap was not easy.
“Tomorrow will be difficult but I will give it everything.
“It is not the easiest overtaking, so I expect it will be difficult tomorrow. But we have got the long straight down the back so we will see what we can do.”
In what was a perfect session for Mercedes, Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas took second - meaning he will start on pole.
With Hamilton to play catch-up from 11th, Bottas will have a key role to play as he leads the Briton’s title rival Max Veratappen.
Hamilton dominated the whole of qualifying, as he topped the sheets in Q1, Q2 and Q3. He has serious pace, but overtaking is not an easy task in Turkey.
The teams were greeted with a drying track after rain compromised the final practice session. Grip gradually improved, and Hamilton took advantage to post a series of track records.
His time of 1:22.868 beat Bottas by .130, with Verstappen almost half a second adrift of Hamilton.
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