Hamilton happy with P6 despite 'least enjoyable' qualifying ever


Lewis Hamilton says he was "pretty happy" with the result he achieved in qualifying for the Turkish GP despite enduring "the least enjoyable" Saturday afternoon session of his career.

Hamilton clocked in P6 at the end of the wet shootout that was held on a track where grip was once again at a premium thanks to the challenging conditions.

The Mercedes driver ended up 4.7s adrift from shock poleman Lance Stroll, conducting his final on Pirelli's intermediate tyre, like most of his rivals.

"It was definitely one of the least enjoyable, if not the least enjoyable that I've had," Hamilton said.

"This track, the layout is so great, but the grip is so poor that you can't really generate the grip to go through the corners at the speed we would like.


"But otherwise, it was a challenge, and challenges are always good.

"The track surface grip is the worst I've ever experienced in any year of racing. Considering how much downforce we have, it's been a challenge.

"Going into the wet today made it even harder. So we were definitely limited by grip and temperature, but I'm pretty happy with the job I did."

Hamilton - who called Istanbul Park's newly resurfaced "terrifying" after Friday's running, underscoring the local tarmac's massive lack of grip - said he had little idea what to expect in the event of a dry race on Sunday as Mercedes' set-up work had been constrained by yesterday's tyre issues.

"I have no idea what car I've got underneath me tomorrow," Hamilton said. "We made some set-ups going into today, and then it's been wet.

"If it's dry, I have no idea how it is going to feel, if it's wet, I know it's going to be, it could feel as bad as today. We'll just go with it. We're all in the same boat out there, we're all struggling. It's really cool.

"Congrats to Lance on the pole, that's pretty awesome. We look forward to a fight with them tomorrow."

Hamilton will secure his seventh F1 world championship and equal Michael Schumacher's record tally if Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas fails to outscore the Briton by eight points.

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