Lewis Hamilton said he is not panicking about qualifying sixth for the Turkish Grand Prix, as he felt like it was the best he could have done in the conditions in Istanbul.
Hamilton, who could clinch the championship on Sunday by finishing within eight points of teammate Valtteri Bottas, was uncharacteristically off the pace in treacherous conditions at Istanbul. Heavy rain fell throughout the session, which was red-flagged on two occasions, although conditions had improved enough for intermediate tyres by the end.
Despite it being his worst qualifying performance of the season on paper, Hamilton said it was the maximum he could have achieved.
“I’m super chilled, man,” Hamilton said about his prospects for Sunday’s race. “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.”
Hamilton was critical of the Istanbul circuit on Friday, calling the new asphalt “s— with a capital S” after practice. He said things were no better in qualifying.
“The track feels terrible. It’s just like driving on ice. For whatever reason some people can get the tyres switched on better than us, but I think ultimately we were all struggling out there but some were better than others.
He added: “The track surface grip is the worst I have ever experienced in a year of racing, so considering how much downforce we have it’s been a challenge and going in the wet today made it even harder. We were definitely limited by grip and temperature, but I’m pretty happy with the job I did.”