Lewis Hamilton (10/3 – Turkish GP Winner) topped the timesheets in Friday’s second practice session ahead of the Turkish Grand Prix, but will start Sunday’s race with a 10-place grid penalty.
Having led the way in Friday’s first session with a 0.425-second advantage over nearest challenger Max Verstappen, Hamilton’s Mercedes pipped Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in the second run by a trimmer 0.166 seconds, with the Briton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas rolling in third fastest.
The seven-time champion will, however, be forced to fight his way through the field come Sunday’s main event, owing to his team’s decision to take a fourth engine – one more than permitted – and thus incur a 10-place grid sanction.
But the call to take only one power-unit component means the Briton – who leads Verstappen in the drivers’ standings by just two points, following the former’s win at the Russian GP last time out – escapes a full-grid penalty, such as the one that befell his Dutch rival in Sochi.
Despite his start to the day, Verstappen (8/13 – Turkish GP Winner) fell away to fifth place in Friday’s second practice, over six tenths of a second behind the championship leader.
The Dutch ace’s Red Bull colleague, Sergio Perez, followed Bottas in fourth.
Lando Norris, whose inspired performance in Russia put him within touching distance of a first Grand Prix victory before a late slide sent him off-track, was sixth fastest for McLaren, with the Alpines of Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon just behind.
Pierre Gasly of AlphaTauri and Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi complete the top ten.
Last year saw the reintroduction of the Turkish GP to the Formula 1 calendar after a nine-year absence and the event will bring back fond memories for Mercedes; taking the honours after a sixth-placed start, it was at Istanbul Park that Hamilton claimed his seventh overall title, equalling the career figures of the legendary Michael Schumacher.