Lewis Hamilton (3/1 – To win Turkish GP) says it will be “difficult to move up” the field but we will “see what we can do” in Sunday’s race after posting the fastest time in qualifying for the Turkish GP, but due to a 10-place grid penalty, he will start in 11th place.
Mercedes confirmed on Friday Hamilton would incur a 10-place penalty after using a fourth engine – one more than permitted – with only one power-unit component change for Sunday’s Istanbul Park event.
The fact Hamilton, who leads Red Bull’s Verstappen (6/5 – To win Turkish GP) in the drivers’ standings by just two points, was able to record the quickest qualifying time means he has given himself a fighting chance starting from 11th.
The 36-year-old knows he faces a tough challenge trying to move through the grid, but he insists he and his team will do all they can to ensure they finish as high as possible after admitting he had enjoyed Saturday’s session.
He said: “The track is absolutely awesome with the grip. It was really tricky in general, the session because there were still some damp patches and trying to get temperature in the tyres.
“It’s not the easiest overtaking – and we’re all in the same tyres. I imagine tomorrow is going to be difficult to move up.
“We’ve got the long straight down the back, so we’ll see what we can do.”
Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas (2/1 – To win Turkish GP) has been moved up to pole after coming in second in qualifying, 0.130 seconds behind, while Verstappen will start in second after posting a time 0.328 seconds slower than his title rival.
Red Bull ace Verstappen said Saturday had not gone exactly to plan but was hopeful of an improvement overall come race day.
He said in quotes on BBC Sport: “It was quite tricky with the conditions. We managed to turn it around quite well. The laps overall were quite good. We lost a bit down the straight, we’ll have to look into that.”