Lewis Hamilton takes pole position for the Turkish Grand Prix but will start 11th after 10-place grid penalty with team-mate Valtteri Bottas to lead front row alongside Max Verstappen
- Lewis Hamilton was fastest in qualifying for Sunday’s Turkish Grand Prix
- He will start in 11th however after receiving a 10-place engine penalty
- Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas will inherit pole for Sunday’s Grand Prix
- Title rival Max Verstappen was third in qualifying and will line up second
- Charles Leclerc and Pierre Gasly will start the race on the second row of the grid
- Latest Formula One news, including live action and results
Natural talent apart, there are two great hopes of Lewis Hamilton winning the Turkish Grand Prix. The first is the super-quick Mercedes he is driving. The second is out of his control: the weather.
‘I hope for some rain,’ declared the seven-time world champion, who will start 11th despite setting the fastest time in qualifying at Istanbul Park.
A change of engine — taking on his fourth of the season — means he is inflicted with a 10-place drop. It would have been twice as punitive but for the fact that not every component is new.
Lewis Hamilton was fastest in qualifying ahead of the Turkish Grand Prix but will start 11th
Hamilton’s engine penalty means Valtteri Bottas (right) will start from pole position on Sunday
Max Verstappen could take the title lead off Hamilton and he starts the race from second
On Saturday, he accomplished everything he had asked of himself. On Friday, he set the target of ‘pole’ to give himself the best chance in relation to the only man challenging him for the title, Max Verstappen.
The Dutchman, struggling slightly all weekend in an unusually less than purring Red Bull, qualified third-best and will start nine places ahead of Hamilton once the Briton’s penalty bites.
Rain is a possibility and that would open things further for Hamilton, who won title No 7 here in tricky conditions a year ago. He came up the field and clinched his record-equalling feat in fine style. On Saturday showed how capricious the conditions can be in the area with rain blowing in before morning practice, which took place on a slow-to-dry wet track.
The Briton’s prospects are further enhanced by his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who qualified second, starting at the front and possessing the best opportunity to conduct events.
Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc will start third ahead of Pierre Gasly and Fernando Alonso
Rain had been promised for the session but never arrived after a wet morning practice
Hamilton, holding a two-point lead over Verstappen with seven races remaining, said: ‘We knew it was going to be difficult with this penalty. Tomorrow is not going to be easy but where there is a will, there is a way.
‘The car is good in race trim and we have quite good balance. It is a long race and I hope some rain comes along.’
In fact, the Mercedes machines are markedly the fastest cars here by some distance and Hamilton’s qualifying lap was the fastest-ever recorded at this windy circuit a manic 30 miles of driving outside central Istanbul.
Bottas said of qualifying: ‘It was a team result. It was as we planned. But I will focus on my own race tomorrow. That is the way to attack it when you start on pole.’
However, with Bottas out of the title picture, surely Mercedes will use the Finn to benefit Hamilton if they need to.
Team principal Toto Wolff said: ‘Valtteri can only try to do his best, and I wouldn’t want any other driver in the car when it is about overtaking and going through the field than Lewis.
TURKISH GP – QUALIFYING TIMES
POLE POSITION SHOOTOUT
1 Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes 1: 22.868*
2 Bottas (Fin) Mercedes 1:22.998
3 Verstappen (Hol) Red Bull 1:23.196
4 Leclerc (Mon) Ferrari 1:23.265
5 Gasly (Fra) AlphaTauri 1:23.326
6 Alonso (Spa) Alpine 1:23.477
7 Perez (Mex) Red Bull 1:23.706
8 Norris (Gbr) McLaren 1:23.954
9 Stroll (Can) Aston Martin 1:24.305
10 Tsunoda (Jpn) AlphaTauri 1:24.368
Eliminated from Q2
11 Vettel (Ger) Aston Martin 1:24.795
12 Ocon (Fra) Alpine 1:24.842
13 Russell (Gbr) Williams 1:25.007
14 Schumacher (Ger) Haas 1:25.200
15 Sainz (Spa) Ferrari. 1:25.177**
Eliminated from Q1
16 Ricciardo (Aus) McLaren 1:25.881
17 Latifi (Can) Williams 1:26.086
18 Giovinazzi (Ita) A. Romeo 1:26.430
19 Raikkonen (Fin) A. Romeo 1:27.525
20 Mazepin (Raf) Haas 1:28.449
*Will start 11th after 10-place penalty
** Will start from last after penalty
‘We simulated some of the situations and it is very difficult to follow in traffic — as it has been all year — so it could be something we will have to fight against tomorrow.
‘There will not be many options left than to try with strategy and hope the front train is not disappearing in the distance.
‘Valtteri is going to race his race. This is about the win, Valtteri’s win, the team’s win, and we are not going to do any bunching up.’
Beyond the championship picture, it was a day of celebration for Mick Schumacher, the 22-year-old son of you-know-who.
Driving a sub-standard Haas, he has toiled away in his debut season so it was nice to see him manage to drive his way out for Q3 for the first time. He let out a squeal of delight as he was told the news. He ended up qualifying 14th while his team-mate Nikita Mazepin was last, three seconds slower.
Lando Norris and George Russell will start seventh and 13th respectively — adequate showings if not as startling as their recent bravura displays.
Verstappen was one of several drivers who went for spins on a drying track in qualifying
Lando Norris (above) struggled after his Russia heroics in eighth with George Russell out of Q2
Mick Schumacher had his best qualifying performance of the season to get out of Q1
Sportsmail’s KIERAN LYNCH provided live qualifying coverage including build-up, updates and result.