Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Istanbul Park, 2021

Hamilton predicts “difficult” recovery from 11th on the grid

2021 Turkish Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says it will be hard to regain the places lost due to his engine change penalty in tomorrow’s Turkish Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver was quickest in the qualifying session, which was made challenging by rain earlier in the day. But Hamilton will start tomorrow’s race from 11th on the grid after his ten place penalty.

“It was really tricky – the session, in general, because there’s still some damp patches and getting the temperature in the tyres for the first lap wasn’t easy,” said Hamilton.

“But it was a really great job by the team. I’m so happy with the performance in terms of getting us out at the right time. Tomorrow’s going to be difficult, but I’ll give it everything.”

Hamilton will start the race on medium compound tyres, which he used in Q2. Almost every driver ahead of him on the grid will have the same, except for Yuki Tsunoda who got into the Q3 on softs. Sebastian Vettel has a free tyre choice, having failed to reach the top ten.

With most drivers ahead of him running the same tyre compound, Hamilton reckons it will be hard for him to make progress.

“It’s not the easiest overtaking at the momen, and we’re all on the same tyre as well,” he said. “So I imagine tomorrow’s going to be difficult to move up.”

In Sochi Max Verstappen started last and progressed as far as seventh, until a late rain shower gave him the chance to gain further places and finish in second.

“You saw in the last race what happened with Max, for example, once he got behind sixth place or something,” said Hamilton. “But we’ve got the long straight down the back, we’ll see what we can do. Hopefully we can give the fans here a good race.”

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Keith Collantine
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37 comments on “Hamilton predicts “difficult” recovery from 11th on the grid”

  1. With that pace advantage in the fastest car, I dont think so. His lap times were very good and should be better on those hard tires.

    1. his starting on mediums just like the drivers in front of him bar yuki who starts on softs

  2. In normal circumstances and given Mercedes pace advantage, a win is still on the card for Hamilton even if Verstappen will pass Bottas at the start. He has only to complete the first lap incident free.

    1. @tifoso1989 Yes with that race pace advantage, and a track relatively easy to overtake on it seems possible. Bottas will anyway give up his win, so that’s not an issue.

    2. @tifoso1989

      even if Verstappen will pass Bottas at the start

      Autocorrected to even when Verstappen passes Bottas at the start… :oP

      1. Almost lost the coffee cup from laughing, That was a good one BTW :)
        The run to turn 1 in Istanbul is very short even if a driver will have a bad start, there is not enough straight for the attacking drivers to capitalize on that bad start, so I expect Bottas to remain in P1 after Turn1. Though I might be mistaken and Bottas surely can prove me wrong.

        1. Dont be so sure, max may deem the corner his own, and can easily cause a collision. turn 1 is like photocopy of brasil, brake too late, u r off, too early, someone can overtake from the outside or inside. i ve a feeling max will have some incident early on..

        2. @tifoso1989 @mysticus Combining your two points, I’d suggest that if Max does get the chance, he surely knows by now that if he goes aggressive with Bottas, he’s past, since Bottas isn’t going to risk his own race for the Mercedes/Hamilton cause. He’s already let everyone (including Max) know that in the last race. So whether it’s at the race start or in the first few laps, I expect Max to go for the pass and get it done.

          1. Bottas knows that this is likely his last opportunity for a win in his career. He will fight like hell for it. No way will he let Max easily pass him.

  3. The big rear wing is a clue isn’t it. The strategy is 3 things: tyre life, tyre life and tyre life.

    1. The pace advantage in turkey is as big as in Monza for Merc.

      But monza was tougher to overtake due to the DRS trains. Still Bottas cut through the field where he couldn’t in Socchi.

      Lewis is the better driver AND Turkey is easier to overtake on.

      1. yes @trib4udi, I mean Lewis and Bono are planning to do it with a tyre advantage more than a top speed advantage. So once they have less understeer and more traction then the rest should follow.

  4. Go Lewis go!

  5. Difficult to win perhaps but if Bottas can keep Max behind, it’s very possible. In terms of recovering to the podium – not too difficult. It’s a fairly easy track to pass on and Mercedes are clearly the fastest here.

  6. I reckon P3 is possible under normal circumstances.

    1. I would say P2, Bottas will get team ordered.

      1. @tifoso1989 Unlikely to be necessary, Hamilton looks a ton quicker. If he survives the opening scuffles and makes his way up to Bottas, I expect he’ll have the pace to pass anyway. In theory, it should be a reverse of the last race with Verstappen and Hamilton in 1 and 2. However Leclerc might cause them both some trouble.

        1. @david-br
          Bottas will succumb to Hamilton one way or the other. If he choses to play hard, he might delay Hamilton’s charge by 2 laps, maybe 3. Nothing more. If he will let Hamilton through straightaway, he will not compromise his chances for the win. I think this has been already settled by Toto by giving Bottas a bonus payment for helping Hamilton to win the WDC and promising him a future role in the Mercedes organization.

          1. Where can we learn more about this bonus payment? That’s curious news.

          2. @tifoso1989 That I don’t see! To me Bottas’s attitude on track this season has signalled he’s relaxed either way: he’ll do the Mercedes strategy, fine, his job, but he won’t put up any effort to block Max, and will let Hamilton past – at some point (recalling that he has actually taken his time to let Lewis past on occasion this season even with team orders).

      2. As it should be! Perez would get the same call (but Perez can’t drive that RB to anywhere close to its capability so would never be ahead of Max)

        1. Absolutely, bottas drives the car a lot closer to its 100% speed than perez, red bull should go back on their decision, contracts can be torn.

  7. If Bottas doesn’t go “oh no, anyway” in the first corner then Hamilton will be looking for a win. His pace advantage here is notable, even over Bottas.

  8. I do not expect it to be a problem at all for Hamilton. 0.3 on the fastest RedBull. Should be P2 or P1 after the first pit stops. Lets see whether Max can squeeze out a P2 or P3 to keep the fight alive.

    1. Oh Mayrton… your comments lack conviction and your agenda is clear. That said… Entertainment is the name of the game and you bring it in spades. Kudos to you sir.

    2. Let’s say hamilton can certainly be a victory contender, if verstappen manages to overtake bottas without too much risk, maybe he can fight with hamilton later in the race.

    3. Thing is they need about 1.5s pace advantage for an overtake.

      As noted in the article, Verstappen couldn’t get past P7 in Socchi on merit either. With the same pace advantage over the field as Hamilton has now.

  9. Max has the disadvantage to start on the left of the track, where there is much lesser grip. So the chance of passing Botttas at the start is small. Once Bottas gets through the first corner first I doubt Max can catch him.

    1. Let’s not forget that Leclerc iOS on TV clean side in P3 and had had a brilliant start last round. He might end up ahead of Verstappen at the start.

      1. Let’s not forget that Leclerc is* on the* clean side in P3 and had* a brilliant start last round. He might end up ahead of Verstappen at the start.

  10. Come on Lewis, stop down playing, act like a champion, even Bottas was quicker in pretty much all sessions and out qualified Max with 0.2.

    So yes you start 11th but you car is 0.3 seconds per lap faster and start of your preferred medium tyre so anything less than winning is a sub par performance on your account.

    Bottas will slow down the race and should no issue keeping Max behind and it is likely Max will be 3rd after 1st corner given Ferrari’s quick starts and Max starting off the race line.

    1. Lol. If Hamilton said he was going to smoke those 10 guys and win easily you would be on your fainting couch.

      1. Maybe true, but he could also say: Lets see what we can do from 11th. We clearly got the better package here and 0.3 on the fastest Bull. So given the length of the race and if all goes well, it could become a fight for the win.

        1. “But we’ve got the long straight down the back, we’ll see what we can do. Hopefully we can give the fans here a good race.”

      2. Ahah, that would be a funnier comment though than always downplaying his chances.

    2. @jelle-van-der-meer How is he downplaying? Verstappen was stuck in P7 last race. Only a lucky draw with the weather lottery saw him advance further.

      The top cars don’t have the pace advantage anymore to easily overtake the whole field. They only have a big enough pace advantage up until McLaren and Ferrari. So, depending on how many of those cars (plus other Red Bulls and Mercedes) will be around, is the reasonable best Hamilton can expect to advance to.

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