Lewis Hamilton will start tomorrow's F1 2011 Turkish Grand Prix from fourth and he reckons his biggest challenge will be getting off the line as he will have to start from the dirty side of the grid.
Hamilton had looked set to take third in Q3 and finish the top-ten shoot-out behind the Red Bull's of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. However Nico Rosberg edged in front near the end and demoted the Englishman to P4. Despite that though, Hamilton is still reasonably optimistic and as ever he has definitely not given up hope.
“We're starting on the dirty side of the grid – so our biggest challenge tomorrow could be getting off the line,” Hamilton said following qualifying at Istanbul Park. “Every year here I've started on the dirty side here!
“Mercedes GP and Ferrari have picked up their pace [since the last event], and it might be hard to overtake the Mercedes GP [of Rosberg] because it is very fast on the straights; so if it pans out like that, the Red Bulls could edge away from us.
“We don't have an extra set of [unused] tyres [either], but you never know what the weather will do tomorrow.
“We're definitely in the fight and I'll be pushing all the way – just as we did last year. I'll try to get a good start tomorrow – fingers crossed we can gain some places that way. I'm looking forward to driving a strong grand prix. It's a long race here and there should be opportunities to overtake.”
Jenson Button meanwhile had to settle for sixth in the sister car, 0.382 seconds slower than his team-mate. He too is concerned about starting on the 'wrong side' of the grid, but like Hamilton is trying to stay positive.
“Sixth position isn't great, but we can still do well: Mark Webber had a good race from 18th in China, so we can definitely have a good race from sixth,” Button remarked. “Maybe I should have just done a single run for Q3 because my second run wasn't any faster than my first – and you tend to lose time if you push these tyres too hard. But to be honest I couldn't get a really good balance in qualifying.
“It's difficult to know people's overall pace from Friday running because the changeable weather has mixed everything up. I'd hoped for more but we'll see what happens.
“It's a pity that I'm on the dirty side of the track – it might cause a few problems with the getaway into Turn One tomorrow – but we're competitive. We'll be in the running tomorrow.”