Lewis Hamilton admits qualifying at the Turkish Grand Prix was “one of the least enjoyable” experiences of his Formula 1 career.

In a wet-affected qualifying at Istanbul Park, Hamilton could only manage sixth on the grid, with Mercedes teammate and main championship rival Valtteri Bottas set to start from ninth.

Hamilton is likely to win his seventh F1 title this weekend, should he not lose eight or more points to teammate Bottas this weekend.


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Hamilton usually thrives in wet conditions but admits it was impossible to enjoy driving in qualifying due to the lack of grip.

When asked if it was the toughest qualifying session of his career, Hamilton said: “I can’t remember them all if I’m honest. It was probably one of the least enjoyable, if not the least enjoyable that I’ve had.

“Mostly because the layout is so great but the grip is so poor that we can’t generate the grip to go through the corners at the speeds we like. Otherwise, it’s a challenge and we like challenges.”

Given Mercedes’ difficulties in getting the tyres into the working window, Hamilton wasn’t disappointed by the result as he felt he got the maximum result possible.

“The track feels terrible,” Hamilton added. “It’s just like driving on ice. For whatever reason, some people can get the tyres switched on better than us, but I think ultimately we were all struggling out there but some were better than others.

“But I did the best I could, I didn’t spin, I didn’t make any mistakes, so I’m generally happy that I did everything I could with what I had.”