Louis Hamilton described the Istanbul Park Circuit’s lap as “terrible” after low-grip conditions, causing drivers to lap several seconds at a slower speed during practice for this weekend’s Turkish Grand Prix.
Hamilton, who is set to win his seventh title this weekend, finished the session at fourth speed with a total of 20 drivers struggling for grip.
The Istanbul Park Circuit recently came back earlier than the Grand Prix and the smooth surface, which was much less in use than Friday’s practice session, made it harder to get the tires up to temperature.
“It was scary the whole way,” Hamilton said. “It’s almost like there are wet patches, because you’re in slix, it’s fast and it’s [the loss of grip] Goes very fast.
“This is the way you are, the way below the temperature window [for the tyres]. These tires, they are very tough and only work in a certain window, so they will not work if you are below 10 or 20 degrees.
“For some reason this surface is very smooth, very old circuits, very open between rocks, so it works tire more. I think it ess es super closed, flat and shiny and oil seeps.
“It’s s *** with capital S..”
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen topped Hamilton’s speed of 0.850 seconds in practice on Friday, but the Mercedes driver believes it’s all down to the tires.
“I haven’t changed a single thing with the car today because you don’t really know what the balance is if the tires don’t work,” he said, “it’s literally just tires.
“You see other people bringing them to work. You can go from one lap to another and you can find the second because the tire works in both corners. You can see the Red Bulls are working well with it and we definitely got some work done tonight to try to figure out what we can change.
“It’s hard for fans to understand, but there are basics in the car that you can not change, so we go to the work we have and try to do the best we can.”