A change of routine with consequences: Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes receives a new engine. For the Formula 1 race in Turkey, this sets the world championship leader far back. Is coming back?
Istanbul – Lewis Hamilton races against his transfer to Turkey. An illegal engine change takes the world championship leader back ten places on the Formula 1 starting grid on Sunday (2pm / sky).
However, on the first day of training, Hamilton made a strong impression, not impressed by the mortgage. The 36-year-old secured the first fastest time of the weekend in 1: 24.178 minutes against his World Cup opponent Max Verstappen (+0.425 seconds) and even cut it in the second session. Hamilton relegated Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc (+0.166 seconds) to second place in 1: 23.804 minutes. Verstappen at Red Bull had to be content with fifth place (+0.635 seconds).
Sebastian Vettel fell short of 16th at the Aston Martin, Haas newcomer Mick Schumacher finished 19th and once again left stable rival Nikita Masepin behind.
Engine change in Hamilton
Driving roulette in motorsport’s premier class has been going on for a long time, reaching Hamilton on the Bosphorus. Two weeks ago in Russia, a complete engine change even brought Verstappen to the end of the field.
Thanks to a mad dash to catch up, the Dutchman didn’t lose too much ground in the World Cup duel in the 100th Hamilton Grand Prix win. Verstappen is just two points behind seven-time world champion Great Britain. Now a new combustion engine has been installed in the Hamilton company car. It is the fourth of this season, only three are allowed without penalty.
“We played all the races until the end of the season,” Mercedes Chief Racing Engineer Andrew Shovlin explained to English broadcaster Sky Sports. The focus is also on minimizing the risk of unreliability. “You definitely want to avoid failing during a race and then having to accept a penalty.”
Hamilton with fond memories of the previous year
Hamilton has fond memories of Turkey. Last year, despite the rain and chaos, he secured the World Cup here early. “That was an incredible moment, of course, and what a difficult race,” said Hamilton.
Intercity Istanbul Park returned to Formula 1 in 2020 after a nine-year hiatus amid the crown pandemic. Some drivers had trouble on the newly paved course. At the time, Hamilton was only knocked out sixth in qualifying because he couldn’t get the tires up to operating temperature. This time, however, there should be more grip on the track.
“We understood some of the problems we had this weekend and I think we fixed some of them in the race. I think we are better prepared, “said Hamilton.
He was also prepared for the engine change. At Mercedes, it was about when and not if. With his appearance on Friday, Hamilton fueled the Silver Arrows’ hope of successfully operating damage limitation.
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