Hamilton on the Istanbul Park circuit: “It’s s*** with a capital S”

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

After the resurfaced Istanbul Park track proved to be extremely slippery, with drivers sliding all over the place, Lewis Hamilton said it was “terrifying” to drive there.

Not only did drivers struggle for grip during Turkish Grand Prix Friday’s free practice sessions, but the lap times were also extremely disappointing. The best lap in FP1 was slower than the times GP2 drivers did back in 2011, when the track last hosted a grand prix.

Mercedes had a particularly hard time today. In FP1 Valtteri Bottas finished in P9 and Hamilton in P15, while in FP2 they finished in P3 and P4 respectively. After the sessions Hamilton wasn’t happy.

“It was a bit of a disaster today to be honest,” said the Briton.

“This track is such a fantastic circuit and I really don’t fully understand when they spend millions to resurface a track.

“I know it’s been sitting around for some time but they could have just cleaned it maybe, instead of wasting all the money.

“Now the track is worse than Portimao was when we had the brand-new surface there. So for us at least, the tyres aren’t working.

“You can see it, it’s like an ice rink out there and so you don’t get the enjoying of the lap as you normally would at Istanbul and I don’t see that changing.

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The Briton was then asked how it felt to drive on the track.

“It’s terrifying the whole way around. It’s almost like there’s wet patches all over because you are on slicks, accelerating and it just goes so fast.

“It’s because you are way, way below the temperature window. These tyres, they are so hard and only work in a certain window, so if you are 10 or 20 degrees below they are not working.

“For some reason this surface is so smooth, a lot of the older circuits, are a lot more open between the stones, so it works the tyre more.

“This one is super closed, flat and shiny and I guess there’s oil seeps from the tarmac.

“It’s s*** with a capital S,” concluded the six-time champion.

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