GUEST COLUMN: The Silver Arrows had a taste of Cold Turkey today

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

By Carol M. Creasey

During wet Turkish Grand Prix free practice sessions this weekend, it was clear that the Silver Arrows were struggling with grip and pace. The Red Bulls were posting faster times and looked more comfortable in spite of the weather.

Lewis Hamilton made his feelings known by complaining about the track conditions and stating candidly it felt like ice, and was very dangerous. This was unusual for a man who has braved wet conditions many times in his Formula One career, and won many times.

The rainy conditions continued when Qualifying started, and at the end of Q1 Lewis scraped through to Q2 by just half a second in 14th position. Valtteri Bottas was a little safer in P9. The performance of the Silver Arrows caused much surprise to the other teams, although many of the other cars were also sliding on the track.

In Q2 The Silver Arrows seemed to be improving on the track, at one point Bottas was second to Verstappen and Lewis was third. But then Albon jumped up to second. On the final run, Verstappen was still leading, Lewis remained third, and Bottas was seventh.

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In Q3 there was everything to play for.  It seemed the hardest thing was to get the tyre temperatures working properly. Verstappen remained at the top posting a time of 1 min 52 secs, Bottas was 4th, and Lewis down in 7th. The cars went into the pits to fit intermediate tyres, then did their last laps.

The last few moments were very exciting when Lance Stroll executed a brilliant lap on a drying track to take pole position. Lewis was sixth and, when questioned later, he insisted that he had got the most out of his car that was possible. He didn’t spin or make any mistakes, and his demeanour was perfectly calm.

As Valtteri had ended up in 9th position, Lewis knows as long as Valtteri does not outscore him by eight points, he can still win the championship. After a record breaking season, this will only be a blip.

Can the Silver Arrows improve tomorrow, and will we have a wet race? Who knows, but it should be interesting!

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