Hamilton rues tyre choice

McLaren man's tyre gamble fails to pay off

After qualifying third for the Turkish Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton was left to rue his tyre choice in the final session at Istanbul Park.

The McLaren Mercedes driver opted to do his Q3 runs on the harder option Bridgestone tyres, which many drivers have found difficult to get heat into this weekend.

Regardless, Hamilton decided to use them while his rivals put in their last flying laps on the softer option tyres.


But the gamble failed to pay off and, with his first flying lap seeing Hamilton get crossed up in Turn 8, he eventually found himself third on the grid behind pole-sitter Felipe Massa and McLaren team-mate Heikki Kovalainen.

"It was a tough qualifying session for me," said Hamilton.

"I had a fantastic lap in Q1, and in Q2 I struggled a bit on the option tyre so I opted for the prime tyre (for Q3) because I felt it would be more consistent.

"I did it and I guess I made the wrong decision.

"It wasn't too bad. I struggled in the first Q3 lap. It was terrible and I was in the 29s. The second one for sure was an improvement but still wasn't quick enough."

However, still Hamilton reckons he has a good chance of winning the race as McLaren are doing better than expected in matching Ferrari's pace.

"I think we have got a good package this weekend and myself and Heikki have shown we are up there with the Ferraris and should be able to push them in the race," he added.