Lewis Hamilton struggles to 15th in Turkish GP first practice

ISTANBUL, NOV 13 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 11/13/2020 1:18:07 PM IST

Lewis Hamilton’s bid to win his record equalling seventh world championship on Sunday got off to a frustrating start after struggling to 15th in opening practice for the Turkish Grand Prix.

The Brit would be able to secure the championship should he win at Istanbul but along with the rest of the grid suffered from the very low grip around the circuit in the weekend’s opening session.
Despite the largely dry track enabling drivers to run on slick tyres, the low temperatures and lack of grip made the track so slippery that the fastest time of 1:35.077 set by Max Verstappen was over 10 seconds down on the lap record set by Juan Pablo Montoya at McLaren 15 years ago.
Formula One has not visited Turkey since 2011 and the track has recently been resurfaced which would have only exacerbated the issues seen during the morning session. 
In addition the circuit had been washed overnight and some of the damp spots failed to evaporate during the 90 minutes despite being exposed to the autumnal sun.
As a result Hamilton will not be concerned with his low placing and will likely show a more representative time during the afternoon session when temperatures get a little warmer than the 15 degrees Celsius from FP1.
Verstappen led a Red Bull one-two in front of Alex Albon but even team principal Christian Horner admitted after the session that the drivers were reporting that the track was ‘incredibly slippery’.
Charles Leclerc completed the top three for Ferrari but it is very unlikely that the times posted by any of the drivers will be representative of the weekend in general.
Hamilton is within touching distance of securing his seventh world championship over the next four races and will equal Michael Schumacher’s record of seven should he win or even finish ahead of team-mate Valtteri Bottas on Sunday.

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