Wolff: Hamilton Turkey progress "tough" after FP2 traffic issues

Mercedes Formula 1 team boss Toto Wolff believes it will be tough for Lewis Hamilton to move up in Sunday's Turkish Grand Prix after being alarmed by traffic issues in free practice.

Wolff: Hamilton Turkey progress "tough" after FP2 traffic issues

Hamilton took pole on Saturday ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull's Max Verstappen, but a 10-place grid penalty for a new engine means he will cede the front row to his teammate and to his title rival respectively, and start from 11th.

While Mercedes appears to enjoy a considerable pace advantage at Istanbul Park, Mercedes chief Wolff thinks that it will be hard for Hamilton to move up after witnessing the championship leader being stuck in traffic in Friday practice and he believes the team will have to bank on a clever strategy instead.

"Yesterday in the long run at a certain stage we were behind a Haas and also a Williams and it was very difficult to even come close," Wolff explained to Sky.

"I guess that strategy is more going to be the one that's going to help tomorrow.

"You need to look at the positives that the car is very quick, and we can start from pole.

"On the negative side, it's a weekend where we could have had a front row lockout and we haven't, we need to go to the back and it's not going to be easy with all the cars running on medium in front of him apart from [AlphaTauri's soft tyre running] Yuki Tsunoda. Progress will be a tough one."

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Asked if Bottas will be required to help Hamilton, Wolff said that the best thing the Finn could do is to simply hold off Verstappen and win the race.

"We have to look after ourselves," he said. "Valtteri wants to win the race, and this is the best opportunity, and it's helping Lewis.

"The Red Bulls have been so competitive this weekend and over the long runs, it was worse than on a single lap."

Hamilton was also wary of traffic issues in the race but said his goal to still try and win the race is "not impossible".

"My eyes are still solely set on winning the race," Hamilton told Sky. "It’s going to be very hard from 11th, but not impossible.

Read Also:

"I don’t know what the weather is going to do tomorrow also, so just staying on my toes and making sure that we deliver maximum attack tomorrow.

"I honestly have got to take it one step at a time tomorrow. It’s a long race.

"If I can be higher up early on, then great, but I’ve got to stay out of trouble of course, and that will be my priority initially, and see if it’s possible to pick them off one by one."

He added: "It's not the easiest overtaking at the moment and we're all on the same tyre as well, so I imagine tomorrow is going to be difficult to move up."

shares
comments

Related video

F1 Turkish GP: Hamilton tops qualifying, Bottas on pole

Previous article

F1 Turkish GP: Hamilton tops qualifying, Bottas on pole

Next article

Leclerc's Turkish GP third on F1 grid came despite "tricky" set-up

Leclerc's Turkish GP third on F1 grid came despite "tricky" set-up
Load comments
Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material Plus

Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull Plus

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be another close contest

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Plus

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Plus

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Plus

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. On the 50th anniversary of his death, Autosport recalls the career of an F1 and sportscar ace gone before his time

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Plus

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Plus

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz Jr. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021