Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton says his “nightmare” weekend in Turkey is purely a result of the lack of grip at the Istanbul Park Circuit.
Hamilton, who has taken nine pole positions so far in 2020, was only sixth fastest at the end of Q3 on Saturday, his worst qualifying result since the 2018 German Grand Prix.
Drivers have struggled with the recently resurfaced track all weekend, which was coupled with wet conditions on Saturday.
“This whole weekend has been a nightmare around the track, the grip is so poor,” Hamilton said.
“But I think everyone is in the same boat, the track surface grip is the worst I’ve ever experienced in years of racing.
“Considering how much downforce we have, it’s been a challenge and again going into the wet again made it really hard.
“We were definitely limited by grip, temperature but pretty happy with the job I did.”
Hamilton affirms that despite being just sixth, he conjured up his best effort, admitting Mercedes was simply outperformed by some of its rivals.
“For whatever reason, some people were able to get their tyres working better than us,” he commented.
“I think ultimately, we were all struggling out there but some were worse than others.
“I did the best I could, I didn’t spin, I didn’t make any mistakes so I’m generally happy… I did everything I could with what I had.
“It was definitely one of the least enjoyable [sessions], if not probably the least enjoyable I’ve had.
“Mostly because this track… the layout is so great but the grip is so poor we can’t really generate the grip to go to the speed through the corners we would like. But otherwise it was a challenge and a challenge is always good.”
Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas was only ninth fastest, seven-tenths slower than Hamilton in Q3.