Lewis Hamilton was the fastest in Formula 1 qualifying for the Turkish Grand Prix with a new track record in front of Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas. But neither the first starting position nor the official pole position – it would have been his 102nd – belonged to the seven-time world champion in the end.
The reason for this is the grid penalty known since Friday, which Hamilton throws back to 11th place on the grid due to an engine change. The Brit held the Pirelli Pole Award in his hands after qualifying. But it is not included in the statistics because of the said penalty – to the incomprehension of Hamilton himself.
He only realized that the Pole was not counted when a journalist approached him at the press conference after qualifying. As a result, a curious conversation developed between Hamilton, Bottas and Max Verstappen.
“We have just started off with a really good setup,” Hamilton told Sky Sports, as he reflected on Friday’s running.
“The first session was really strong. The track is evolving, and it’s feeling different when you get into the second session. We made some changes, which were OK. I’m not sure it felt as good as it did in the first session, in the second session.
“We’ve got lots of good findings, so we’ll hopefully take those forward with us.
Amazement among the top 3 drivers in qualifying
Question: “You just drove a brilliant session and set the fastest time. How does it feel to do all of this and still have pole position taken away from you?”
Hamilton: “Well, I’m still … I’m in pole position, right? No? Ah, damn it.
Bottas: “Do I get the pole?”
Hamilton: “So he gets the pole.”
Verstappen: “I just don’t understand!”
Bottas: “Then you have to give me the tire (for the Pole Award; editor’s note).”
Hamilton: “You can have the tire. I don’t know where they all end up.”
Verstappen: “Lewis has a few left.”
Bottas: “I still think that’s not fair.”
Hamilton: “No, that’s fine.”
Bottas: “Even if it was my best Pole.”
Verstappen: “Lewis will set up his own tire factory.”
Hamilton: “We knew it was going to be difficult because we had this penalty that I received yesterday, and tomorrow it won’t be easy to fight my way through, but where there’s a will there’s a way.”
Tenor: The fastest should also get pole
In the course of the press conference once again asked about the pole statistics and asked whether the counting method should be changed, Hamilton says: “I don’t really know. I mean, I got the pole. I don’t think that the penalty is necessarily that should influence, but to be honest I don’t care either. ”
Bottas, Hamilton and Verstappen advocate a different way of counting
Even on race weekends with a sprint qualifying, pole position is not awarded to the person who wins the normal qualifying on Friday, but to the person who wins the sprint qualifying. Bottas criticizes that.
“I think that on sprint weekends the fastest man in qualifying should definitely get the official pole position and the pole position for the records. And even in a situation like this, Lewis had the fastest individual lap. Technically, he was on pole, but then he loses her. ”
Bottas, who now has one more pole in his statistics, although he was not the fastest in qualifying, thinks this is “not fair”. And Verstappen also positions himself: “The one who drives the fastest lap should also have pole position recognized.”