Hamilton promises 'super attacking' display in Turkish GP as Bottas denies he slowed down to help team mate in qualifying
Lewis Hamilton said he'll give it everything to win in Turkey, despite a P11 start on Sunday, while Valtteri Bottas – who qualified second but will start on pole – denied he helped his penalty-hit team mate take P1 in qualifying.
Qualifying saw Hamilton beat Bottas to P1 by over a tenth, but the Briton will start 11th having taken a grid penalty for a new Mercedes engine. Instead, it'll be his team mate Bottas who starts first on Sunday and Hamilton will have to emulate his 2020 Turkey performance and recover from the midfield on Sunday once again.
"It really depends on what the weather we’ve got tomorrow and yes, partly cautious, but also super attacking; I need to – I want to – win the race somehow. So that’s my goal," he said.
"I was already third at the end of Turn 1 last year, so that made a bit of a difference, but it's a much, much different weekend, a much different track grip… so my eyes are still solely set on winning the race; it's going to be very hard from 11th, but not impossible. So… just making sure we'll deliver maximum attack tomorrow," he added to Sky Sports F1.
As for Bottas, who lost time in the final sector in his Q3 flying lap, the Finn was asked whether he was told to slow down to allow Hamilton to take P1, therefore dampening the effect of his team mate's 10-place grid penalty. He denied that emphatically.
"No, I wasn't asked to slow down and I was definitely going for it," he said. "I started to struggle a bit with the front end in the last sector, so just had some understeer in Turn 12 and 14 so I could feel that I was losing a bit of time. Probably used the tyres a bit more earlier in the lap. So I was fully going for it, for sure."
Moreover, on Sunday the Finn is eyeing his first win of 2021, having last taken victory back at the 2020 Russian Grand Prix – while his last pole position came in Portugal.
Asked how motivated he was, he replied: "Very motivated. You know, I haven't won this season yet, so it's a big, big motivation for me and yes, but I need to focus on certain things in the race step-by-step and keep the focus, and hope for the best."
Mercedes could extend their 33-point constructors' championship lead over Red Bull on Sunday – while Hamilton has the uphill task of carving through the field from 11th if he is to consolidate his two-point advantage over Max Verstappen.