The seven-time world champion set the fastest time of 1m 24.178s in FP1 on Friday after it was confirmed that he would take a new engine for Sunday’s race, and a 10-place grid penalty as a result.
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) October 8, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix Hamilton heads into Sunday’s race with a two-point advantage over Verstappen in his quest for a record-breaking eighth world crown.
But the British driver will have his work cut out to retain his championship lead after news broke of his penalty.
Hamilton will hope to come through the field like title rival Max Verstappen did at the last race in Russia, where the Dutchman was thrown to the back for taking on a fourth engine.
Here's how FP1 played out ⬇️
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 8, 2021
Hamilton, on the other hand, will not start last because he is simply replacing the ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) and not the entire power unit.
The 36-year-old showed early indications of improvement as he lapped the Istanbul Park — the site where he won his eighth title last year – over half a second quicker than anybody else.
Verstappen’s Red Bull squad displayed their unique livery in honour of Honda’s engine partner.
The primarily white livery with a splash of red is a tribute to the livery used by Richie Ginther when he won Honda’s inaugural Formula One race in Mexico in 1965.
— Red Bull Racing Honda (@redbullracing) October 8, 2021
Honda is withdrawing from Formula One at the end of the year, and this weekend was supposed to be their home race at Suzuka, Japan, before it was cancelled due to coronavirus restrictions.
The first few miles ran under a brilliant sunny sky, but the weather forecast for the rest of the weekend is bleak.
On a good morning for Ferrari, Carlos Sainz finished fifth ahead of Esteban Ocon of Alpine.
Lando Norris, the British driver who was two laps away from winning his first race in Russia a fortnight ago, placed eighth.