After qualifying second in Istanbul, Lewis Hamilton was an astute spectator when the GP2 race kicked off on Saturday afternoon.
The championship leader and his fourth placed teammate and title rival Fernando Alonso have both qualified on the ‘dirty’ or unused side of the grid.
“I wanted to see how the guys on the dirtier side of the grid coped at the start,” Hamilton, 22, explained, “because that’s something I’ll have to deal with.
“Conditions looked quite difficult, but I’ll do the best I can.”
He is also likely to have watched with some nostalgia, after his stirring race through the field from sixteenth to second in the junior category last year.
“It was a defining moment for Hamilton,” observed former grand prix driver and British commentator Martin Brundle.
Referring to Hamilton’s GP2 performance a year ago, the Briton wrote in his column for The Times: “That’s when everyone in the paddock realised he was fully ready for formula one.”