Lewis Hamilton believes tire wear will be nowhere near as big an issue in the Turkish Grand Prix as was feared before the weekend.
With the Istanbul Park's challenging Turn 8 one of the toughest corners for tires on the calendar, it had been thought that this race would see more tire stops than in the preceding three grands prix. But after his first dry running at the track on Pirellis in Friday afternoon practice, Hamilton felt the tires had coped fine.
"Quite surprised that they felt very similar to the last race," he said. "I thought they'd be a lot worse here, but the long run was probably one of the best practice long runs I've ever had, so it was really good.
"I expect something similar to Shanghai, definitely. Two or three stops, no more than that."
Hamilton was third in the session, with his McLaren teammate Jenson Button fastest. The latter was cautiously content with the car.
"We were reasonably happy with the balance, but there's more that we need to find to look after the tires in a race situation," said Button. "Over one lap the car's working OK, but again we're not quite there yet. But it's not bad."
He said that McLaren was unable to introduce the upgrades it had hoped for in Turkey, so is concerned that other teams with bigger development packages might be more competitive tomorrow.
"We don't have all the upgrades that we hoped for," Button admitted. "It's a little bit disappointing, but we do have some upgrades. It's nice to keep moving forward.
"I'm just a little bit worried about a few other teams out there – I think they have very big upgrades and we haven't seen the true pace of their cars yet."