Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Istanbul Park, 2020

Lack of any support races contributing to poor grip, drivers say

2020 Turkish Grand Prix

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Formula 1 drivers say the lack of any support races at this weekend’s Turkish Grand Prix is contributing to the poor grip levels at the circuit.

Drivers discovered the track was very low on grip during Friday’s two practice sessions. The track was recently resurfaced and oils are still leeching from the surface. This plus dust and dirt on the surface have created a very slippery track.

“It was very extreme conditions,” said Kevin Magnussen. “Some wet patches but even on the dry patches it was the lowest grip I’ve ever felt in dry conditions.

“It was really crazy but kind of cool as well to have that experience. It’s the same for everyone so it’s just a new challenge, I guess. I wouldn’t want to have that at every track, but it’s nice to have a bit of a different experience.”

“It got better,” Magnussen added. “There was some rubber being put down into the racing line and it cleaned up. I think there was some dried mud on on the whole of the track surface and got cleaned up in the racing line and then some rubber came down. So it got better but nowhere near what we usually have for grip.

Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, Istanbul Park, 2020
“I just want to go faster” – Ricciardo
However with no support races running when F1 is not on the track, the conditions only improved slowly between the two 90-minute practice sessions. The lack of any other series running is “going to affect it a lot”, said Magnussen.

“Usually they contribute a lot to the track evolution and they’re not here this weekend so it’s probably going to be a very slippery race as well. So I think it’s going to make it difficult for racing because overtaking you have to go offline and then try and brake and stop the car. It could be a chaotic race.”

“Some corners like turn 12 at the end of the of the back straight that corner if you lock up a little bit and miss your apex by a few metres, then you’re driving on ice suddenly,” he added. “So it’s very tricky. You have to be very precise.”

Magnussen’s team mate Romain Grosjean said he “suggested to the team that everyone involved in Formula 1 should get a rental car and go on track between the two sessions to get some dust out of the track”.

Daniel Ricciardo also regrets the lack of support races at the track this weekend.

“It’s a shame,” said the Renault driver. “I know this is a last-minute calendar this year, so I don’t want to be critical. But if there was some other categories then that would help get the track in.

“But we’re doing all the work today. It’s the same for everyone but I just want to go faster, that’s all.”

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2020 Turkish Grand Prix

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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4 comments on “Lack of any support races contributing to poor grip, drivers say”

  1. “It was really crazy but kind of cool as well to have that experience. It’s the same for everyone so it’s just a new challenge, I guess. I wouldn’t want to have that at every track, but it’s nice to have a bit of a different experience.”

    Finally a driver I can agree with. Maybe we will have an unpredictable race, with gimmics like reverse grids, or sprinklers, or whatever.

    Also, I can’t fault Grosjean’s idea. If the track is really that bad, they should have anything or anyone driving around this evening, even in standard road cars to clean it up a bit.

  2. Getting the excuses lined up early I see :)

  3. Everyone will want to be the last to qualify. The last 3 minutes of Q3 should be fun.

  4. I think it’s great. Circuits should come with different challenges over the course of a world championship. Monaco you’re dancing around barriers and it’s near impossible to overtake. Monza is a slipstreaming haven. Spa has frequent changeable weather and elevation changes. Clearly, Istanbul currently has less grip.

    It’s the same for everyone, get onto the track, adjust and show us why you’re the 20 best drivers in the world.

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