Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Istanbul Park, 2020

We should be five seconds quicker says Verstappen after leading practice

2020 Turkish Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen was quickest in Friday practice at Istanbul Park but said poor grip levels at the track meant lap times were much slower than they should have been.

The Red Bull driver’s quickest time of the day was 3.3 seconds slower than the pole position time at the last Turkish Grand Prix nine years ago. “It was still like five seconds off what we should do,” said Verstappen.

Although some forecasts indicate rain could fall at the track tomorrow, Verstappen said the grip levels “can’t get any worse” than they were today. “We are still miles off,” he said. “It’s like driving on ice. Worse than Portimao by far.

“But at the end of the day is the same for everyone, so we just have to adapt to it. I hope it’s not going to rain because then it will be properly like driving on ice. Maybe we’ll have to switch to to spikes or something on the tyres.”

Pirelli’s decision to bring the hardest tyre selection available this weekend has been questioned. However Verstappen doubts softer compounds would make a significant difference.

“We did go a bit faster, of course, already from hard to a soft. But it’s just the grip on the Tarmac. You can stick even softer tyres on but they will then grain to death so that’s not a solution.”

Despite having led today’s running Verstappen expects to face tougher competition from Mercedes over the rest of the weekend.

“For sure Mercedes, tomorrow, will get it together. But for us, today was was very positive.

“It means also, I think, the prep we did to get here was not too bad. But then also, of course, reacting to the conditions we did well today in first practice. So I just hope that we can have a competitive qualifying and then in the race you never know what happens.”

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    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
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    10 comments on “We should be five seconds quicker says Verstappen after leading practice”

    1. Engineers: predictability desirable
      Drivers: endless grip desirable
      Fans: unpredictability and cars sliding around desirable

      Its fair enough the top 2 wanting what they want but if we want excitement then just for once lets nod our heads sagely and keep with what we have here

      1. Agreed. They are the best drivers in the world. Sometime life hands you a lemon in the form of slippery race surface. I say suck it up, show your skill and drive. I’m sure the fans will enjoy the rally’esque driving. I know I am looking forward to it.

        1. Seems more of a lottery than skill from what I saw today.

          1. Max keeps winning that lottery doesn’t he, so far. ANyone who doesn’t think there is just luck keeping it on the black stuff cant be serious or knows very little about racing cars

    2. I recall the first indoor karting track that I went to years ago. It had a cement surface that was polished specifically to allow for and even promote backing into and broadsliding around the corners. Perhaps not the quickest way around a track, but what fun! I know that arrive-and-drive indoor karting and Formula 1 are slightly different racing disciplines, but I’d think the drivers would be having some fun with this. I bet that most of the viewers are.

      1. A. They are competitive professionals, they want to go quicker rather than having fun as such.
        B. The faster you can take a corner (like T8) the more awesome it is. Having to underperform on purpose takes that away

    3. Quite a stark difference in the reactions to one driver’s observations versus another’s.

      1. As always, there is nothing at stake for Max. Of course he will be more philosophical about the situation than driver(s) actually racing for a championship. Max never has a championship ship at stake so can throw caution to the wind. Until he does have a season long challenge for the title doubts will remain. Can he deal with the pressure? Can he get over the line to tie up a WDC? We don’t know.

    4. I just want to hear more of Martin Brundle talking about people trying to hang wallpaper with the window open on a windy day.

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