George Russell, Williams, Istanbul Park, 2020

Russell sees “massive window of opportunity” in Turkish Grand Prix

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In the round-up: George Russell is optimistic the unusual track conditions will hand Williams an opportunity this weekend, despite his grid penalty for Sunday’s race.

What they say

Russell was last in first practice at Istanbul, but moved ahead of his team mate and both Haas cars to finish second practice in 17th place. Despite carrying grid penalties for exceeding the maximum number of power unit elements, he says Friday’s running shows there is plenty for Williams to be optimistic about:

I’ve never, ever experienced a day like this in in a race car before. It’s going to be a massive window of opportunity for everybody this weekend if you get it right.

In first practice I was 15 seconds off the pace and that was actually true; we just couldn’t get the tyres working and I was 15 seconds off. Then we got the tyres working in second practice and the car was feeling great, our high-fuel pace was was really strong.

So it’s a shame we start at the back but I think there’s a glimmer of optimism because we know that if we get it right, there’s going to be seconds between cars. So it might be interesting from the TV, but it’s going to be chaos from within.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Schooner hopes F1 drivers are having as much fun on Istanbul’s low-grip surface as it looks like they are:

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 sliding 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.

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...

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  • 11 comments on “Russell sees “massive window of opportunity” in Turkish Grand Prix”

    1. Err, I don’t think that cotd realises how unforgiving an F1 car is. They’re just not made to slide. At all.

      (Except for maybe the Red Bull which by all accounts is why Max has such an advantage over his team mates)

      1. They slide all the time its just not as visible usually. The cars all got round and it sorts the good from the great. your comment doesnt make sense if you then say RBR can, they all have similarish characteristics. If you were joking, ill get my coat/rain mac

    2. I suspect the drivers hate it. If they wanted to drive on low grip surfaces, they’d go rallying!

      1. @tommy-c I’ve no doubt they hate it, on the plus side, anything drivers complain about tends to lead to better racing. Sometimes I think they want to drive around in a procession.


        if it disadvantages them, they complain. if it advantages them, they love it.

        i suspect they do enjoy it, even if they can’t admit it.

        1. Yes indeed, I think it depends whether they are all in the same boat. Charles is an oversteery driver, Lewis is smooth, some drivers love high grip surfaces.

      3. Exactly. I guess sliding around can be funny for a while. However Verstappen and Hamilton both indicated that it’s said a shame they can’t go full out. It’s the speed and g-forces that they are looking for. Going going through turn 8 at full speed would have been amazing. Now they are sort of high speed tippy toeing around it.

    3. “No races are held during Ramadan in Muslim countries, as fans don’t want to come when they are fasting,”
      – Except for the Azerbaijan GP in 2016 and ’17 (the latter year’s equivalent lasted until the qualifying day). Why would it be the problem should the event again take place without attendance? With attendance, yes, there might be less than at another time. That’s the only space where there’s room for Istanbul Park, so the only other way it could end up to next year’s schedule as well would be for COVID to cause cancellations for others. If not Istanbul Park, hopefully, either Imola or Mugello, although these would also fit better on the weekend before Spain, but not as critical location-wise as with Portimao (or somewhere like Jerez, for example).

      Also, on this day in F1: Seb took his first WDC ten years ago today in the 2010 Abu Dhabi GP. I’m surprised this isn’t in the relevant round-up section despite the round number anniversary.

      1. That certainly is an anniversary of note. Such a disappointing end to one of the greatest F1 seasons – well, if you were a fan of Alonso, Webber or Hamilton anyway. For a neutral it would have been astou ding to witness the Vettel charge from behind (points-wise).

        I’ve been following F1 since 1992, and 2010 was peak F1 for me – a golden year.

    4. George might need to order some more stationary

      1. If he can order the other drivers stationary then he has a good chance to win the race

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