Red Bull Racing could have won the Turkish Grand Prix, but in the end none of its riders even made it to the podium. Helmut Marko, a consultant for the Austrian concern, said what prevented the achievement of a high result in Istanbul.
Helmut Marko: “In Turkey we lacked dexterity and self-control. In the qualifying final, Sergio Perez, after the first third of the time after the start of the session, left on intermediate tires and immediately showed the best time in the first sector. It turned us on – Max immediately said that he also needed intermediate tires, although at that moment he showed the best time on two sectors on rain tires.
After switching to intermediate tires, Max showed the same times as on rain tires. If he had stayed on the rain tires, he could have kept his rhythm and go the circle even faster. But this does not mean that the intermediate tires did not fit us – in the third workout they worked well on our car.
Then the next mistake was made. Max in the final for one and a half laps could not overtake Kimi Raikkonen, who, unfortunately, was driving pretty fast in the rain. Max thought he would overtake Alfa Romeo pretty quickly as usual, but that didn’t happen. As a result, it failed to properly warm up the tires, and he had time for only one fast lap, which he made one more mistake, which further distanced him from the pole position.
As you can understand, Max was angry after qualifying and suspected that he would not succeed in the race. In the race, he got stuck behind Vettel, although after Sebastian went to the pits, you could see how fast we are. This was followed by our pit stop, which unfortunately took longer than usual. Like the others, our team also had several cases of coronavirus, so we had to change some of the mechanics.
Then we saw a reversal, which was the result of Max’s miscalculation. At the fastest point on the track, he drove up close to Perez and lost downforce. As a result of the turn, the tires were damaged, and Max had to go back to the pits.
At the pit stop, the following error occurred – we incorrectly adjusted the settings of the front wing. Instead of adding Max downforce, we added less downforce on the right side than on the left. As a result, the front right tire began to wear more, but still had to keep going until all four tires were in slick condition.
Lewis Hamilton did a great job. When Max attacked Perez, DRS could not be used yet. Lewis waited until DRS was activated and easily overtook him. The way he turned intermediate tires into slicks and controlled his pace shows how skillfully he used all his experience.
As for Alex Albon, he too was losing time and position due to reversals. He was nervous that his tires began to granulate. He had to stay on the track, because in the example of Hamilton and Perez, we saw that granulation over time passed. In a tense situation, Elbon lost his nerves. On the other hand, in the end, he was as fast as Max, and sometimes faster.
I believe that our car is fast in the rain, because we had speed on both intermediate and rain tires. In Turkey, we did better than Mercedes to warm up the tires, but the drivers played an important role in the race. Someone perfectly “read” the condition of the tires and the track and adjusted their pace accordingly, while others lost patience. “