Daniil Kvyat was expecting more retirements in F1 Turkish GP as Nicholas Latifi explains his collision with Romain Grosjean.
Though certainly a race of attrition, the F1 Turkish GP was not the chaotic race that AlphaTauri’s Kvyat had apparently envisioned, with 16 cars still running come the end of the wet race. This is 10 more than the Russian had expected would make the finish.
The AlphaTauri driver started the race in 16th place, and ultimately finished 12th in the race that, despite its challenges, he described as ‘boring’ after completing a one-stop strategy, and encountering few rivals throughout the duration of his race.
“There was not much going on for me – the whole race was so boring,” Kvyat said to TV media, Ziggo Sport. “It was incredibly boring. I was expecting maybe six cars to finish the race, it didn’t happen, so it was boring.
“It was a challenge to keep the car on track but it is not challenge you hope for, you like one to be able to push, it was tricky. It is frustrating, our car in these conditions was not in the right window. But I’ll add that these conditions, you’ll find extremely rare.
As a driver it feels good to bring home the car in such conditions, it is a good training for my concentration,” he summarised, with no major incidents to note throughout the F1 grand prix – a rare case in a race plagued by limited grip.
While his experience was certainly more entertaining than that of his teammate, Pierre Gasly finished behind Kvyat in 13th after starting in 19th – the result of a penalty for switching components. Out of the points, the Frenchman was left pondering what had gone wrong in a race that capped off an “embarrassing” weekend.
Like all of his rivals (excluding the Williams pairing), Gasly started on the wet tyres. He says his pace on this variety of tyre was poor, as was the case on the intermediate tyres. “Not only Sunday, the whole weekend was really bad,” he began.
“We had very poor performance on the Wets, and it’s a bit embarrassing because we are just so slow with the Wets – with the intermediates too. We couldn’t switch them on. It was the same in Qualifying. We took a penalty, so [there were] a lot of problems. We need to do better, because honestly it was a poor performance from our side since Saturday morning,” Gasly said.
The Frenchman was helped by the retirement of Haas’ Kevin Magnussen, who had run ahead of him previously in the race. A loose wheel in a botched pit stop ultimately put an end to the Dane’s hopes of a Top 10, which seemed a real possibility up until that point.
He said of the pit stop that took him out of contention in the marvelously close race, as Haas put the issue down to a cross-threaded wheel nut on the left-rear tyre. “It was going really well,” said Magnussen. “The tyres really wore down to the carcass and at that point – when the tyres got to that stage, we were really strong and we threw away points.”
In the other Haas, Romain Grosjean had an even less successful day, after a collision with Williams’ Nicholas Latifi spelled the end of his day on the 41st lap. The Frenchman had a swear-filled outburst on the radio afterwards, a spin immediately after his recovery from the incident doing little to lighten his mood.
He said after failing to finish as a result of the incident, “It was a tricky race as suspected – it was very slippery,” said Grosjean. “We struggled all weekend to generate tire temperature. I didn’t feel very comfortable in the car, or at least I couldn’t really push the way I wanted. There were times in the race it was getting better, other times it wasn’t.
“Then Nicholas (Latifi) crashed into me which heavily damaged my floor. We retired the car shortly after that. We were struggling in these conditions from the beginning, it was always going to be a hard race. If there were mixed conditions maybe we could have done something, but in a pure wet race it was harder,” he said.
Latifi explained after the collision that dirty mirrors made judging the situation more difficult, which led to the coming together. “I was getting lapped, but my mirrors were so dirty that I literally couldn’t see behind me,” he said. “I knew I had to move over but it was difficult to judge where they were.
“There was no grip out there and therefore you can’t generate tyre temperature, so with the damage on the car, there was no point staying out. There was no part of the race that was enjoyable for me and overall, it was a weekend to forget.”
Here’s video of bad pit stop for Kevin Magnussen: https://www.formula1.com/en/video/2020/11/2020_Turkish_Grand_Prix__Magnussen_retires_in_Istanbul_following_bad_pit_stop.html
Here’s George Russell on F1 Nation