McLaren trio Daniel Ricciardo, Lando Norris and Andreas Seidl talk about the difficult F1 Turkish GP, where a handful of points was all they got.
The long corners in F1 Turkish GP did not help the McLaren car, much like how it was at Zandvoort. Even Norris struggled all-through the weekend, leaving Ricciardo further behind. The Australian has managed to recover in races, but not this time.
The engine penalty meant he started from last, but his recovery was not same as Carlos Sainz, partly because of the car not in-sync with the track. The strategy choice made it more difficult, as an early meant, he had no tyres left by the end of the grand prix.
That was the reason that Ricciardo even lost to the Alfa Romeo pair, while catching Esteban Ocon at one point. His data, though, was used to decide for Norris, who pretty much spent most of the race in the latter half of the Top 10 point scorers.
Even though he had a bit better pace, it was still not enough to utilise Pierre Gasly’s 5s time penalty to his advantage. Norris agreed that they did not have much in the tank and that was the maximum they could have done, much like how Seidl described their race.
Painful end –
Ricciardo: “I don’t really want to have to talk through it – it was pretty painful. We weren’t quick. I thought at the beginning, we’d be able to cut through the field a bit easier, but we got through a couple of cars and then it was just stalemate. I killed the front tyres quite quickly, so we were kind of in a position to try something. I thought in clear air, I’d be a lot quicker, so we pitted for a new inter, went out and it wasn’t particularly fast.
“I mean, we were quicker but nothing crazy. And then the tyre started… to go slower, and then all of a sudden a lot quicker, and then massively slower at the end – the tyre just said ‘goodnight!’ and just gave us nothing in those last 10 laps. We got right down to the canvas, I think. I’ll try to learn from it, but not a very competitive Sunday.
Strategy and troubles –
Ricciardo: “I struggled at the beginning with the front. I saw Carlos cut through the traffic and we just couldn’t. As soon as I got behind someone I lost the front and then it started to get dead so we pitted. We thought we would be quick with clear air on a new tyre but we weren’t really that quick. We went through a phase when it was mediocre and it was like it had cleared. I remember four good laps where I felt like I could really lean on the tyre and I started to smile under the helmet, then it fell away again and the last ten laps was just very difficult, just the rear.
“I had a look at the end and you could see the canvas, so it was down to the core. I don’t want to use the word desperation but it was lets try something because I was behind Russell and I was there for 10 laps and he was starting to pull away. It was just a gamble because we didn’t have much to lose, and it was also good data for Lando as well – but I don’t say that like it was a sacrifice for me, I felt like we had to try something.”
Conditions, startegy –
Norris: “It was a very tricky race, just because of the conditions, it made it very difficult. How much to push on the tyres, how much not to, when to pit. It was just really up and down how the tyres go, because it almost went to a slick tyre, the intermediate. That’s very good for a short period where the track’s dry-ish, but then if it becomes too much of a slick, it becomes a slick tyre – and it was too wet for slicks, as I think everyone saw that Sebastian showed! So it was just very difficult, very easy to make mistakes and go off and spin and so on. But a good day for us; P7 doesn’t sound good, but I think it was the best we could do.
“The last few laps we obviously got a bit closer to Pierre, to Lewis, to Charles, but I think it was just impossible to overtake basically. I mean, it was possible to overtake, but when you’re roughly a similar pace and you’re going fast, it becomes a lot more difficult to overtake. When I caught Pierre, I was quite a lot quicker, but there was so much dirty air, and especially when you need every bit of grip possible on the tyres, one bit of dirty air made a massive difference and it was too much of a struggle. So we tried, but I think P7 was what we could achieve.”
Norris maximised, no Sainz-like recovery for Ricciardo –
Seidl: “On Lando’s side, it was not possible to do anything more than he did. It was a very tricky race in tricky conditions. Together with the team, he maximised everything that was on the table. Seeing the performance of our car this weekend, with the result, in the end, we can be happy with the damage limitation. We are still seven and a half points ahead of Ferrari in the constructors’ championship and we simply have to keep going.
“As for Ricciardo, Ferrari simply had a car that was a lot quicker this weekend and in the end, we also saw that in the race. From the first outing onwards we could see the Ferrari car was simply a stronger package throughout the lap. I don’t think there was one specific area. We are struggling on these kinds of tracks which we have seen several times this year that resulted in a clear lap time gap. That was why it was a lot easier for Carlos to get through the field.”
Here’s Ferrari on their Turkish GP