Max Verstappen explains reason for anti-stall and also his spin in F1 Turkish GP as Alexander Albon was confused by pace loss in second stint.
An inauspicious F1 Turkish GP began with a torrid start for Red Bull’s Verstappen, who’d crawl off of his second-place grid spot and immediately be overrun by rivals, most of whom managed to find more grip as the lights went out on a wet Istanbul Park circuit.
The Dutchman said his start can be attributed to a complete lack of grip on his side of the grid. His attempts to limit wheelspin only resulted in the initiation of anti-stall. “There was no grip on my side. I had an anti-stall as well – it’s just incredible!” he says with a twinge of sarcasm.
Verstappen carried on in eighth, but spins for Renault’s Esteban Ocon and Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas promoted him to sixth. After this, a pass on Daniel Ricciardo placed him fifth, and a mistake from Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton saw him ascend the running order yet more to take fourth.
After he passed Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel later on, Verstappen began his pursuit of second-place driver, Sergio Perez of Racing Point. A bid to pass the Mexican after becoming frustrated in his wake saw the Red Bull driver run wide and pirouette after he went onto the sodden green material lining the exit of turn 11 on the 18th lap.
Verstappen was subsequently passed by his teammate Albon, as well as Vettel, and Hamilton. He considers this a turning point in the race, as an inability to pass the cars that he had conceded ground to compromised the remainder of his race.
“I was just trying to stay close to Perez but then I had a massive washout,” said Verstappen. “I got onto the exit of the kerb, onto the green, and had a massive spin. I flat-spotted the tyres, and after that you can’t pass. Around here there was only one line, in the dry and in the wet. You have to follow them exactly and it’s just a train, to be honest.
“Of course I was also on a different strategy, when [my rivals] were on new [tyres], I was on old [tyres]. In the end I was catching them but then I just ran out of tyres. A very frustrating race – definitely one to forget,” summed up Verstappen, after ending up sixth.
After Verstappen pitted for a third time on Lap 43, and Albon was passed by McLaren’s Carlos Sainz, the Dutchman found himself following his teammate for several of the subsequent laps. His time spent in the wake of the Thai RB16 likely did little to help his recovery efforts which included a spin.
Though he did ultimately pass the Thai driver but the Top 5 managed to extend the gap, while both Red Bull cars struggled on the second set of intermediate. Albon was, in his own right, disappointed with how his race ended, as the 24-year-old’s final stint – on used intermediate tyres – proved less fruitful than the one preceding it.
In this period, Albon says he thought a win might have been on the cards, but that “confusing” troubles in his final stint dashed any hope at a victory. “Honestly it was a really confusing race,” he said. “I would say the weekend has gone really well, I’m happy with progress – we’ve done a few things on my side of the garage which have definitely helped.
“To be so competitive the whole weekend and then finish sixth and seventh is a tough one to take. Even on the intermediates [in the race], it was looking like a win, to be honest. The pace was really strong, and no one was really tyre saving, you just had the grip you had and you drove to that grip,” he said.
Albon did spin once in the race, while running fourth. It was arguably a spin that put him under threat from Verstappen. He says, “I thought, “Okay I had my spin” and that was that, but I still felt [that] with so much left in the race we could still do something. But we just struggled for pace the minute we put on a second set [of inters]. It’s the same tyre, and in similar weather, so that just shows you how sensitive the tyres are and the track is.
“The Ferraris came alive and things like that, but it’s quite a confusing one – especially when you’re in the cockpit. It is an anomaly to come to a track like this and we’ll have a look at it, but I’m sure we’ll put it behind us and look to the next [race],” summed up Albon after finishing seventh, despite showing better pace.
Here’s the video of the spin from Max Verstappen: https://www.formula1.com/en/video/2020/11/2020_Turkish_Grand_Prix__Spectacular_spin_for_Verstappen_as_he_battles_Perez_for_P2.html
Here’s spin from Alexander Albon: https://www.formula1.com/en/video/2020/11/2020_Turkish_Grand_Prix__Alex_Albon_spins_out_of_podium_position.html
Here’s how F1 Turkish GP panned out