Turkish GP: Preview - Red Bull


What are your thoughts on Turkey? Are you looking forward to racing at another new track?
Max Verstappen: I'm looking forward to visiting another new track and they are definitely making the season even more exciting. It's a place I've never been to before and I'm not sure how many of the other drivers have raced there either, I think that even if they have been there before, it won't give them a massive advantage as it was a long time ago. I'm excited to try the local food, I've heard the kebabs are pretty good!

It looks like an exciting track to drive, is there anything in particular about the track that stands out?
MV: It's definitely a fast track. I've driven it on the simulator and the whole track is very enjoyable. I think it will be a good track to overtake on, there are so many straights and the corners are quite wide, so you can take quite a few different lines through them which is always interesting. Hopefully I won't need to overtake too much though!

The Team are celebrating their 300th race in Turkey, are you proud to have contributed to the Team's success?
MV: It's a great achievement for the Team and pretty cool to know that Ole my front end mechanic and also one of our strategists Will have been at the Team from the start. Also I can't believe Ole and Christian have never missed a race weekend, that's pretty impressive over 16 seasons!

The race in Imola didn't go as planned. Can you take some positives from the weekend?
MV: It is what it is and there was nothing we could have done to change the outcome of the race from our side. I'm just trying to stay as close to Mercedes as possible and push them to the last race. The pit crew have been amazing all year and the stops have been so good that it can help us gain an advantage in the race. I think we have had the fastest pit stop at every race so far which is pretty impressive.

How did you find the shorter two-day format at Imola?
Alex Albon: I enjoyed the two day weekend. I think that if we plan to do lots of races next year, then we should definitely consider doing more two day race formats. Of course, free practice was busy but I enjoyed it and I think we should do this format more. We covered a lot of stuff on Saturday, it all went well and we did everything we needed to do in the short time frame, so it was all positive. One of the other benefits of a two day race weekend is that it would allow the mechanics to have an extra day at home! In general, the weekend was a bit tough on my side. Qualifying wasn't too bad but I struggled a bit with the balance and getting comfortable with the car which meant we couldn't extract the full potential.

Formula One returns to Turkey this weekend. We've been to some good, 'new' tracks this year, haven't we?
AA: Yeah, some of the new tracks we've been to this year have been mega, but I think F1 should consider how raceable they are. I've been a really big fan of the tracks we've visited this year, I definitely prefer these compared to some of the ones we race at on a regularly basis. But saying that, I think Portimao could have been even better if we had chosen a different track layout. It would have helped overtaking, and likewise with Imola perhaps.

What are your thoughts on Turkey - have you been there before?
AA: No I haven't so it will be a new experience for me which I'm looking forward to. I've driven the track online and of course I've watched previous F1 races there on TV as I was growing up. It looks really impressive and it offers some good overtaking spots by the looks of it. I think the track should hopefully suit our car but it also looks quite power hungry too. But I'm looking forward to hitting the track, trying out some new test items, fine tuning the car and seeing what it's like.

We had a 1-2 finish at the last Turkish GP almost 10 years ago. How valuable is that data in terms of the form book?
AA: We spend our time looking at previous data to understand how the car will perform so the fact we've had the right formula at Istanbul in previous years should hopefully put us on the right path. Of course this year will be different as the cars have changed a lot and the track has also been resurfaced, but even for us drivers, looking back at Sebastian and Mark's comments about the circuit and what helped them improve will help us.

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Published: 11/11/2020
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