Aston Martin Red Bull Racing duo Max Verstappen and Alex Albon banked important driver and constructor points at the Turkish Grand Prix on Sunday as Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton clinched his seventh FIA Formula One World Championship title in Istanbul.
Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda duo Daniil Kvyat and Pierre Gasly struggled for pace on the wet track like many others in 12th and 13th respectively.
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing
MAX VERSTAPPEN – 6th
“Today was just a very difficult race to be honest. The start was not great and I dropped back to fourth with the lack of grip on the dirty side of the grid. I got back up to third and tried to follow Checo through the kink but washed out massively which put me onto the green on the exit kerb and I had a big spin. I tried to keep it out of the wall but flat spotted my tyres and needed to pit. With fresh tyres of course you very quickly catch up with the guys in front but then you can’t pass. There’s just one line around here and already that line is very slippery and you just have to do the same line as the person ahead which is very frustrating. Also, the fact that the track wasn’t really drying meant we couldn’t switch to slicks so we had to stay on intermediates which just get destroyed pretty quickly. It was a complicated race with a mixture of just following the car ahead, having no grip and trying to survive! It’s not been a great day and I guess it was just not meant to be.”
ALEX ALBON – 7th
“I have mixed feelings as everything was going to plan and it looked like we were on for the win but it was a strange race and finishing seventh is definitely confusing. We have been so competitive all weekend so today is a tough one to take. Both of us had poor starts but we picked our way through the field and when we pitted for inters, we had incredible grip and we were so quick. The pace was really strong but then we boxed for a second set of inters and we had no grip and no pace so there’s a bit of head scratching. It’s hard to understand but we’ll sit down and understand it as these conditions were so unusual. This weekend has been going really well, I’m happy with the progress we’ve made and some things on my side of the garage have definitely helped so I can’t wait to get out there in Bahrain and get going again.”
CHRISTIAN HORNER – Team Principal
“In conditions that we felt strong in all weekend we fell short in an incredibly challenging race. Max and Alex both lost out after a very slippery getaway on extreme wet tyres, with both dropping back into the pack emerging fourth and fifth at the end of the first lap. We were able to get the jump on Seb after the first pit stop, giving Max track position and enabling him to close up and attack Sergio. Max struggled to make a move without DRS at that stage of the race and got too close to Sergio in his wake and had a spin.
We were then forced to pit him for new intermediate tyres putting him on the back foot and well down the order. Alex then took on the challenge and was quicker than the two Racing Points ahead before also experiencing tyre issues and a spin which saw us pit him earlier than we would have liked and from there on both drivers were well down the order. Sixth and seventh are disappointing positions to end our 300th race at a weekend that held so much promise but congratulations must go to Lewis for achieving his record equaling seventh world title in truly impressive style out there today.”
Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda
DANIIL KVYAT – 12th
“It wasn’t a very eventful day. I just drove my race and finished P12, there wasn’t much that we could have done better. I’m a bit frustrated because there are no points for us today, it’s not pleasant to fight the car all race and finish with no reward. It was a very tricky race, luckily I made very little mistakes today aside from one spin, so it felt good as a driver to bring the car home in these conditions, it’s good training for my concentration! Generally speaking, our pace in the wet this weekend wasn’t good, and we struggled to get the car in the right window. We just need to understand what we did wrong this weekend and learn from it.”
PIERRE GASLY – 13th
“The whole weekend was really bad for us. We had very poor performance on the wet tyres yesterday, and with today being wet again, we knew we were going to struggle massively. It’s a bit embarrassing because if it was all fine in the dry during practice on Friday, it means we were just too slow with the wets and intermediate tyres, we just couldn’t switch them on and struggled in FP3 and Quali. In addition, we took a penalty today. We need to understand what went wrong and what didn’t work in order to do better, in case we find ourselves in the same conditions. We already have some answers but still, we should have done a better job and I’m disappointed. Now it’s done and we should look at the next few races.”
JONATHAN EDDOLLS – Chief Race Engineer
“It was a difficult race for us, starting with the penalty for Pierre. We were disappointed, but we’ll accept it and move on. It was always going to be a difficult day starting so far back on the grid. We learned a bit from our poor performance yesterday and tried to apply those learnings to the running of the car today, I think we improved, but it wasn’t enough to propel us up the grid and challenge for points. The conditions were quite difficult, and I think it’s fair to say the car didn’t have the pace that we would have expected it to have in the dry. There’s a lot for us to learn and we’ve gathered a lot of data, so we need to analyse, learn from it, and come back stronger in the future if we face these conditions again.”
FRANZ TOST – Team Principal
“First of all, it was nice to be back in Istanbul. The city, where we had an amazing marketing event at the beginning of the week, is beautiful and the race track is very nice. Friday was quite a successful day, we were competitive during FP1 and FP2, finishing both in the top seven positions. Therefore, we expected to show a good performance for the rest of the weekend. Unfortunately, the weather changed on Saturday and became wet. We were totally lost, we couldn’t find the proper setup, and as a result, Pierre qualified P15 and Daniil P17.
This was of course very disappointing, as the car had absolutely no grip due to the wrong setup. Following the fire on Pierre’s PU in Portimao, we decided that once he had not qualified well in Qualifying, we would change the Power Unit to put us in a safer situation for the rest of the season. We decided to go for this option yesterday evening, so we applied for a PU change to the FIA, which was accepted. However, following some penalties, Pierre ended up in P13 so we wanted to continue with the old Power Unit and not start from the back of the grid. We informed the FIA, but in the end, we were penalised. We started from the back of the grid and we finished in 12th and 13th position, which was very disappointing because the car had much more potential.”