Max analyses tricky race Turkey: 'After a very bad start the right speed'

Published on 16 November 2020 by Kees-Jan Koster

Max Verstappen finished sixth in the Turkish Grand Prix, after a difficult race in treacherous wet circumstances. Through a Skype call on the programme Peptalk, which is shown on Ziggo Sport every Monday evening at 19.50, the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing driver looks back on the race. “It was not at all fun to drive there. The track was so slippery, I have never seen that before. In the end it is the same for everyone, but it should not happen. It was extremely slippery”, continues Max. “There was just one usable line, so it was impossible to go over the outside. You had to stay behind the other car. Overtaking was almost impossible.”

Max was quickest in all three practice sessions and in the first two qualifying sessions. Lance Stroll managed to take a couple of tenths lead for pole position. It bothered Max: “I did not take it with me on Sunday, but I hated to qualify second.” When the race started neither Red Bull cars were able to get away from their starting positions. “We had a very bad start. Something went wrong at the start. We had too much vibration in the engine causing a lot of wheelspin. When it is dry you will not notice so much because there is a lot of grip. But on a circuit as in Turkey with slippery tarmac, you will suffer the consequences. On top of that the car went into anti-stall.”

Max did not give up: “I knew we had the right speed and I managed to overtake a few cars quite quickly. At some point I was stuck behind Vettel till he made his pitstop. After that you saw my lap times were good. Our call to make a pitstop were okay. Only after that I was stuck behind Perez.” In the wake of the Mexican, Max spun of the track. “He made a little mistake, so that I was close behind him. Suddenly I had a lot of oversteer and ended up on the green runoff, which had no grip at all.”

After the race Red Bull found another mistake on the RB16 of Max: “We found out that one side of the front wing was wrongly adjusted by seven degrees. Normally we only adjust the wing during qualifying with a maximum of half a degree. I was driving with way too much oversteer and had to adjust for that with other settings on my steering wheel, but I lost a lot of traction with that. So after a couple of laps the front right tyre degraded. It was difficult.”

There are three more Grands Prix to go:  two in Bahrain and one last race in Abu Dhabi. When asked if it was a successful season, Max answers: “We will be third in the world championship, so it was quite a good year. I think we achieved some good result, given our options. Next year we want to fight for the world championship. That is the only thing that matters.”