Max enjoys Istanbul Park: 'The track is fun to drive again'

Published on 08 October 2021 by Stefan Meens

Following Friday practice of the Turkish Grand Prix, Ziggo Sport’s Olav Mol caught up with Max Verstappen to discuss the opening day at Istanbul Park.

In the week leading up the race, did you do anything nice? Max: “Yes, I’ve been at home a lot, so that was great.”

Compared to last year, Istanbul Park appears to have more grip. “Yes, the track is fun to drive again. In general, it is a beautiful lay-out and with the new track surface it’s great.”

So it is a proper race track that separates the men from the boys again? “Yes, just really nice corner combinations. This has to be one of the best tracks on the calendar.”

You reported over team radio “There is no front end”, what does that mean? “It means the car just doesn’t turn into the corner, so a lot of understeer. In general, it was a tough day; we just couldn’t find the right balance in either of the sessions.”

Turn one is blind and it goes downhill. How do you know you’ve turned in at the right moment? “You know where you break so you then know where to turn. You try to nail that everytime.”

The corner everybody loves is turn eight. Is that the sort of corner that if you do it all well, it’s just one turn of the wheel? “No, it a corner that is easily flat, but you have to keep opening up between the apexes. So it is not one steady motion but several small steering inputs, but it is easily flat-out.”

The track appears to be wide. Is that a good thing, or fun, or easy? “It’s a bit like Silverstone, which is wide too. I don’t mind it, it makes it easier to get out of the way if someone is on a flying lap.”

The lap time did not appear to come easily. “No, it just wasn’t a good today so we have get some work done. Our long runs were also too slow compared to Mercedes. The rest was fine, just the lap times weren’t as fast and that sometimes happens. We have to understand where the problem is or at least try to find some time.”

If a power-unit is coming to the end of its life-cycle, is it turned down ahead of a GP weekend? “It depends, I think there’s a bigger difference in that at Mercedes, but not as much for us. We can pretty much always drive the same. It depends how the engine is built and what it can handle. Every constructor is different in that.”

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