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Teams’ reactions following the strategy-defined Turkish Grand Prix

Teams’ reactions following the strategy-defined Turkish Grand Prix, F1 Daily

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The battle for the championship titles continued at today’s Turkish Grand Prix with Max Verstappen regaining the upper hand in the title race. His championship rival Lewis Hamilton had an action-filled afternoon after starting from P11 thanks to exceeding his power unit components, and eventually finished fifth.

The ninth Turkish Grand Prix belonged, however, to Valtteri Bottas, who drove superbly to record a tenth Grand Prix victory. The Finn made use of the superiority of his W12 that has been dominant since the opening practice session in all kind of conditions. The Nastola-born driver was over the moon as he broke his long winless streak at the Intercity Istanbul Park with his last victory scored over a year ago at the 2020 Russian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton, 5th

“Today was frustrating but it is what it is – it felt good to be in third and I thought if I could just hold on it would be a great result from 11th. Strategy calls in conditions like today can be so tough. I’m naturally a risk-taker and being third, I was aiming to miss the stop when everyone pitted for new Inters, hopeful that I could get the opportunity to switch to slicks later and gain some good positions.

„Then the team made the call to come in and you have to rely on your team, accept the choices they make and hope it’s the right one – as I always say, we win as a team and we lose as a team. Overall, the car was great this weekend and Valtteri did a great job today. If we can continue to perform like that over the next few races, we’ll be in a good position come the end of the season.”

Valtteri Bottas, 1st

“Today was probably one of the best races I’ve had ever – apart from that one little slide, everything was under control. The car has been fantastic in every possible condition this weekend and I had great confidence with it. It’s not easy to choose the strategy here with these conditions – when to stop, which tyre to choose – but I’m glad everything went smoothly for me.

„When there’s only one drying line it doesn’t take much for you to go off, you need maximum focus all through the race and so today feels like a well-earned victory. My first win of the year too which feels great and I was happy to bring it home. It also took points off Red Bull so great for me and the team.”

Max Verstappen, 2nd

“As a Team, to finish second and third here was a great result. It was a pretty straight forward race today and I think in general we had a decent day. The race was all about managing tyres, to make sure they lasted to the end which means it wasn’t the most fun race to drive as you always want to push hard.

„Nevertheless, I think we maximised the result today and it’s good to be leading the Drivers’ Championship again. I do wish I had a bit more pace in the car but we are still in the fight, we’ll keep pushing and we’ll see in the coming races how competitive we will be.”

Sergio Perez, 3rd

“This podium is very special because it was not an easy race for me, it was hard and exhausting at times, so I am very happy this evening. It has been a while since I have been up there, I think the last two or three races we should have been on the podium, but we have been so unlucky. I got a good start, I think there was some contact between Fernando and Pierre into turn one so there were three cars, including me, and I thought we weren’t going to make it but in the end, it was a good result for me.

„After that I didn’t feel comfortable in the first stint with the car and I lost a lot of ground but then the second stint was all about pushing at the right time and using my experience to get a podium for the Team. Lewis was closing in really fast and at that time I was struggling quite a lot with my tyres, he had good pace and I thought he might get past me but it turned into a good fight and I came out on top. Lewis is a top driver and it was enjoyable racing with him. When I was standing on the podium I saw a lot of Mexican flags in the grandstands, we are so far from home here in Turkey so it was lovely to see. I think there is a lot we can learn from this race, it is a good result for the Team and now we’re looking forward to Austin.”

Charles Leclerc, 4th

“Overall it was a positive race. We were very competitive, especially in the first stint and the car felt good. We went long on the first set of Inters and once the rest of the field had stopped for the new set, we found ourselves to be quite a bit faster on the used ones. But after just a few laps, the other drivers started to clear the graining they were struggling with and found a lot of performance, so we knew we would have to stop too.

„We were a little out of step with the others on my stop that happened late in the race so we never got over the graining phase and couldn’t fight back. It’s a shame that we lost out on a podium finish, but the performance was there which is a positive.”

Carlos Sainz, 8th

“This was one of my best races, and probably my strongest with Ferrari! That first stint in those tricky conditions was very intense but good fun. I overtook at different parts of the track and using all kinds of lines, so I really enjoyed myself. It was a pity we had a problem during the stop, because the pit stop itself was fast, but we need to analyse why it took so long to release the car.

„Instead of coming out behind Ocon I would have come out closer to Lando, and during the last ten laps I was one of the fastest on track, so I feel we could have finished the race further up. Anyway, these things can happen and I definitely have a lot of positives to take from today. I am starting to have a lot of fun with the car and to understand it better and better, so I look forward to the upcoming races and to keep building momentum.”

Pierre Gasly, 6th

“I’m really happy to be back finishing in the top six, I think this is probably one of our best performances this season, particularly in these difficult conditions. To be finishing just 10 seconds from the podium, after a five second penalty, is really good for us.
“The Turn 1 incident was a bit unfortunate, I was sandwiched between Sergio and Fernando, we touched a little bit but it was just enough to spin Alonso, so I want to say sorry to him. After that though, the pace was really strong, and I’m pleased with the performance of the car this weekend, it feels nice to have been fast straight from Friday again.”

Yuki Tsunoda, 14th

“It’s a real shame today, as I think I could’ve been in a position to finish in the top 10. I used too much tyre early on, battling with Hamilton, and after that it was really hard to keep up the pace. Unfortunately, I then had a spin, and this ruined my whole race. Today was another big learning curve for me, completing so many laps on the intermediate tyres, but I’m disappointed as I was really hoping to get points to help the team in the championship.”

Daniel Ricciardo, 13th

“I think we had maybe four laps in the race where we had good pace but the rest was hard. In the beginning we struggled a lot with front grip, so it was really hard to stay close to the others, and then we pitted for a new tyre. After that I didn’t have great rear grip to start and was struggling but after a while it came good. We had probably four good laps in that stint where I could feel like I could really push on the tyre, which was what I was looking for. Of the entire race, that was the positive. I got a bit excited because I thought maybe it will just keep getting better and better, but it lasted four laps and then the rear dropped away again, so the last ten laps were a bit painful, just trying to hang on.

“Obviously, we were fighting for the points and that strategy was our best chance, but it was just really unpredictable. I know others went longer, with one going the entire race on one set, but at the end I saw my tyres and they were on their last legs. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a strong race but we’ll try to analyse it. On the positive side, we’ve got plenty of brisket to eat very soon. That makes me happy, bring on Austin!”

Lando Norris, 7th

“A very long and tough race today mainly because of the conditions. It was very difficult to keep the Inters in a good window during the race, but I think we achieved everything we could in the end, so I have to be happy with P7. It was damage limitation for us at this track, but we came away with the best result that we could. So, happy with that and we just need to make more improvements for the next one. It’s important we recover and keep pushing next time out!”


Sebastian Vettel, 18th

“The gamble did not work out today. Something inside me was calling me to try dry tyres because there was nothing left on my intermediate tyres and I thought the dry tyres might work, even if the track was still damp.

“But as soon as I left the pits, I knew it was the wrong decision: there was no grip and I could not make them work. It probably cost us a point or two because we ran inside the top 10 until that moment. I was really surprised how slowly the track improved and it was similar to last year because it just did not dry out.”

Lance Stroll, 9th

“I am happy with today’s result and I think we got everything out of the car, so it is a job well done by the team. It was tricky out there because the track was so slippery. There was also the challenge of the circuit drying in some places, which was causing graining of the tyres, and the question mark about a switch to slicks was always there.

“All things considered, ninth was the maximum we could achieve today. We lost a little bit of time during the pit stop, but I don’t think it made much of a difference to our final result. I am excited to head over to the United States next because it is a chance to spend a bit of time at home in Canada before we focus on fighting for points in Austin.”

Esteban Ocon, 10th

“Scoring one point today does feel sweet after a challenging weekend and a very long race. It was good to take a risk today by going to the end on one set of tyres, which you don’t see very often. It was also nice to give the guys a break from doing pit-stops for the afternoon!
“I remember at this race last year the same could have been possible; it was difficult, but the tyres just about lasted and we have a small reward for that in the end. I enjoyed the fights on track out there too, we managed to muscle our way through, which was fun. One point is nice and hopefully we can keep building for the next race.”

Fernando Alonso, 16th

“It was very tricky conditions today and very slippery. Unfortunately we had the two collisions, which damaged our race. Pierre [Gasly] was in a sandwich going into the corner and hit the rear of my car. And then I am sorry to Mick [Schumacher] for hitting his car going into Turn 4. I went for the overtake but it was very difficult to see everyone around you in the wet conditions. It was bad luck today and it’s a shame we weren’t able to capitalise on our excellent starting position. Nevertheless, as a team we still scored a point today and we’ll pick ourselves up for Austin where hopefully our luck changes.”

Kimi Raikkonen, 12th

“It was a good race, but in the end we didn’t get anything out of it. The conditions were ok, very consistent throughout the race and we had some decent pace. Still, it was quite hard to get past anybody until the end, when some were really struggling with their tyres. We went really close to the points but ran out of laps to make it.”

Antonio Giovinazzi, 11th

“We were just one lap away from being in the points, and this is really frustrating. The race wasn’t bad, despite starting from the back as a result of yesterday’s qualifying, which made everything harder. We gave it our best but unfortunately it wasn’t enough – for the smallest margin, just one second. We had good pace in the last couple of races, so let’s focus on getting back in the points for the next race in Austin.”

George Russell, 15th

“It was definitely not an easy race today. The first 10 laps or so felt pretty good but as the intermediate tyre started to wear down on the dry line it became increasingly difficult. The conditions were quite unique as, even though that dry line was appearing, because of the cloud cover and the temperature it wasn’t close to switching over to the slicks. We can definitely learn something from today though as, even though we didn’t quite have the pace we would have hoped for, it was very difficult for everybody to manage.”

Nicholas Latifi, 17th

“My race came undone by spinning on the opening lap and from then on, I was too far back to try and recover the ground I had lost. I also lost quite a lot of time trying to pass the two Haas cars of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin. However, it was my first full Grand Prix in the wet and that was a good experience. Obviously, it was not the result we wanted but our pace was good at times. I tried to make up the time I had lost but in conditions like these you have to be very reserved with how you push. That’s part of the learning so there are still positives to take from today, but it is frustrating as you still want a positive outcome.”

Mick Schumacher, 19th

“We knew it was going to be tough and I think because there was no real chaos, the result that we drove today was realistic anyway. Again, we learned a lot, we learned how to be competitive at the race start and we just have to analyse how we do it even better. Overall, it’s been a very positive weekend. There’s no reason for me to be sad because I’m not in the championship fight, so anything good from this weekend – I’ll take it – and anything bad I will leave it behind and learn from it.”

Nikita Mazepin, 20th

“The race organizers have done an amazing job since last year to improve the conditions for the drivers. From my side, it was pure joy to be here all weekend. I did a clean race out there, stayed out of trouble in the first lap and drove the best I could. Unfortunately, you know the conditions were very weird today in the respect that the track never really dried out. I didn’t anticipate that the intermediate tyres needed time to get into the slick condition to give us good times. These conditions are priceless because as much as they’re difficult to drive in, they’re very useful.”


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