Verstappen found slippery surface ‘very annoying’

Date published: November 15 2020

Max Verstappen PA

Max Verstappen hopes he will never encounter such slippery conditions again after finishing sixth in a “very annoying” Turkish Grand Prix.

The Dutchman had been odds-on favourite with the bookmakers for a second win of the season after being fastest all weekend at Istanbul Park apart from in the decisive third session of qualifying, being pipped to pole position by Lance Stroll.

In the race, the Red Bull driver made a bad start but was challenging Sergio Perez for second place when he spun on lap 18, losing places as a result, and later ran wide on several occasions as he tried to work his way back up the order.

Eventually, Verstappen finished sixth and kept that position after the stewards cleared him of crossing the white line boundary with the circuit when leaving the pits.

But the lack of grip, and having to see Lewis Hamilton win a race that offered such a fine opportunity to himself, meant this was a day the 23-year-old will want to erase from his memory as quickly as possible.

“It was a very annoying, frustrating race,” said Verstappen. “Definitely one to forget.

“Really, really difficult. Basically just following, no grip, trying to survive, so definitely not a great day. Hopefully we will never be in this situation again that it’s just so slippery.”

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Describing the incident with Perez, he added: “I was trying to stay close to Checo through that kink and then had a massive washout. You get onto the green bit, big spin, I tried to keep it out of the wall, of course, flat-spotted the tyres.

“After that you very quickly catch up with the guys but you can’t pass. It’s just one line around here and already that line is very slippery, so it’s super-frustrating. You’re just driving in a train and waiting for people to pit or whatever.

“Of course I was always on a different strategy all the time – they would pit for new [tyres], I would be on old. At the end I was catching but even then I ran out of tyres.

“And the fact the track was not really drying. You had to keep going on intermediates but at one point when you’re wearing the rubber off the intermediates, you’re just sliding over that rubber everywhere.”

Hamilton’s triumph, his 10th in 14 races this year, meant he equalled Michael Schumacher’s record of seven World Championship titles.

“It was pretty obvious he was going to win it but it’s just incredible,” said Verstappen.

“A very strong driver, also of course today. He’s now the greatest driver in Formula 1 in terms of stats anyway, but a great result for the whole [Mercedes] team also. They have been so dominant and definitely deserve it.”

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