Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has raised concerns ahead of the Turkish Grand Prix after complaining of understeer on track, with his car snapping on the exit of corners during practice.
Handed an advantage after his main title rival Lewis Hamilton was hit with a 10-place grid penalty, Verstappen now has a perfect opportunity to capitalise on Sunday, with two points separating the pair in the championship standings.
Yet, Verstappen was seen wrestling with the Red Bull throughout both first and second practice on Friday, complaining of various problems on the radio to the team.
“I mean we tried a few things, compared to FP1 but also FP1 wasn’t that great so we still are looking around a bit with what to do,” said Verstappen, speaking to Sky Sports F1.
“Of course, it’s very different here. We don’t have a lot of data from here with these kinds of cars so it seems like we have a bit of an evening ahead to try and make it a bit better because today wasn’t the best.
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“It’s a super nice track now with normal conditions so just looking forward to the weekend to try them.
“Hopefully it will improve, otherwise it’s not looking too good [for qualifying], But we’ll see what we can do overnight.
Hamilton won’t start higher than 11th in Istanbul after Mercedes decided to change the seven-time world champion’s internal combustion engine.
Unlike Verstappen in Russia, the 36-year-old won’t start from the back of the grid, as the Dutchman changed his entire power unit ahead of the race in Sochi.
However, with the added advantage in Turkey, Red Bull were frustrated to be on the back foot ahead of qualifying.
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The team principal Christian Horner echoed his driver’s concerns.
Speaking to Sky Sports F1, Horner said: “We’ve got a little bit of a balanced mishmash at the moment.
“The circuit is a lot grippier than it was last year, I think we’re just a little bit out of the window with Max on setup so gonna be a busy night tonight, you know, burning the midnight oil with engineers and another back in Milton Keynes as well.”
However when asked if he was confident they could rectify the issues ahead of qualifying on Saturday, the team principal replied: “I think so, think it’s just understanding the issue, we know that we have a good car, so it’s just a matter of getting into that window and I don’t think we hit that today.
“These cars are so sensitive to wind and side winds or tail winds, you often hear the drivers talking about the effect that the wind is having so obviously it is quite exposed here, it’s quite blustery and we’re expecting that it to potentially increase over the weekend so it’s gonna be going to be a tricky one.”