Russell says chaotic Turkish GP ‘not what F1 is about’
A frustrated George Russell says the sight of drivers battling their cars and the chaotic conditions throughout the Turkish GP weekend is “not what F1 is about”.
Teams and drivers were caught off guard on Friday by the massive lack of grip offered by Istanbul Park’s recently resurfaced track.
While the conditions were challenging in the dry, the presence of rain on Saturday brought about a whole other level of difficulty and struggles that extended into Sunday’s wet race.
After starting his race from the pitlane following a spin on his way to the grid that knocked the front wing off his Williams, Russell navigated the treacherous Turkish waters to the best of his ability, ultimately crossing the checkered flag P16, but it was anything but an enjoyable experience.
The Briton had started his race from the pitlane after a mishap on his way to the grid knocked the front wing off his Williams.
“The lap time varies by two to three seconds a lap, if you get the tyres working or not – it’s unbelievable,” Russell said.
“This weekend has not been really what Formula 1 is about. I’m sure the show looked great, and I’m sure I would have loved watching it from my sofa at home.
“It’s just been a lottery for everybody out there. I love driving in wet conditions, but this was just something else.”
Russell clearly laid the blame for F1’s poor showing in Turkey on Istanbul Park’s tarmac which the Briton equated to “sheet ice” from FP1 to race day.
“The biggest factor, without a shadow for a doubt, was the new resurfacing,” he added. “From what I hear and I understand, it all had to be done very last minute, and the Turkish corporation or whoever ran the race did a really good job to get everything done in time, and they were delayed by some really poor weather.
“It was like driving on sheet ice, and actually the times I went off the track onto the old concrete, I had much more grip than I did [on the track].
“The concrete apron in the pitlane, which is normally incredibly slippery compared to the track, had a hell of a lot more grip than the actual race track.
“I don’t think a single driver enjoyed these conditions.”
Turkish GP: Sunday’s action in pictures
Sunday’s race was undoubtedly a massive challenge for drivers, but a riveting and entertaining experience for fans. But that was no consolation as far as Russell was concerned.
“If you want chaos and carnage, and drivers being made to look like idiots, there are other categories and sports out there you can go and watch,” said the Briton.
“Formula 1 is about the best cars, the best drivers, the best teams going to the best tracks, and showing what they can do. This weekend was not that.
“I’m sure I would have loved it from the sofa, but there’s got to be maybe a midpoint that I’m sure F1 can learn from, and we’re not just going here and rolling the dice week in, week out.”
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