Daniel Ricciardo has become the latest driver to weigh in after a host of F1 stars complained about how last weekend’s Turkish Grand Prix played out.
Lance Stroll, Max Verstappen and George Russell were among those left scratching their heads after a late resurfacing of the track saw plenty of drivers struggle with their grip, leading to plenty of spins and slides.
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The problem was evident in qualifying and when the rain tumbled down during the main event, conditions became even worse, leading to a chaotic race as drivers slipped up and down the grid.
Lewis Hamilton sealed a seventh world championship by coming from sixth to win the race, while Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and pole-sitter Stroll weren’t so unfortunate. A maiden F1 victory fell out of Stroll’s grasp when he lost pace with a change of tyres, and Leclerc dropped off the podium altogether after locking up on the final lap.
Ricciardo, who finished 10th in Istanbul, was no fan of the Turkish track and said it’s counterintuitive to have the fastest cars in the world hampered by conditions that aren’t suited to express pace.
“This is not the answer,” Ricciardo said when asked if any lessons could be taken away from the weekend.
“Look, don’t get me wrong, and I knew everyone sitting on the couch had a fun and exciting one to watch, but to be honest, I don’t know if we learn anything from this weekend.
“We’ll probably never come to a situation like it again with this level of group. I think as well when teams are spending so much money developing cars and putting all the knowledge into designing the fastest race cars in the world, not being able to use them … if it was all the time, it would feel like a robbery.
“It’s like, why are we putting so much into these cars if we can’t actually push the limits?”
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Williams rookie Nicholas Latifi is learning the hard way how tough life can be at the top, saying the Turkish GP presented him with the most difficult conditions he’s ever faced in his life.
In his debut season of F1, Latifi — who failed to finish the race — said there was “no doubt” Istanbul presented his biggest ever challenge.
“I mean I’ve already had some very, very tricky ones this year, Budapest being one of them where I drove the whole race with a very badly damaged car, and this took the cake really,” Latifi said, per the official F1 website.
“I’m sure most drivers would say the same.
“The low grip — to a certain extent it’s fun. FP1, once you realise how it’s going to be and wrap your head around, ‘OK there’s low grip, it’s going to be how it’s going to be’, you can have fun with it, but at some point you do expect the track to rubber in, at a certain standard to be able to go racing.
“The fact the rain made it 100 times worse, I’m surprised. I was expecting the rain to make it relatively better than how low grip it was in the dry, but it was just undriveable.
“Definitely the hardest conditions I’ve had to drive in my life, not just F1, just staying on track.
“I’m sure most drivers will say they are better for the experience of getting to drift a Formula 1 car around every lap and corner, but just frustrated with the whole outcome.”