Race - Turkish GP 2021 - Team quotes
Uralkali Haas F1 Team drivers Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin classified 19th and 20th respectively at Sunday’s Turkish Grand Prix, held at Intercity Istanbul Park – Round 16 of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship.
In wet conditions Schumacher took the start from 14th position on Pirelli Cinturato Green intermediates but unfortunately was involved in an early collision with Alpine’s Fernando Alonso. Schumacher was tipped into a spin through turn four and dropped to the back of the field. Stewards determined Schumacher was the innocent party and handed down a time sanction on Alonso. Schumacher dropped to the rear of the field and came in on lap 41 of 58 to take on another set of intermediates. He preserved the car through to the checkered flag to classify in 19th place.
Mazepin also started on intermediates, owing to the conditions, and took the green flag from 18th. Mazepin avoided drama to hold position before ceding one spot to Williams’ Nicholas Latifi. Mazepin cycled through for his pit stop on lap 36, remaining on intermediates, and came home 20th, as every driver reached the checkered flag despite the conditions.
Up front Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas brought a year-long win drought to a close by controlling proceedings for his 10th career victory, ahead of Red Bull Racing drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.
Uralkali Haas F1 Team returns to action at the United States Grand Prix, scheduled for October 22 to 24, at the Circuit of the Americas, in Austin, Texas.
“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 tires 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.”
“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 analyze 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.”
“Not the race we wanted to have. After Mick got away pretty good at the start, he lost a couple of positions and then got hit by Alonso, and that put him back where we were and we couldn’t get out of that hole. Once we got into blue flags, it’s a downwards spiral. We got to the end of the race without issues. Staying out there and learning about the conditions was the only thing we could do and that’s what we did today – the cars are back safe and it’s again in our book of learning.”
“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.”
“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.”
Otmar Szafnauer, CEO & Team Principal
“Lance drove superbly in incredibly tricky conditions, and, despite a slow pit stop, thereby scored two valuable world championship points as a result of his excellent ninth-place finish. Sebastian also started well, and was running in a solid top-10 position for the first half of the race, but he then took a gamble on a change to dry tyres [Mediums] which did not work out – he had no grip at all. The very next lap he consequently had to come back in for new Inters, but by that time his race had been compromised too severely for a points-scoring finish to be a possibility. It was one of those things: a gamble that simply did not pay off, which is how it goes sometimes when conditions are so difficult.”
“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.”
“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.”
Franz Tost (Team Principal)
“We have had quite a successful weekend here in Turkey. Yesterday, we finished Qualifying with both cars in the top 10, so Pierre started today’s race in fourth, after Hamilton’s penalty, and Yuki in ninth position. Unfortunately, Pierre had a collision with Alonso at Turn 1, and this resulted in a five second penalty for him, which he had to serve at the first pitstop. However, he managed to keep his sixth position, as Norris was seven seconds behind him. After the pitstop, he drove the sixth place home, doing a fantastic job despite today’s difficult conditions. This was the first time that the drivers have been out on the Inters for this many laps, so no one from the engineering side knew how long the tyres would last for or how well they would work. This is why it was not an easy call to decide when to pit, but I must say that our strategy group did a really good job, particularly with Pierre, who stopped at exactly the right moment. Yuki also had a good start today and spent quite a few laps in eighth position, managing to keep Hamilton behind for a long time, showing a great performance. Later on, he unfortunately spun and went back to 14th position. It was an enormous learning process for him, as he had not driven in the wet that often, so he now understands more about how the Intermediates work and he is more familiar with the car in these conditions. Generally speaking, the team showed a good performance this weekend and we’ve managed to score more points for our battle for fifth in the Constructors’ Championship. We’re now looking forward to heading to the United States.”
Alpine F1 Team extended its points scoring run to fifteen races in a row after Esteban Ocon finished tenth in a rain affected Turkish Grand Prix. Fernando Alonso finished outside of the points after a first corner collision with Pierre Gasly put paid to his promising starting position.
The race started under wet conditions with a constant light drizzle dampening the 5.338km Istanbul Park. Both drivers managed their starts well and Fernando momentarily took fourth position at the exit of Turn 1, before heavy contact from behind by Gasly’s Alpha Tauri span his A521 the wrong way and demoted him towards the back of the pack.
Esteban avoided the first corner drama and found himself on the cusp of the top ten positions after the opening exchanges. Following his first corner incident, Fernando attempted to climb back up the order and during his steady ascent, he clipped the rear of Mick Schumacher’s Haas going into Turn 4, which he later received a five second time penalty for.
The race then settled into a rhythm with little action. With the track remaining damp, Fernando opted to fit fresh Intermediates on lap 31 and served his time penalty during the pit-stop.
Meanwhile, Esteban continued to apply pressure to those inside the top ten positions and decided to stay out for the entire duration of the 58-lap race. Thanks to his excellent tyre management, Esteban was able to climb into the top ten and despite some late pressure from a charging Antonio Giovinazzi, managed to hold onto tenth position at the chequered flag by just under a second.
Fernando was stuck in sixteenth for the latter part of the race to end a frustrating day for the two-time World Drivers’ Champion.
“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.”
“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.”
Marcin Budkowski, Executive Director
“Today was a very meagre outcome for the team. Fernando was pushed out by Gasly at Turn 1 and then had another incident with Schumacher. From there his race was heavily compromised. He couldn’t find the pace even after the graining phase of the tyres and we have to check if there was any damage to the car from the two earlier contacts. It’s a frustrating outcome for him after starting from fifth, especially seeing where Gasly finished the race. On Esteban’s side, it was a masterclass in tyre management. He covered the whole race distance on one set of Intermediates to salvage a point, which, starting from twelfth in a race with no attrition, is a pretty decent outcome. Even if we extend our points scoring streak to fifteen races in a row, we lost points in our fight for fifth in the championship. We’re now turning our focus on the next race in Austin where we aim to bounce back.”
“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!”
“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!”
Andreas Seidl - Team Principal
“We leave Istanbul with six more points in our Constructors’ Championship battle, after finishing P7 and P13. We achieved everything that was on the table for us today. With the pace we had all weekend and the picture unfortunately also not changing today in wet conditions, there wasn’t more we could do together with Lando and Daniel. Thanks to everyone here at the track, back home in the factory, our drivers and our colleagues at Mercedes HPP. Everyone worked very hard this weekend. On to the next one.”
Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN produced a strong race at the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, with Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Räikkönen just missing out on the points in 11th and 12th after fighting their way from the back of the grid. It was a performance from the team that deserved the reward of points, a result that would have no doubt come had the race been just one lap longer, with both Antonio and Kimi rapidly closing in on a struggling Esteban Ocon.
Starting in P16 and P17 respectively after a challenging Saturday in which their best laps were cancelled, Antonio and Kimi produced brilliant starts to close the first lap in 12th and 13th – the highlight, a daring move by Kimi around the outside of Mick Schumacher in turn eight.
The race was fairly uneventful for both drivers, as they extended their stints on intermediate tyres, but in the closing stages, both were able to display good pace to close the gap on Ricciardo, passing the McLaren with a lap to go and chasing down Ocon – unfortunately not being able to make the move for P10 before the chequered flag.
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal
“The team had a very strong race, with good pace and both drivers keeping ahead of Ricciardo, Russell, Alonso and others on merit. After yesterday’s challenging qualifying, we made a good start with both cars and that set us up for a shot at the points. The conditions out there were not the easiest but both drivers kept their cool and gradually closed in to the top ten: in the end, we were among the fastest cars on track and could pass Ricciardo, but we were just one lap short from catching and passing Ocon for the final point. Finishing in P11 and P12 is always frustrating, we were close to making it two races in the points in a row, but we will take this as an encouragement ahead of Austin.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal
“A double podium for us was a great result to come away with this weekend. Max has regained the lead in the drivers’ championship at a track that has traditionally been strong for Mercedes, we limited the damage and it was a great team job with lots of constructor points, so we’ll keep fighting. The lead for the championship keeps changing hands and the rest of the year is going to be incredibly tight, we have some big races coming up and it’s good to be putting Mercedes under pressure. For us the crucial moment today was when to pit Checo, we could have kept him out to keep holding up Lewis, but we decided to pit him because we didn’t believe Hamilton’s tyres were going to make it to the end of the race. Checo did an amazing job today, he raced Lewis just as hard as Max does. He went wheel to wheel with him and he actually ended up in the pit lane when Lewis ran him out there, and then it was a drag race down the start-finish straight and he just stuck with it. The next race in Austin has been a Hamilton strong hold so we are going to have to be at the very top of our game, it’s great to be in this fight and the whole team is really enjoying it.”
Scuderia Ferrari attacked all race long to bring home 16 points, which is less than it might have been given the potential shown on track. A fourth place for Charles Leclerc and an eighth for Carlos Sainz has not changed the order in either championship although the team has significantly closed the gap to McLaren in the Constructors’ classification.
Trying to win. The track remained wet throughout and for almost two thirds of the race, Charles was third, very close to the leaders, running at a great pace. When the leading pair made their stops, the Ferrari driver and the team decided to go for the win, extending the stint as much as possible. Once in the lead, the aim was to try and make it all the way to the chequered flag without stopping, but when the intermediate tyre performance collapsed, Charles had to pit which put him back in third place, where he would have been if he had pitted at the same time as the leaders. Graining in the first few laps made him vulnerable to attack from Perez and so a podium that would have been well deserved, slipped from his grasp. Nevertheless, it had been worth trying to go for the bullseye.
“Driver of the Day.” For Carlos, the first half of the race was very exciting. Having started from the back row, he pulled off successive overtaking moves to get into the points zone as early as lap 13. However, there was a problem at his pit stop on lap 36, which saw him rejoin behind Esteban Ocon, whom he had overtaken earlier, the Frenchman still on his original set of Intermediates. In these conditions the used tyre had the advantage so he was not easy to pass, but once Sainz managed it, his pace was excellent and he almost caught up to Norris. The fans also appreciated Carlos’ efforts as he was voted “Driver of the Day”.
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.
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.
Mattia Binotto, Team Principal
This was a very intense race and it confirmed the good signs that had already emerged in very different dry track conditions on Friday. Istanbul is a very demanding track and we showed we were competitive, at least on this track and that’s why we can’t be entirely satisfied with the 16 points we picked up today.
Charles had a great weekend, both in qualifying and the race. Together we tried to bring home an even better result and it’s a shame that in the end he didn’t make it to the podium, as that would have been well deserved. Carlos who came to Turkey with the grid penalty hanging over him, staged a great climb up the order, which took him all the way to eighth place.
We continue to make progress but there’s still a lot of work to do to be regularly fighting for the win. We have to be realistic and continue to push to improve in every area. We can approach the remaining six races with confidence, in the knowledge that we have a package that allows us to fight right to the very end for third place in the Constructors’ championship, one of our stated aims for this season.
— George Russell finished 15th and Nicholas Latifi 17th in the Turkish Grand Prix
— George started 13th with Nicholas 16th, both on the intermediate tyre
— Both drivers ran a one-stop race, switching to a fresh set of the intermediate tyres, with George pitting on lap 35 and Nicholas lap 34 respectively
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance
Today’s race was dominated by the track condition, which stayed damp for the duration. Like everyone else, we tried to make the intermediate tyre last until the track was ready for slicks, however, once it became apparent that this wasn’t going to happen, we were all faced with the decision of whether or not to fit a new intermediate. As Ocon and Ricciardo demonstrated, pitting early or not at all made little difference to finishing position, with only the fast cars that started out of position really making progress.
George and Nicholas both lost ground in the opening laps, with George losing positions after fighting with Ocon and having Alonso spin in front of him, and Nicholas himself spinning. Both recovered well and showed reasonable pace at times whilst also managing the tyres.
The season continues in two weeks in Austin and we are looking forward to getting back to Texas for the first time since 2019.
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.
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.
Valtteri takes his 10th win in F1 with a dominant drive for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team in Turkey
— On a persistently damp track with light rain hovering above, Valtteri completed an impressive victory at the Istanbul Park Circuit, also claiming the bonus point for fastest lap in the closing stages.
— Lewis secured P5 having started the race in P11 after taking a ten-place grid penalty for an ICE change, completing a number of fine overtakes in the opening stages.
— All drivers started the race on the Intermediate tyre with stubborn rain clouds lurking overhead and misty drizzle in the air.
— At one stage, it looked like Lewis could reach the chequered flag without stopping and nurse his bruised set of starting Inters home to claim P3. However, with 15 laps to go, Lewis’s tyres dropped off and, losing time to the cars behind, he needed to pit for a fresh set. He emerged in P5 without sufficient laps remaining to bridge the gap to the cars ahead.
— Having gained a 7 point advantage over VER last time out in Russia with the Dutchman taking an engine penalty, Lewis lost 8 points today with his own engine penalty.
— Max Verstappen (262.5 points) leads the Drivers’ Championship from Lewis (256.5), with Valtteri in P3 (177 points).
— The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team (433.5 points) lead Red Bull (397.5 points) by 36 points in the Constructors’ Championship.
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.
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.
Absolute dominance from Valtteri today, a 10/10 drive from the get-go from him. He had the race under complete control, not only with his pace but his management of the tyres was fantastic. Well done Valtteri, a very strong weekend.
For Lewis, we had difficult decisions to take throughout the race. We thought we could maybe hold out with him, not stopping, and take third place. Or, if a dry line appeared, maybe even bring him in and switch to the Soft tyre. The balance for us therefore was between pitting, taking it conservatively and fighting with Leclerc and Perez on track for P3 or, by taking a calculated gamble, have a chance to win the race or finish P3.
As it unfolded, we could see Leclerc’s pace dropping off on the old Inter, shortly followed by Lewis and then we knew we couldn’t go until the end and needed to stop. At that stage, Lewis was losing 1.5 secs to Gasly and Perez and it would be a matter of time before he was caught. We settle for P5 and I’m happy with the decisions we took.
There is always an absolute view and a relative view. The relative view is that in the last race, Red Bull were very happy to only lose 7 points from a grid penalty – today we lost 8 points so it isn’t the end of the world. The absolute view is that today, we could have scored another 3, 4 or 5 points more. But that’s fine, the championship is wide open and the fight continues.
A superbly accomplished drive by Valtteri in the wet today, he had the race under control from start to finish and his fastest lap at the end shows just how much he had in reserve. The only awkward point of his race was giving up the lead to Charles in order to cover Max but that came back to him pretty quickly. Lewis had a busier afternoon - he’d made good progress considering there was no DRS to help and got himself up to fifth, almost passing PER for fourth. At that stage, most cars were stopping but we decided to leave Lewis out for the chance of either running to the end or transitioning to the dry tyre. It started to become clear to us that it was never going to be right for the slicks and our strategy tools were showing that we’d get beaten by PER and LEC anyway if we stayed out, so we took a fresh set of Inters to cut our losses.
We’ve extended our lead in the Constructor Standings and whilst we’ve lost a little ground in the Driver Championship, the car pace has been really encouraging here, both wet and dry. We’re looking forward to Austin where hopefully we can continue our current run of good form.