Red Bull drivers were the fastest in both practice sessions on Friday's slippery track, the cars were spinning and sliding like drift cars and gave everyone a hard time to make the perfect lap time. Once I thought we were watching Formula Drift.
In the FP1, most of the cars ran the session with hard tires that didn’t respond well with the new asphalt track and damp surface due to overnight wash.
The cool track temperatures in the FP2 added fuel to the flames and made it difficult to find a grip the track became like an "ice rink" like how Albon described it.
“I think overall for us it was quite a positive day and the car is working well so I’m pretty happy about that. I think the prep we did before we got here was good, but then, of course, we also did well to react to the conditions out on the track. It is very slippery out there but at the end of the day it’s the same for everyone so we just have to adapt to it but I think we are all still about five seconds off where we should be on this track."
"I hope it’s not going to rain because then we may actually need spikes! I don’t think softer tires would have made a difference, we did go faster when going from a hard to a soft but it’s just the grip on the tarmac. For sure Mercedes will get it together tomorrow so now I just hope we can have a competitive qualifying and in the race, we will see what happens.”
“It’s like an ice rink. It’s weird. It’s not like a normal feeling; we’re driving it like a drift car which, in a way, is fun, but it’s not like an F1 car is normally like" says Redbull driver Alex Albon who finished second in the first practice session of the Turkish GP
Reaching the 50 minutes in FP2, Albon managed the fastest time with 1m29.363s, at which point the Mercedes drivers were taking their first testing laps on the softs.
“It was a positive day and it’s always fun to try out a new track. In FP1 and FP2, it was like an ice rink out there and a bit weird because it’s not a normal feeling driving what feels like a drift car.
"You’re just sliding around which of course is a bit fun in a way but it’s also not what an F1 car likes! In order to switch the tires on and get them to work, you’re having to push way out of your comfort zone so it’s tricky but it is what it is.
“It’s tricky because… you have to go way out of your comfort zone to push and get the tires to work and you’re just sliding everywhere but that’s the only way they can really switch on. You’re bringing it back to not crash, but at the same time you have to force it to get the tires to work,” explained Albon
"We expected the softer compounds to maybe make things a bit easier in terms of grip but they didn’t help as much as we thought so I don’t know what teams are going to do in qualifying. It feels like we might all have to put softs on and fuel the car up for a race run and just keep doing laps!"
We’ll look at everything tonight and then with the conditions tomorrow, let’s see what happens but all in all it was a good day.”
The forecast is for a rainy weekend and it's expected to be a huge challenge for everyone at the Istanbul track.
Juan Pablo Montoya STILL holds the fastest lap record for McLaren with 1m24.770s