(Motorsport-Complete.com) – Alexander Albon equalizes in qualifying for the Chunky Prix of Turkey his best qualifying result with fourth place . However, after wet qualifying, which was repeatedly interrupted, the Thai is just under 1.4 seconds behind team-mate Max Verstappen. The Dutchman was only stopped by surprise man Lance Stroll on his way to a superior pole region.
” We actually felt very well and it’s annoying when you’re always ahead and then, when it really counts, it didn’t work, “says Red Bull motorsport consultant Helmut Marko, summing up qualifying from his point of view at ‘Sky’.
The starting positions two and four are one ne “very good starting position” for tomorrow’s race, he is happy. “It can be really exciting tomorrow.” Without the pink competition, Red Bull would have taken the front row on Sunday.
“Difficult to get the tires into the right window”
But stroll on of the Pole region and Sergio Perez in third place squeezed between Verstappen and Albon. On his fastest lap, the Canadian was almost three tenths of a second faster on the intermediate than the Dutchman, who had confidently led all classes in Istanbul up to Q3.
himself Marko was surprised by the strong performance of the outsiders: “Yes, especially in sector 2 it was very surprising that they had such a great time. But as I said, it is very difficult to get the tires into the correct temperature window here.”
The Racing Level pilots succeeded best on the green marked tire. Red Bull, on the other hand, struggled in the last attempt to repeat the strong breeze that had previously been shown on the rain tires. Verstappen also because he was stuck behind Kimi Raikkonen in the outlap.
“These one and a half laps have cost us the pole region,” believes Marko . While the Dutchman was able to outrun the competition by several seconds in difficult conditions, team-mate Albon was always close to him.
Already at the end of Q1, after a long break, the Thai took second place behind the number 33 (+ 1, 946 seconds). A similar picture emerged in Q2, both Red Bulls were again at the top, Albon continued to maintain a respectful distance (+1, 989 seconds).
In the last qualifying section, Albon first went out on the track on the rain tire, in the last He finally switched Flee to the intermediates. In retrospect, possibly a mistake? “We saw it coming a little in Q1,” he says.
Change to Inters: “We saw it coming in Q1”
“Only Racing Level and Lando were able to go out on the Inters at the right time. We had to go straight to the pits and put on rain tires. The battle was the same in Q3, “said Albon. Up until that point he had felt good, but he had difficulties getting the tires to work.
That is why Marko notes in his analysis after qualifying: “We could have stayed out with the rain tires and still had pole [geholt].” Albon agrees with him by saying: “We were able to [geholt] just don’t bring it to life. “
With one lap after the other, the grip has always improved a little, but in the wet conditions and In cool temperatures, the tires were never in the optimal window. “That was frustrating, as we looked quite strong the entire weekend.” That is why he is not completely satisfied with fourth place.
Despite the small damper at the end of the Q3 session, Red Bull is with the performance of the scolded 24 – year olds satisfied. “Alex battled the whole weekend s tark and battle actually always under the high 5, so we hope that this performance will continue in the race, “said the Red Bull motorsport consultant.
Albon agrees: “From the first coaching session we looked pretty good. The Breeze was very strong. On my storage side, we tried a few things this weekend to gain more confidence. With these conditions, that’s all you need to be used to. “
The conditions were” no fun, “he affirmed.” I can understand that people liked it. I would also like it if I didn’t have to drive. “Aside from personal preferences, there is a completely different aspect to the fore for Albon: the danger.
“We were lucky that there was no serious accident”
“It’s more about the endangerment. We were very lucky today that there was no serious accident. It was very close a few times, especially in Turn 3. I like magazine difficult conditions, but at the same time it was extremely dangerous. “
The notification at the beginning of Q2 was just as tricky, when the marshals were still busy with the recovery of the crashed Williams car from Nicholas Latifi, but the track was cleared again by the race management.
“Did you see that the crane was still [in der Auslaufzone] fighting when we went out again? The battle wasn’t really good “, Albon can hardly believe it. He can only explain the scene by saying that those responsible wanted to finish qualifying before sunset.
“But that was stupid. And I’m sure we could have waited five more minutes. “Memories of Jules Bianchi’s fatal accident in Japan 989 came up. Albon believes that there was a “miscalculation”. He also feels the re-asphalting of the route is unnecessary.
For that Race on Sunday he anticipates dry conditions that could lead to another project: “The thing is, the graining is so bad. If you have little grip, it only gets worse, “he warns.” So let’s see how it works. “
He can imagine that some drivers go on a one-stop strategy, some on two stops. On Birth, the entire field will have a free choice of tires. “This will be one of the races where everyone will have to act flexibly. We will have everything in view. But I would think our breeze is strong. “