Turkish Grand Prix track gets worse with torrential rain during practice

If F1 drivers were worried about the condition of the track during Friday’s practice sessions at the Turkish Grand Prix, it’s got nothing Saturday.

P3 has been run with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen leading the time sheet in what could prove to be a very important session as torrential rain hit the track.

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Friday’s sessions left drivers concerned with the slipperiness of the Istanbul Park circuit, which hasn’t been used in F1 since 2011.

“Now, it is worse than Portimao (Portugal) with its new surface so, for us, the tyres aren’t working and you can see it’s like an icerink out there,” Hamilton said after Friday’s sessions.

“It’s terrifying – the whole way round. There are wet patches all over. So, you’re on slicks, accelerating and it goes so fast.”

Hamilton didn’t even set a time in P3, instead doing three laps and bailing on the session.

On his last run late in the session, Hamilton said over team radio: “There’s just no grip out here – it’s shocking”.

He didn’t quite go as far as AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat who added: “I would have more grip on the f***ing ice”.

Drivers were spinning out left right and centre.Source:AFP

It could throw a massive spanner in the works for Hamilton, who could equal Michael Schumacher’s record of seven world championships if he can finish within eight points of teammate Valtteri Bottas.

Sky Sports F1 commentator David Croft said the conditions on the track were not good enough for qualifying.

“We want the best drivers in the world to get out there and show us what they can do, but at the moment, given the wetness on that track and given the temperatures and the fact that there is no grip, I‘m not sure they could show us what they can do,” he said.

The only other track with rain so far this year was at the Styrian Grand Prix where it rained before qualifying but it was much warmer.

Croft said if drivers try to push it at all “you‘re going to get cars going off track, you’re going to get cars into the barriers”.

Former F1 driver Johnny Herbert said qualifying shouldn‘t go ahead in conditions like this.

“I‘m all for a challenge but this is not a challenge whatsoever,” he said. ”This is just hanging on for dear life. If you’re lucky, you’ll get around without a spin. That’s not skill, that’s awful. I just hope it does ease off.”

This… #F1 @alo_oficial #TurkishGP https://t.co/JcFNa4eGmZ

Well that was. Amusing #F1 🇹🇷 pic.twitter.com/rHicqJg8xt

They didn’t lie, its wet out there 🌧

🇹🇷 #L4NDO #TurkishGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/rzuMNKH1Lg

Karun Chandhok said he believed that qualifying might be red flagged.

“I really hope this eases off in the next 20 minutes or so and we can have an hour and an half with no rain before Qualy. A wet track but no rain.

“We need a happy balance of wet but entertaining and not a situation where they‘re having to be so timid driving these cars around the track.

“But if it keeps going like this we‘ve got no support races this weekend, we haven’t got people clearing the track, this water is just going to sit on the track and that could be a red-flag situation for qualifying.

“Let‘s keep our fingers crossed.”

If it was red flagged, the starting grid could come from the P3 positions with Lewis Hamilton sitting in 20th.

I’m going to say it before Crofty does.


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