Daniil Kvyat reckoned it was a productive Friday for the Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda team at Intercity Istanbul Park, even if the track conditions were not at their optimum.
The Russian finished sixth fastest in each of the two sessions, with his afternoon time more than seven seconds faster than he managed in the morning as the track conditions improved.
Kvyat, who has never raced in Turkey before in his career, said it was a day of learning for everyone on Friday, with the team looking to set the car up to maximise its performance ahead of Saturday’s Qualifying session.
“I think we had a productive Friday; we completed our programme and everything we wanted to do, we managed to have a decent day on a new track for us,” said Kvyat. “It’s very particular and grip conditions were very poor today, but we’ve been learning and trying to understand what to do to make the car faster in these conditions.
“It’s my first time racing here and the track is quite cool, it’s just a shame about the grip levels. We will be working overnight to maximise the car’s performance for tomorrow.”
Slippery Track ‘A shock’ for Pierre Gasly
Team-mate Pierre Gasly admitted it was a shock to the system to drive on such a low-grip circuit on Friday morning, although overall he felt it was a ‘pretty fun day’ of driving.
The Frenchman, a race winner earlier this season in the Italian Grand Prix, placed fourth in the morning session but fell to seventh in the afternoon despite improving his time by more than five and a half seconds.
Gasly believes there will be a need to revise what the car will need when it comes to set-up this weekend in Turkey due to the track conditions, although he was pleased with the initial performance level of the AT-01 on Friday.
“It was a bit of a shock this morning when we found out how slippery the track was, but overall it was a pretty fun day to drive in these conditions,” said Gasly. “It was very unusual having to drive an F1 car with the grip being so low.
“I think we have to revise and re-analyse a bit what we want to do in terms of the car set-up and strategy for the weekend and try to work from there. The performance so far seems to be quite good, but it’s very tricky, so we need to really nail everything if we want to be competitive tomorrow.”