Kevin Magnussen was not happy after Qualifying for the Turkish Grand Prix on Saturday afternoon, with the Dane heavily critical of a number of drivers who appeared to improve their times despite double-waved yellow flags at the end of Q1.
Nicholas Latifi spun his Williams Racing machine into the gravel trap at turn eight to bring out the yellow flags, but despite the rules stating that quick laps should be aborted, drivers did improve their lap times and knocked Magnussen out of the session.
The Haas F1 Team driver ultimately qualified down in sixteenth, although that could change if those who did improve under the yellow flags are handed penalties by the stewards.
“There was a yellow flag all of that last lap and everybody improved their times,” said Magnussen. “I backed off for those yellow flags, but everybody else seemed to be improving as the track was improving.
“I was in P7 and I got knocked out at the checkered. I respected the rules. We must abort the lap, not just simply lift off, if there’s a double yellow flag – which there was. I’m pretty annoyed with that. Everyone else pushed, improved their laps, but I’m knocked out of Q1.”
“I got to turn one and I locked up. That was it – game over” – Romain Grosjean
Team-mate Romain Grosjean was also eliminated after the Frenchman found himself spinning into the gravel trap at turn one. This brought out the second red flag in the session as his car was recovered.
The Frenchman admitted he did not drive at all well during the session, although he did agree with the decision to bring out the red flags with just under seven minutes of Q1 to go due to the conditions around the Intercity Istanbul Park track.
He felt confident he could improve on his time from earlier in the session after the restart, but the spin ended his day and left him nineteenth fastest, although he moves up one spot on the grid thanks to the engine component penalties for George Russell.
“Generally, I think I just didn’t drive well,” admitted Grosjean. “On my first run I wasn’t doing a good job. I think the earlier red flag was definitely the right call. There was no way we could carry on.
“The out-lap of that last run was much better for me. I got into the rhythm and pushed the throttle on the straight – which was the biggest challenge of the day. I was quite confident we could improve, but I got to turn one and I locked up. That was it – game over.”
“We were in the wrong place at the wrong time with the yellow flags” – Guenther Steiner
Team Principal Guenther Steiner felt luck was against Haas once more, and it meant another double elimination in Q1.
Steiner hopes luck turns around on Sunday, especially if more rain hits the Istanbul Park track and makes conditions difficult for everyone once more.
“It looked like we’d have a good qualifying, but it ended up that we were in the wrong place at the wrong time with the yellow flags in Q1,” said Steiner. “It is what it is.
“At the moment they’re predicting rain for tomorrow – so a lot could happen then as well. Certainly a lot happened out there today. Congratulations to Racing Point on their pole position and third place. Maybe tomorrow lady luck is with us.”