Formula 1

Russell Bemoans Drop in Performance after Second Pit Stop at Istanbul Park

2 Mins read
Credit: Williams Racing

George Russell felt the race was going his way midway through the Turkish Grand Prix as he found himself just outside the points, but once the track began to dry, he was unable to maintain the pace needed to stay in contention for a top ten finish.

He survived a spin on the way into the pit lane prior to the race that damaged his front wing, but despite starting from the pit lane, it was not the kind of race he wanted.

The Williams Racing driver struggled to make his intermediate tyres to work after making a second pit stop, and ultimately he slid down the pack and was sixteenth and last of those who crossed the line at the end.

“We made the decision to start from the pitlane, which was always the intention,” said Russell.  “On the laps to grid I knocked the front wing off at the pit entry, but the guys did a great job to get the car fixed.

“The race itself was very tricky in the opening stages, but then we found ourselves in P11 and it was looking really promising, the car and tyres were feeling good. From then, the tyres dropped off, so we boxed for another set of intermediates which didn’t work.

Russell said the whole weekend was not fun, with no one able to attack the ‘fantastic’ Intercity Istanbul Park circuit in anger due to the slippery conditions. 

“None of us were able to push the car to the limit, slipping and sliding around,” said the Briton. “This weekend wasn’t a lot of fun which is a shame as it is a fantastic circuit and we didn’t get the opportunity to fully appreciate it.”

Team-mate Nicholas Latifi had a weekend to forget, with the Canadian struggling for pace and performance throughout the race.  He ultimately was called into the pits to retire when already two laps down after contact with Romain Grosjean caused damage to his FW43.

“We had some damage on the car after contact with Romain Grosjean, so we decided to retire,” said Latifi.  “I was getting lapped, but my mirrors were so dirty that I literally couldn’t see behind me. I knew I had to move over but it was difficult to judge where they were.

“There was no grip out there and therefore you can’t generate tyre temperature, so with the damage on the car, there was no point staying out. There was no part of the race that was enjoyable for me and overall, it was a weekend to forget.” 

Nicholas Latifi retired from the Turkish Grand Prix – Credit: Williams Racing
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Thirty-something motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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