Max Verstappen had a hard time on the Friday of the Turkish Grand Prix. His Red Bull RB16B didn’t do what he wanted and he struggled with his car during both the first and second practice. Helmut Marko was quite surprised after the training day.
With a second time in the first practice and a sixth time in the second practice session, Max Verstappen didn’t do super bad, but in the Red Bull garage people were logically not satisfied. Especially the fact that the Red Bull RB16B of the Dutch star driver behaved rather impetuously did not make Helmut Marko satisfied.
In conversation with our German friends from Motorsport Magazine tells the Red Bull advisor about Friday. “We have not found a good balance in the car. It is very strange. Something is not right. The tires overheat, we have understeer and oversteer. It does not make us happy”, the Austrian sighs. “Understeer turns into oversteer, which makes the tires too hot. It’s really very inefficient behavior of the car.”
How could it have come this far? According to Marko there is some kind of explanation, but it is still strange that Perez is doing much better, while the set-ups are not very different according to him. “We underestimated the grip levels, but the weird behavior only happened with Max’s car. Perez’s set-up was also not ideal, but something is not coming together. Unfortunately, we have not been able to change that underlying trend. Theoretically it’s only marginal differences between the two cars, so something isn’t quite right.”
According to Marko, the difference between Hamilton and Verstappen is about two tenths of a second if the different engine modes used by the two drivers are taken into account. “Both in the short run and in the long run, but normally our long run is also much more stable. That was not the case this time.”
Still, it’s not all hands on deck yet, as Marko is confident it can be solved in the simulator in Milton Keynes. “It’s only Friday night. Saturday is another day. I think everything can be solved. Sebastien Buemi can prove himself in the simulator during the night shift.”
Maybe hope for rain during qualifying then? “No, no. We just have to solve the problems. If we open our engine we will be closer, but in our current state we are not competitive,” said Marko.