Turkish Grand Prix 2020 – Qualifying
- George Russell qualified 18th and Nicholas Latifi 20th in an eventful Qualifying session ahead of the Turkish Grand Prix
- George set his quickest lap on his final effort, setting a time of 2:10.017
- Nicholas meanwhile set a 2:21.611 on his first timed lap but was unable to improve throughout the rest of the session
- George will be required to start tomorrow’s race from the back of the grid due to a grid penalty for taking new power unit elements
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: Today’s free practice session was very difficult with track and weather conditions even worse than yesterday and most drivers unable to generate useful temperature and therefore grip from the wet and intermediate tyres. We opted not to run in the conditions as there was nothing useful to learn.
Conditions were no better in Qualifying and the whole field struggled to varying degrees. Nicholas found it especially tough, but George found a little more grip from the tyres and was able to complete his final lap and improve his position, although he was unable to progress into Q2.
Hopefully tomorrow’s conditions will be better and will allow for an exciting race. We knew that George would have to take a grid penalty this weekend and so we hope that despite the difficult testing conditions, we have been able to give him a decent race car, which he can use to work his way back up the field.
Although the conditions have not suited the tyres well all weekend and this has denied us the full spectacle of this great circuit, the qualifying session was still exciting and has delivered a slightly mixed grid. Tomorrow is likely to be similar and if the weather conditions are still tricky then it could be a long and exciting race.
Congratulations to Lance and Racing Point on their successful afternoon. We have seen Lance’s talent in wet conditions at first hand before and it’s no surprise that he was in his element today.
George Russell: Today, qualifying wasn’t as important for us as we already knew that we will be starting at the back of the grid due to the penalty. I was very keen to try and set some laps to see how the car was feeling though but unfortunately that was the limit today. I had very little grip as it was incredibly difficult getting the tyres working. Hopefully it will be an interesting race. We know that a lot can be gained on the opening laps so we will be trying to make a good start.
Nicholas Latifi: It was probably the lowest grip conditions that you will ever get to drive in Formula One. It was tricky for everybody to keep it on the track; I literally couldn’t do a lap and the only lap that I did was before the first red flag as there was too much water on the track. It is what is, anything can happen in the race tomorrow as the conditions are going to be quite unknown. I think it will be a bit of a mess and hopefully we can take advantage of that.