Red Bull driver Alex Albon says that Formula 1 was “lucky not to have a big crash” in a soaking wet qualifying session for the Turkish GP.
Albon was quick throughout the entertaining and unpredictable session, and admitted that he felt he could have done better than his eventual fourth place behind the two Racing Point drivers and his teammate Max Verstappen.
Although the Red Bull drivers were clearly better off in the tricky conditions than some of their rivals, Albon said that it had been a stressful afternoon.
“I can understand why people enjoy it,” he said when asked by Motorsport.com. “I would enjoy it if I wasn’t driving.
“I could tell you it’s not as fun in the car as it is on TV. When you’re shifting to sixth gear, even seventh gear in the wet, and you’re getting wheelspin and the car is aquaplaning across the track, that’s not very fun.
“It’s more about the danger of it, more than anything else. I think we’ve been lucky not to have a big crash today. We’ve had some close calls obviously, coming into Turn 3.
“I enjoy difficult weather, I enjoy difficult conditions, I enjoy when there’s more to it than than a normal weekend. But at the same time, this is most probably a step towards excessively dangerous, really.”
Albon also highlighted a controversial moment in Q2 when the session started while yellow flags were out as a crane was still retrieving the spun Williams of Nicholas Latifi after an incident in the first session.
“That wasn’t very good,” he said. “I imagined that we were trying to make sunset. And we rushed everything. But that was silly. And I’m sure we could have waited another five minutes for a crane to move.”
“I think there must have been some misjudgement between them, because there’s no way they did it on purpose.
“I mean, it was just hard to understand where the decision came from, because the crane was still on track, lifting Latifi, and we got the call out to go on to the track and wait at the end of the pit lane.
“I was expecting like a five minute signal. But it was one minute to go to green. And I was like, okay, they must have moved that crane pretty quickly. But obviously, it didn’t have enough time.”
Regarding his own performance, Albon felt all had gone well until the switch to intermediates late in the last part of the session.
“It felt good until Q3, I struggled to get the tyres working, I think compared to other cars out there, especially on the extremes. And it was quite nice to drive, obviously following other cars, you can tell how difficult it was for some teams.
“Then come to Q3 once the inters came on – actually, to be fair, I think we most probably saw it coming a little bit on that Q1 run, a couple of cars and I would say only really Racing Point and maybe Lando, were the only ones who could actually get a time out of the inters. We had to box straight away, and put the extremes on.
“And it was the same thing when I went out in Q3, it was the same problem where I just couldn’t switch them on. And it’s kind of that thing, literally like one lap to the next you feel a peak of grip.
“But it never really came. So a bit frustrating, because obviously the whole weekend has been looking pretty strong. And I’ve been happy with how it’s been going. So to be P4 is in one respect worse than it should have been.”
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