F1 2021
Round 16

Four Honda-Powered Cars Will Start Inside The Top Ten In Turkey #F1

tr Istanbul Park

Both cars from Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri reached Q3 in Turkey, where Max will start from the front row and Pierre directly behind him following a strong overall performance.

Four Honda-Powered Cars Will Start Inside The Top Ten In Turkey #F1

After Honda-powered cars locked out the top three in a wet final practice session, the track had still not dried fully when Q1 got underway. However, with rain approaching at the start of the session, everyone had to gamble on slick tyres and try to get laps in early.

Light rain didn’t prevent running on the dry compound and all four drivers did an excellent job to advance in the tricky conditions. Max was second fastest ahead of Pierre in third, with Sergio fifth and Yuki making it all four cars in the top ten.

It was a repeat in Q2, with three of the four cars managing to advance on the medium tyre in order to start on that compound. Max was third quickest with Pierre behind him in fourth and Sergio sixth, while Yuki showed further improvement to set the eighth fastest time. On this occasion, Yuki was the only driver in the top ten to use the soft tyre to reach Q3, meaning he will be on a different strategy at the start on Sunday.

For the first time since the Austrian Grand Prix we had all four Honda-powered cars in the final part of qualifying, and it was a competitive fight for the front rows. Max ended up third quickest but will start from second as Lewis Hamilton takes a grid penalty for exceeding power unit components.

Pierre was right on the pace with Red Bull and Mercedes for much of Q3 but ended up fifth overall - just over 0.1s behind Max - and he will line-up fourth on Sunday. Sergio was seventh and Yuki tenth in the final classification, with both also moving up a place on the final grid.

Toyoharu Tanabe
Toyoharu Tanabe
Honda Racing F1
Qualifying for the Turkish Grand Prix started in tricky conditions on a damp track with a bit of rain right at the start, but fortunately, the track gradually dried out after that. Although these were not the best conditions, it was a clean session, which ended with all four Honda drivers in the top ten. Max was third with Checo seventh, while after a couple of difficult qualifying sessions, Pierre was back on form with a good fifth and Yuki is back in the top ten for the first time in a while. His pace usually picks up over the course of the weekend so he should perform well tomorrow. Because of Lewis’ penalty, all our drivers move up one place on the grid. We will now prepare carefully for the race, paying particular attention to the start which will be important tomorrow.

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen 33
Red Bull Racing
I am of course happy with third and starting on the front row tomorrow. We improved a little bit from yesterday and the balance is a bit better but overall this weekend has been a bit more difficult. I hope for a clean get away tomorrow but starting on the inside will be tricky, as there is very low grip in both dry and wet conditions compared to the outside, so we are expecting to lose out there slightly. We also need to consider the gap behind us, it’s much tighter than usual. We’ll aim to make the best of it and try everything we can tomorrow to keep the Mercedes behind but it’s not going to be easy, they’ve had great pace all weekend.

Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly 10
Scuderia AlphaTauri
I’m very happy to have qualified fifth today, and then to be starting P4 tomorrow after Lewis’ penalty. The team have made such a big improvement to the car since yesterday, as I was really struggling with understeer. It wasn’t the easiest to see if these changes had worked this morning, as FP3 was wet, but as soon as we got to Qualifying, I was competitive and that was really positive. I’m confident heading into tomorrow’s race after the big step-up we’ve made with the car today and I’m hopeful we can score big points in the race.

Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez 11
Red Bull Racing
We are showing good progress and I think we should be able to continue that into race day. With the mixed conditions in Q1 we lost a set of new softs, meaning we only had one set for Q3. We did a banker lap on the used softs which was a decent time and then we didn’t manage to improve as much as we wanted to on the second run, which meant we didn’t get the lap time we were looking for. I am feeling positive and I am looking forward to trying to get through the grid and score some good points for the Team. It is a pretty long race around here, overtaking is possible and the tyre degradation will be pretty high out there, so there is everything to play for. I believe if we can get a good clean run into turn one then we will be looking good for the rest of the race and a podium could be possible. We are up for the challenge; we have good strategy and pace.

Yuki Tsunoda
Yuki Tsunoda 22
Scuderia AlphaTauri
I have to say I’m still slightly disappointed with my performance today, I really believe that the pace of the car was there, and I could’ve been starting tomorrow further up the grid. The team did a fantastic job but unfortunately, I just couldn’t put it all together in Q3. I’ll be starting tomorrow’s race on the Softs, which is a different strategy to most of the other cars around me, so I’ll have to prepare tonight and take every opportunity I can tomorrow. It’s still positive to qualify in the top 10, the main goal for me this weekend is to finish in the points, and I hope that tomorrow I can do that from a strong starting position.

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