L’Istanbul Park like theHungaroring: also in Hungary, Red Bull had shown a state of competitiveness much lower than the expectations of the eve and the same has occurred up to now in Turkey. To unite the two tracks there is a very abrasive asphalt that offers a lot of grip, even too much for a car so exasperated in terms of set-up like the Red Bull RB16-B conceived by Adrian Newey, taking the concept of ‘high-rake’ philosophy to the extreme with large ‘height difference’ between the front axle and the rear axle.
According to what the newspaper pointed out The-Race.com the front axle of the Red Bull is subjected to too much force on a track that guarantees a large mechanical grip and for this reason the front ‘discharges’ this force by going into understeer, a ‘drift’ which then subsequently puts the rear axle in crisis, which ‘slips’ during travel and traction. This behavior on the part of the RB16-B was immediately highlighted by Max Verstappen starting from the first free practice session and the corrections in progress made to the aileron at the aerodynamic level were not very effective.
Unloading the set-up in response to the mechanical grip offered by Istanbul Park was not a viable option for the Red Bull men because the degradation of the tires at that point would have been unsustainable and deleterious from a race point of view. The technicians under Christian Horner’s orders have found some corrections, but working on the set-up is not enough to compensate for a real problem of incompatibility between Red Bull and the Turkish circuit. The difficulties are amplified by the soft compound and the performance on the single lap, for this reason considering that tomorrow Verstappen will be in the race it will not mount soft tires the prospects for the Dutch driver improve in view of a close confrontation with Valtteri Bottas and Charles Leclerc, taking into account that soon Lewis Hamilton could suddenly be in the game as far as the podium and the victory are concerned. The fact that the new soft tires amplify the problem that Red Bull has to face is well represented by Sergio Perez, who in Q3 with the set of new tires did not significantly improve the time trial signed with worn tires. The too much grip offered by the fresh tires was a handicap, not a benefit.
Red Bull is not the only team to be in a major crisis in Turkey. The other is there McLaren, which through the words of Norris has hinted that it is already certain on the eve of going into great difficulties, exactly those experienced by Red Bull. The talent of Max Verstappen, who likes to ‘play’ with the dancer rear in exchange for a very precise front axle, has led the Milton Keynes team to exaggerate the risks involved in a high-rake philosophy. This is why Gasly, Albon and Perez spoke of a ‘unique’ car referring to Red Bull, with Perez who, compared to Verstappen’s other former box mates, has already driven several cars over the course of his career. Mercedes and Ferrari are in particularly good shape, but it is Red Bull – along with McLaren – that have taken a step back in Turkey for the reasons listed above. A step back that may not be such tomorrow in the race.