Carlos Sainz Jr. admitted it was far from an ideal Friday at Intercity Istanbul Park after he lost part of the opening free practice session due to a mechanical issue.
The McLaren F1 Team driver completed only twelve laps and was nineteenth fastest overall in the morning, with his participation in the session affected by electronic gremlins in his engine.
He completed forty laps in the afternoon session, placing fourteenth, as he made up for lost time, but the Spaniard admits he is looking forward to the rest of the weekend around a track that has shown itself to be extremely difficult to attack due to its low-grip nature.
“Not the ideal Friday,” said Sainz. “It was frustrating to lose running time, in what was obviously an important FP1 due to the very challenging track conditions that we’re going to face this weekend at this new and resurfaced circuit.
“So, we had quite a lot of catch-up to do during FP2. I didn’t have the cleanest of runs with the Soft tyre and the lap-times then improved quickly with track evolution. The tarmac feels strange at the moment, but that only adds excitement to see who can get it right.
“I’m really looking forward to tomorrow!”
“A tricky day, but quite fun because it was different to normal” – Lando Norris
Team-mate Lando Norris had a much better day as he placed inside the top ten in both sessions, although the Briton admitted it was difficult to get an idea about the balance of the car due to the trickier than expected track conditions.
Norris, who was celebrating his twenty-first birthday on Friday, finished seventh in the morning before closing the day out with the tenth fastest time in the afternoon.
“A tricky day, but quite fun because it was different to normal,” said Norris. “The track was very slippery, and it’s been difficult to get a good reading on the balance as we were doing consecutive laps.
“It’s good fun, because it’s hard to drive and you’re constantly oversteering and understeering, but it’s very tricky to put it together and really nail a lap. So, it’s going to make for an interesting weekend.
“I feel like I have some things to work on, some progress to make, so that’s our focus and we’ll see what we can do tomorrow.”