A mystified Lance Stroll bemoaned a “pretty terrible” Turkish GP after his race went from domination to despair, with the Canadian one of many drivers angry having dropped out of contention.
Stroll started on pole and built a healthy lead in the opening stages, but was reeled in by his rivals before a second pit-stop dropped him into the midfield – and he was then overtaken by both Ferraris, both McLarens and Alex Albon.
“It’s just frustrating when you’re in the lead by 10 seconds and then all of a sudden you finish ninth,” Stroll told Sky F1 after the race.
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Given the Racing Point’s pace – Sergio Perez finished second – Stroll expected to make ground on fresh intermediate tyres but instead fell back.
“I don’t know what happened,” he added. “I don’t understand. We had so much graining on the first set of intermediates – we were losing seconds a lap – but I just don’t know where it came from.
“Massive graining and no pace. We have to look into it, it was pretty terrible today.
“I don’t understand how that happens. We need to look at why the graining hit me so much harder than the other car.”
Stroll felt he missed out on a potential race win – while Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc certainly missed out on a podium with a calamitous last lap.
Leclerc: I am so angry with myself
Leclerc was running third and challenging Perez, who he passed for second place at Turn 11. However, he then locked a wheel into Turn 12, losing positions to the Mexican and Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel.
“I am so sorry for the whole team,” said Leclerc on team radio “I am ****ing stupid, as much as in Baku [when Leclerc crashed in qualifying last year].”
The Monegasque, who drove beautifully to get himself into podium contention having dropped to 19th on Lap 7, continued to Sky F1: “I’m so angry with myself now. I only feel disappointment.
“I cannot afford to do a mistake with three corners until the end, I was fighting for second place and to finish out of the podium because of this mistake feels very bad.
“But congratulations to Seb on the other hand, first podium of the season, it’s been a very difficult season on his side and I’m happy he can finally show what he’s worth.”
Verstappen after spins: It’s super frustrating
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Alex Albon also struggled, having also looked to have a chance at victory.
Verstappen was the fastest man in qualifying and looked to have a quick race car, but was stuck behind the Racing Points and went spinning when battling Perez. He later spun again behind Albon, and finished sixth.
“I’m frustrated to be honest,” said Max. “You can’t pass, there’s just one line around here, and even that was slippery. “It’s super frustrating. Really, really difficult. Following, no grip, trying to survive… so definitely not a great day.
“Hopefully we’ll never be in this situation again when it’s so slippery.”
Albon also looked quick behind the Racing Point’s after Max’s spin, but then spun himself and after pitting, was overtaken by Carlos Sainz.
“I feel a little bit confused actually,” he said. “Our starts were poor, then we had very good grip, then we boxed for inters and we had incredible grip – honestly at that point I felt we were in for the win and I thought everything was going to plan.
“We put another set of tyres on and just no grip and no pace. A lot of head-scratching – it’s such a unique weekend.”
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