The COVID-19 pandemic forced Formula One to run a completely different calendar in 2020 – and, as a result, the sport raced in Turkey for the first time in several years.
However, the track was resurfaced just a few days before the grand prix, and all drivers struggled on the very slippery surface in dry and wet running.
Lewis Hamilton was especially critical of the conditions, describing them as “terrible” and “terrifying” after having a poor qualifying.
Hamilton went on to win the race, but Helmut Marko, a senior Red Bull advisor, is nevertheless still surprised that the seven-time World Champion was so critical of the low-grip conditions.
“I would also like to say that the people who laid the asphalt in Istanbul deserve a medal. I do not understand why the best driver in the world says it was impossible to drive there,” Marko said.
“The images were sensational and it was the same for everyone. A Williams doesn’t slide more than a Mercedes, because the grip simply isn’t there. For me that was a great moment of excitement.
“First of all, those drivers get paid enough to endure that and secondly, it was the same for everyone. Circuit like Mugello and Portimao too, that’s much more in line with the racing I’m a fan of,” the Austrian added.