During the Turkish Grand Prix that was held last weekend, both Redbull drivers, Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon found themselves being stuck on the wet starting grid literally as the lights went out with the rest of the cars slipped past the two RB16s.
However, the track was largely wet and slippery and the two drivers were on the dirty side of the grid, making a slow getaway due to a procedural error and not an error from the drivers’ side. This was the analysis according to former Renault driver and columnist Jolyon Palmer.
“The start was a relative disaster for the two Red Bull drivers,” Palmer said in his latest column for the F1 site.
“By starting second and fourth they were both on the dirty and wetter side of the grid and that certainly had an effect, with other drivers like Leclerc and Norris also having hideous starts from twelfth and fourteenth place.”
“Without any doubt, the best side to take the start was the outside, which was drier. We saw in the last part of the race how little grip there was outside the line and how easy it was to turn from the wetter part.”
“It was this difference in grip that hurt the Red Bulls, Leclerc and Norris the most, because they barely managed to take off from the outside.”
This indicates that all these shortcomings were as a result of poor grip, although Verstappen pulled in the clutch for the second time during the race start as the engine revs slowly reduced making his start even worse than Albon’s. Also, both Redbull cars started on the first gear which is the convectional way to start on the dry track, but on the wet Istanbul track the top 10 cars started on the second gear to avoid a lot of wheel spin on the clutch release.
AlphaTauri also used the first gear in the other Honda powered cars and they had a better getaway making the gear start issue not a reason enough for the slow start.