Red Bull's Marko still baffled by critics of slippy Istanbul track

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Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko remains baffled by criticism some drivers had for the unique challenge they faced at last year's Turkish Grand Prix.

Last November, Istanbul Park made a one-off return to the Formula 1 calendar for the first time since 2011 as part of the revised schedule put together following the disruption caused by Covid-19.

However, expectations of the famous Turn 8 being taken flat out and record-breaking lap times were well off the mark as a new track surface offered zero grip in the dry on Friday and even less in the wet on Saturday and Sunday.

“I would also like to say the people who asphalted in Istanbul should be awarded a medal,” Marko said talking to

However, after practice, Lewis Hamilton said the ice rink-like conditions had ruined a "fantastic track" calling it "sh*t with a capital S", while Max Verstappen later hoped F1 would never see a repeat of that scenario again in the future.

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“I don’t understand how the best drivers in the world can say that was undrivable,” Marko added.

“Those pictures, they were sensational and it was the same for everyone.

"On the slippery asphalt, a Williams doesn’t slide that much more than a Mercedes because the grip is simply not there. For me, that was a super moment of tension.”

The fans seemed to agree, voting Turkey as the best race of the 2020 season and heck, despite his unhappiness at the track, Hamilton went on to produce a brilliant race, moving up from sixth to claim the win and his seventh F1 championship on the Sunday.

So if anything, all the slippery circuit showed was how F1 could put the emphasis back on driver skill over who has the best car, and how it doesn't need cars with infinite levels of downforce to achieve it.