Max Verstappen has revealed concerns about starting from second for the Turkish Grand Prix, with the chance of plummeting down the order heightened by a lack of grip.
Rain on Saturday left the track lacking grip off the racing line as the rubber laid down during practice starts on Friday washed away.
Verstappen had qualified on the favourable side of the grid in P3 but starts from the front row alongside polesitter Valtteri Bottas courtesy of Lewis Hamilton's 10-place grid penalty after the Mercedes driver had set the fastest time in qualifying.
"Starting second, I don't think that’s a great place to start on the inside because there’s no grip on the inside line, so we’ll see how that goes," pondered Verstappen.
Mercedes has so far comprehensively outperformed Red Bull at Istanbul Park, with Hamilton quickest in both the practice sessions on Friday and in all three qualifying sessions.
After making some progress, Verstappen added: "I think we made some decent improvements compared to Friday where it seemed like we were struggling a bit more to understand how to be quick around here.
"[We are] Just trying to work on that and I think in qualifying again it was a little bit better but still not perfect but I was still quite happy with the result at the end and the lap itself, so yeah, can’t really be too disappointed about that."
Red Bull issues "tarmac-related" - Verstappen
Red Bull had struggled to match Mercedes in similarly cool conditions in Hungary before the summer break.
On whether the struggles across the two weekends bear any correlation, Dutchman Verstappen said: "I don't think it’s similar issues.
"If I would have known, of course, I would have changed it for qualifying, so not entirely sure why we are lacking.
"The feeling is not ideal in terms of the balance of the car but we can’t do anything about it.
"I think maybe it’s also a bit Tarmac-related here and then the behaviour of the tyres on it. It seems like we are not on top of that whole combination yet. But we’ll look into it and of course try to learn from it."