Turn 13 is an innocuous-looking thing but the drivers hate it. It’s the second part of a tight right-left chicane which begins the tyre-killing sector three. What makes it unpopular is the combination of Turn 12’s aggressive first kerb and the camber suddenly falling away on the exit of 13. It means there’s very little manipulating for the driver to do, hardly anywhere where he can make a difference. The cars feel and look cumbersome at this low speed, have to be steered rather than slid because of that high kerb – and then want to understeer down that camber. All they can do is ensure they’ve got the thing properly turned in and set on a trajectory for the apex of 13 so that it’s not still trying to turn as it arrives at the falling camber.
What you need here is a car with a strong front that it can be turned in aggressively without provoking the rear. In this case it’s a Mercedes. By a margin over a Red Bull. None of the others are even close. The Mercs can turn left into 13 almost violently and the car just follows. This is normally Red Bull territory, but it doesn’t have its usual sharpness, its set up presumably compromised for better stability in the faster sweeps elsewhere. Verstappen appears to get frustrated at one point and attempts to hurry the direction change by taking way more of that nasty first kerb, hoping it might somehow upset the rear. But it just upsets the whole car – throws it about a metre wider across the track. He reverts to normality on subsequent laps.
Matters of moment, October 1985
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