F1: PREVIEW The Turkish Grand Prix
The Turkish Grand Prix, held at Istanbul Park on Sunday 30 May, will be the seventh round of the 2010 Formula One World Championship. The Hermann Tilke designed track hosted its first Grand Prix in 2005 and Mercedes-Benz Formula One engines have powered two of the five winning cars to date, at the inaugural race and in June 2009.
“Istanbul Park is a great circuit and one of the best of the newer tracks that we visit. From a drivers‟ point of view, the layout provides some good opportunities for overtaking with a very wide track, lots of late braking zones and gradient changes. Turn Eight is the corner that everyone talks about. The triple apex is probably one of the longest corners that we drive and it has very high G levels. It‟s great fun to drive and you can make up a lot of time there if you get it just right. I‟ve had some decent results at Istanbul Park and we will be working very hard to get back on form after two disappointing races in Spain and Monaco where we didn‟t make the full use of our potential. We‟ll be back to our fully upgraded car, plus some more new developments that the team have been working on, so there will be a lot to achieve in the practice sessions and I believe that we can have a good weekend.”
“The Turkish fans have always been very kind to me therefore it will be a pleasure to be racing at Istanbul Park again in front of a crowd which will hopefully support us enthusiastically. From our side, we will obviously try to give them something to cheer about and we hope that we can make further progress in Turkey, after we have already seen some improvements in Barcelona and Monaco. The Istanbul Park track is a special one. It‟s anti-clockwise, a bit hilly and with a lot of different corner layouts so it‟s quite nice to drive. I am definitely looking forward to the weekend, especially as our guys back at the factory have worked immensely hard recently to provide us again with an upgraded car. It is clear that we want their efforts to pay off.”
“Monaco was a frustrating race for the team where we did not achieve our potential. We had a competitive and reliable car which proved to be the quickest in the race at various stages, we performed two excellent pit stops, one of which was the quickest of the race, but ultimately we did not deliver the results that we would have hoped for. However I am encouraged that we have made progress over the last two races and that we have identified our areas of weakness which we are working hard to rectify. We have some major and very challenging upgrades for the next few races which have been made possible by the commitment and hard work of everyone at the factory over the past weeks. In Turkey, we will return to our previous suspension system and longer wheelbase car, we have the latest iteration of our „F-duct‟ rear wing plus further aerodynamic developments. It‟s a long road ahead to achieve the level of competitiveness that we are aiming for but each race is a step along the way and I am confident that we will get there.”
“The Grand Prix in Istanbul takes place on a race track with some very quick corners which are the type of corners where we struggled at Barcelona some weeks ago. The 5.34km circuit also has seven quite tight corners, mainly in the last sector, and this combination presents a real challenge for the drivers, cars and tyres. We were quick in Monaco at the last race and mechanically our car works well, therefore with the further improvements that we are bringing for this race, we hope to make a step forward in Istanbul.”