Turkish GP: Preview - Racing Point


Formula 1 is returning to Turkey for the first time since 2011 - meaning some teams can rely on previous data, but this will be limited by the continual evolution of F1 cars since then.

Another factor that will impact previous data is the timing of the race. Turkey will host its Grand Prix return in November, whereas the race was previously held in May. While track temperatures could in the past exceed 40C, it's likely to be in the 20C-range this weekend.

The iconic Turn 8 is more than just a spectacular corner and will be hugely demanding on the drivers. Through Turn 8, each driver will likely spend six seconds at a sustained lateral G-force exceeding 3g every lap of the 58-lap Grand Prix.

Turn 8 will likely influence the stint lengths in the race too, with the right-front tyre particularly stressed. Turn 8 is best taken flat and, with a long straight following it, any conservative approach through the corner to help extend tyre life could end up costing track position and lap time.

Istanbul has a reasonable mix of corner speeds, with the majority falling in the medium-speed range. Teams are likely to spend practice trying to find the optimum downforce level because the long straights will potentially tempt some into lowering drag as a result, despite there being some corners where load will be important. It's a fine balancing act for set-up.

Q: What are your expectations heading into the weekend?
Lance Stroll: "I'm feeling good about this weekend. We've been quite unlucky recently so it's a chance to score points and get back into a good rhythm. It's a close fight in the midfield, but I think we've got a car that's going to be competitive at all of the remaining races."

Q: Is it exciting to head to a circuit you've never raced at before?
LS: "It's a new challenge and it looks like an impressive lap. I've been watching some videos of the old races there and it seems to be a circuit that's always produced exciting racing. Everybody speaks about Turn 8 and I think that's going to be the highlight. It should feel pretty special in these modern F1 cars."

Q: What's your goal heading into the final four races?
LS: "The same as it's been all season: to score regular points and fight for P3 in the Constructors' Championship. The battle for P3 is getting closer and closer and consistency is going to be really important. We definitely want to fight for some more podiums in the final part of this year."

Q: You've raced at Istanbul before, what memories do you have of the track?
Sergio Perez: "I've only raced there once, but It's a very nice track. It's very fast and it famously has the long Turn 8 corner. It's a circuit that's very physical and we'll definitely feel it in the neck at the end of the weekend! I'm really looking forward to racing there again."

Q: Do you expect Turn 8 to be a different challenge with the current generation of cars?
SP: "Yeah I think so, we're driving very advanced cars compared to when we raced there in 2011, so I think we'll have to re-learn the corner in some ways, especially now it's been repaved - it used to be very bumpy. The whole lap will be challenging, it's very hard on the brakes and it should provide some good overtaking opportunities too."

Q: This is another circuit that was a late addition to the calendar, are you enjoying the challenge of racing at these types of venues?
SP: "It's definitely a nice challenge. It's easy to get into a routine by going to the same circuits every year, so when you get the challenge of learning a new circuit or re-learning an older one, it's an exciting prospect. You can outperform drivers by how quickly you learn the track, so that's an interesting dynamic too."

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Published: 10/11/2020
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