New challenge in Istanbul

New challenge in Istanbul

The inaugural Turkish Grand Prix on August 21st presents the teams with the challenge of a completely new circuit. The 5.3 km, Herman Tilke designed Istanbul Otodrom has 13 turns and four straights and, like Imola and Interlagos, it runs ...

The inaugural Turkish Grand Prix on August 21st presents the teams with the challenge of a completely new circuit. The 5.3 km, Herman Tilke designed Istanbul Otodrom has 13 turns and four straights and, like Imola and Interlagos, it runs anticlockwise. The theoretical top speed is approximately 320 km/h.

Construction of the new Istanbul Otodrom F1 circuit in Istanbul, Turkey.
Photo by xpb.cc.

At the Hungaroring the average temperature was 35 degrees over the weekend and Istanbul is expected to be similarly hot. "I think temperatures will be like those we experienced in Budapest, probably even slightly hotter," said BMW motorsport director, Mario Theissen.

Although it's a new circuit, as Bahrain and China were last year, the teams will, of course, have some idea of what to expect. Data from tracks with similar climates will be scrutinized, as well as the information available from Istanbul itself in regard to the track's characteristics.

"Nobody is going there with clear, exact data, and so basically we have to wait and see," said Theissen. "What we do have is the track geometry. This allows us to make evaluations regarding the cornering, straight-line and average speed, which again give an idea with regards the cooling requirements."

Some drivers have already visited the circuit and can't wait to race on it. Nick Heidfeld has yet to get a proper look but there are ways of preparing for an unknown track. "For a start, I bought the PlayStation game, but prior to the race, I'll also prepare on our simulator in Grove," said the Williams driver.

"According to what we've heard so far, the new track is very interesting. They say that it features a lot of uphill and downhill sections. All the circuits with major altitude differences I've raced on so far have suited me very well."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Nick Heidfeld , Hermann Tilke , Mario Theissen
Teams Williams