Formula One competitors head to the newest circuit on the calendar for the Turkish Grand Prix, where Bridgestone's hard and medium compound Potenzas will be put through their paces on the challenging 5.34 km Istanbul track. It will be the fifth...
Formula One competitors head to the newest circuit on the calendar for the Turkish Grand Prix, where Bridgestone's hard and medium compound Potenzas will be put through their paces on the challenging 5.34 km Istanbul track.
It will be the fifth time that the combination of the hard and medium compounds have been used this season, as the races in Malaysia, Bahrain, Spain and Great Britain all took place with these two tyres, the hardest in Bridgestone's F1 tyre range in 2007.
The track has a mix of every type of corner and the majority of the track is either uphill or downhill, with only the start-finish straight and most of turn eight being flat. Although it is mainly level, turn eight is one of the track's real tests. A triple-apex left-hander, the corner starts with a downhill entry and keeps on turning left until it has helped generate some of the highest g-forces of the year, putting the tyres under high loads.
The final combination of corners before heading on to the start-finish straight will also give teams plenty to think about. The left-right-left of turns 12 to 14 are the lowest speed areas of the track and come straight after the highest-speed straight. This combination is a breeding ground for tyre graining so teams and drivers will have to pay particular attention here to minimise this.
High speeds, heavy braking and hot temperatures all conspire to mean a lot of energy is being put through the tyres in Turkey so watching wear and degradation will be a consideration for teams.
It will be only the third time that Istanbul has been used for a Grand Prix. Last year's race winner was Felipe Massa (Ferrari) on Bridgestone tyres. Bridgestone has already won at this track this year, with the top six places in the MotoGP race in April all being Bridgestone-shod. It was Bridgestone's best result of the MotoGP season so far.
Kees van de Grint, Bridgestone Motorsport Head of Track Engineering Operations:
Q: What challenges does Istanbul present?
KvdG: Istanbul is a very nice circuit because of its natural layout with both uphill and downhill sections. Hard braking into many corners over the course of the lap creates a lot of heat in the tyres. This adds to the ambient heat we usually experience there.
Turn eight is a very challenging corner for the tyres because it creates a lot of g-forces. This corner is particularly significant as, were it not for the forces exerted on the tyre at turn eight, we could run with a softer compound in Turkey. Unlike Hungary, it is not as important to be on the front row in Turkey, as the layout creates more overtaking opportunities."