TURKISH GRAND PRIX PREVIEW The 2008 FIA World Championship proceeds to Istanbul next week for round five of the season and the fourth Turkish Grand Prix on Sunday 11 May. Located on the Bosphorus Strait, which acts as a gateway between Asia and...
TURKISH GRAND PRIX PREVIEW
The 2008 FIA World Championship proceeds to Istanbul next week for round five of the season and the fourth Turkish Grand Prix on Sunday 11 May. Located on the Bosphorus Strait, which acts as a gateway between Asia and Europe, Istanbul is renowned for it's traditional versus modern dichotomy and provides for one of the most culturally diverse destinations on the calendar.
A relative newcomer still having only made its debut in 2005, the Hermann Tilke- designed Otodrom is a lesser known proposition than last week's race at Barcelona, but its state of the art facilities put it on a par with Bahrain and Shanghai from a driver, team and fan perspective. With two more points added to its Constructors' total following Kazuki Nakajima's seventh place in Barcelona, the AT&T Williams team will continue in its pursuit of points-paying finishes to fortify its position in the Championship.
I'm looking forward to Turkey. It was our strongest race last year in terms of pace in comparison to the front runners so I think we can do well there. The circuit itself is great and it should suit our car. We've spent some time analysing our performance in Spain, where we took the wrong set-up direction with the car in the opening sessions. We've learnt from that mistake so we should definitely take a step forward next weekend. I'm looking forward to it.
I'm not particularly familiar with Turkey's circuit, but I did race there last year in GP2 and liked the track so hopefully I can do a good job for the team in my debut there in an F1 car. I will try my best to get a good result and score some more points.
Sam Michael, Technical Director, Williams F1
Istanbul's Otodrom has a couple of overtaking opportunities per lap and a good mixture of high, medium and low speed corners. The circuit has a great layout and always produces something exciting during the race.
The Turkish Grand Prix normally takes place in August, when it's always really hot. With the race falling earlier this year, though, the temperatures are likely to be much cooler which will have an impact on bodywork configuration and tyre selection. Downforce is some way off the maximum level because of the long straights, so car set-up is arranged around that. Bridgestone will bring the harder compound tyres to Turkey, mainly due to the long and heavily-loaded left hander of turn eight, a corner which sees the cars and drivers experience the longest period at such a high lateral load of any track on the calendar. The majority of the teams will most likely opt for a two stop strategy in Turkey. Istanbul, Turkey
The purpose-built Istanbul Speed Park is an entirely different technical proposition to the previous race held at Barcelona. A modern circuit measuring just over 5.3kms per lap, the Otodrom is a challenging blend of long and short straights, interspersed with eight left and six right-hand corners. Each turn places different demands on the car and the driver, none more so than turn eight - the notorious triple apexer which is taken at speeds reaching 250km/h and which places between 4 and 4.5g of lateral loadings on the drivers 58 times during the course of the race.
Turkey also features some interesting gradient changes which, while not upsetting the balance of the car, must be taken into consideration during set-up. Like San Marino and Brazil, Turkey runs in an anti-clockwise direction which creates additional pressures - notably for the tyres, and particularly for the right front, as well as for the drivers' neck muscles. Measuring 20m at its widest, and with large braking zones, the circuit also provides plenty of overtaking opportunities which should guarantee a compelling race next Sunday.