Turkish Grand Prix Preview
6th-8th May - Istanbul Park, 58 laps, 5.338km
The fourth race on the 2011 FIA Formula 1 World Championship calendar takes the teams to Istanbul, Turkey. Istanbul Park is one of the few tracks to have an anti-clockwise layout and offers a number of dramatic gradient changes. The circuit is made up of a mixture of slow and fast corners which means that there are plenty of opportunities to overtake. Especially demanding is turn 8 which is a fast, multi-apex corner regarded as one of the toughest on the calendar. Istanbul Park is especially tough on the tyres, meaning that getting your race strategy right could be a decisive factor in the race.
I think that, due to the tyre situation, we should see a very close race, anything is possible
Colin Kolles, Hispania Racing Team Principal:
“I believe that the Turkish Grand Prix should see Hispania Racing take the next step. Istanbul Park is a track that, due to its nature, should be favourable for us, add to that the fact that we have aerodynamic and mechanical updates for this race and I think that, if the data is confirmed on track, we should be able to beat our closest rivals.”
“Our aim for the weekend is to close the gap with respect to our closest competitors in qualifying and fight for positions in the race, hopefully getting both cars over the finish line. Hispania Racing has made significant progress since the start of the season, we are working very hard to improve and definitely will improve”.
“I think that, due to the tyre situation, we should see a very close race, anything is possible. In terms of speed, Red Bull is ahead but you never know what will happen.”
“Istanbul is one of the most interesting cities in the world and the track itself has some of the best facilities on the calendar”.
Narain Karthikeyan, Driver #22:
“I don’t have great memories of this circuit as my only previous visit in 2005 with Jordan GP was marred by mechanical problems but my memories of Turkey itself are great, the people are so nice and the food is fantastic.”
“Istanbul Park is a medium to high downforce track so, hopefully with the new aerodynamic upgrades on the car, we’ll be able to find a good balance on the car. The circuit has a great variation of corners and stringing together a perfect lap will be a real challenge. The stand out corner is obviously turn 8, which requires a great amount of precision from both car and driver in order to get it right.”
“I hope to continue from where I left off in Shanghai by finishing the race, gathering valuable data and getting closer to optimising the potential of the F111, which I know has a lot more to give. We are moving in a good direction ever since our first race in Malaysia, so I’m sure that with the upgrades due on the car for Turkey, we will take another step forward towards challenging the teams who are just in front of us”.
Vitantonio Liuzzi, Driver #23:
“Istanbul Park is a very technical circuit where I enjoy racing. I remember back in 2006 when I went from 16th to 6th after a great start but, unfortunately, wasn’t able to finish the race because of a differential problem.”
“I expect a vibrant race with a lot of overtaking. The unique thing about this track is curve 8 which is a turn like no other, it’s a very tough curve especially when you’re in a car that doesn’t have a great amount of downforce, it’s very easy to lose your rear and snap out of the racing line.”
“I think we should be in much better shape due to the updates arriving here in Turkey and after the time out on the track in the last few races. Every minute on the track is important for us”.
“Our target for Turkey is to verify that our updates are working as per plan, closing the gap on the leader and obviously finishing the race ahead of our direct competitors. If everything goes to plan, I think Hispania Racing can surprise a lot of people by closing the gap considerably with respect to other teams thereby showing how serious our intentions of growing are”.