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Turkey GP - The Technical lowdown

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Turkey GP - The Technical lowdown
May 28, 2010, 8:14 PM

This weekend the F1 teams are racing in Istanbul, one of the newer circuits on the calendar, which features a celebrated corner.

This weekend the F1 teams are racing in Istanbul, one of the newer circuits on the calendar, which features a celebrated corner.

Istanbul's mighty Turn 8

All F1 fans love seeing high speed corners and the ultimate is Turn 8, not a particularly romantic or iconic name, but a corner which excites both fans and drivers alike. Turn 8 is one of the longest corners in F1; the cars spend eight seconds going through it, covering 600 metres before they exit onto the back straight. The average speed for the corner is 260km/h and the peak is 270 km/h.

According to the Renault team, "the g-force stats are just as impressive with the drivers experiencing an average lateral force of 4.3 g during those eight seconds, with a peak of 5.2g."

But, believe it or not, the teams do not set the cars up around performance through that corner. That said, it is important to set the ride height correctly to allow for the bumps, especially when the cars are full of fuel.

According to the engineers, Turn 8 is not anything like as significant in terms of lap time as Eau Rouge at Spa or Turn 9 at Barcelona, both of which give out onto long straights. If you are three or four kilometres an hour slower through those corners, it can cost you as many tenths at the end of the following straight. Turn eight has a short following it.

In practice on Friday we saw lots of cars flying off the road at Turn 8. This is partly because of the bumps and partly because of the lack of risk.

Drivers take calculated risks in every corner as they try to find the limit in the short time available for practice. The reason why so many of them fly off at Turn 8 is because the huge run off areas allow them to try to find the limit as quickly as possible. Drivers take their time to find the limits and Monaco or Montreal where the track is lined with walls. Conversely, they crash all the time on the simulators!

New Tech on the cars

This weekend there are some eye-catching new things on the cars, including another new front wing on the Renault, which is quite different in concept from the previous ones (compare to previous Tech Reports).

Ferrari has an evolution of its double diffuser, but the main talking point has been the introduction of the drag reducing rear wing on the Red Bull. Up to now the team has delayed it, because the harm it did to downforce levels was greater than the gain from extra speed on the straights.

The value of the system was shown by the speed the McLarens had in practice. It is worth around 4/10ths of a second a lap and gives a gain of around 10km/h, if you get it right.

McLaren were the pioneers of the system. It was a finely balanced decision but Red Bull decided after practice not to go with it for qualifying and the race. They will take the learnings from today's test and hold it over to Montreal where it will be a massive gain due to the long straights. As Montreal has no fast corners, a Red Bull strength, they will be looking to claw back performance from the rear wing.

McLaren's car was designed around the concept, so they have an air intake hole in the optimum place on the top of the chassis, just ahead of the driver's knee, with which he switches the wing on. Other teams trying to copy it have found it hard to get sufficient air into the system to have an effect when it exits through the duct at the back of the wing.

Engineers say that a fully functional system is worth 4/10ths of a second per lap at Istanbul.

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Series Formula 1