After a short, test-free breather, the BMW Sauber F1 Team will be lining up on 27th August for the 14th of 18 races in the FIA Formula One World Championship. The Turkish Grand Prix joined the Formula One calendar in 2005 and in the current season...
After a short, test-free breather, the BMW Sauber F1 Team will be lining up on 27th August for the 14th of 18 races in the FIA Formula One World Championship. The Turkish Grand Prix joined the Formula One calendar in 2005 and in the current season it marks the penultimate European venue in motor racing's top echelon series.
The state-of-the-art rollercoaster track on the Asian side of the teeming metropolis of Istanbul not only throws up huge challenges for drivers and technology: this is a race that also makes critical demands on the logistical front. Getting there involves the longest distance the trucks and motorhomes ever have to cover. For the grands prix that are even further away from Central Europe, they stay at home, leaving the equipment to be flown out as air freight.
"The Turkish Grand Prix brings to mind first and foremost the traffic chaos you have to battle your way through to get from the circuit into town and vice-versa. Last year I hired a mobile home to be able to sleep at the track, although the city of Istanbul is really beautiful and has a lot of attractions."
"It is possible to overtake on the new track, which is positive. It has a really long straight and a very fast and difficult corner with several apexes. That's turn 8, which I'm really looking forward to. From slow to high-speed turns, Istanbul has everything. My third place in Hungary was a brilliant result for our young team. I hope we get some good results in Istanbul as well."
"Of course I am very much looking forward to my second Formula One race. After the Hungarian Grand Prix I was not too happy about my driving because I made some mistakes. But on the other hand I saw under these conditions others made mistakes too, and I was also able to show some good driving. However, I learnt a lot in Hungary and this will help for the next grand prix."
"I have never raced in Istanbul; actually, I have never been to Istanbul at all. I watched last year's race on TV and I appreciated the layout of the track that provides overtaking opportunities, which always make for good racing. I have the impression that in Turkey the interest in F1 is increasing, as is the case in Poland Things change as soon as people have a relation to the sport - either due to a grandor a driver."
Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director:
"Nick's third place in Hungary has given us an enormous boost. We didn't have any podium places on the agenda until next year. But that result does nothing to alter our plan to systematically build up the team and continue development of the car. As part of that programme, we also want to make it into the top ten qualifying in the final third of the season and pick up points in the race."
"The Turkish Grand Prix has earned its firm place in the Formula One calendar since its successful debut in 2005. The facilities and the track layout are excellent. Formula One has been welcomed as a positive impetus in this melting pot of cultures with its mixture of history and modernity."
"Last year we went there expecting a hot race, and the challenges that brings for the team and the cars. But the temperatures turned out to be moderate. We'll have to wait and see whether thermal loads are a serious issue in 2006."
Willy Rampf, Technical Director:
"The Istanbul Park came in for a lot of praise from the drivers during last year's premiere. Essentially it offers everything that makes a good race track: at the start and towards the end of the lap it has slow sections that demand good traction, but then there's also the notorious turn 8, which consists of four segments and has to be taken at around 250 km/h, but where it's difficult to find the ideal line."
"You need a great deal of downforce here as well as optimal stability. In Istanbul, as in Imola and Interlagos, the circuit runs anticlockwise, and turn 8 is also a left-hander, which makes it all physically very challenging for the drivers.
"With its pronounced ups and downs, Istanbul Park is a little reminiscent of Spa- Francorchamps. The long straights and the uphill sections make high aerodynamic efficiency crucial. That aspect has become even more important since the switch to V8 engines. If you've got good top speeds, you can overtake here."
"The choice of tyres will be a tricky matter. Because of the huge loads on turn 8, the tendency is to go for relatively hard compounds. Assessing outdoor temperatures isn't easy. A year ago we geared ourselves to an extremely hot race, but that didn't happen. That's the uncertainty we face again this time round."