Formula One made its long-awaited debut in Turkey today at the stunning new Istanbul Park circuit, on which Tiago Monteiro, Narain Karthikeyan and Nicolas Kiesa thoroughly enjoyed their first outing. Despite a predictably dusty surface, which ...
Formula One made its long-awaited debut in Turkey today at the stunning new Istanbul Park circuit, on which Tiago Monteiro, Narain Karthikeyan and Nicolas Kiesa thoroughly enjoyed their first outing. Despite a predictably dusty surface, which affected grip levels in the opening session but improved significantly during the afternoon, Jordan Grand Prix drivers began their preparations without a bank of previous track data.
However, they managed to familiarise themselves quickly with the challenging 5.340-km circuit, although a gearbox issue for Karthikeyan limited his track time in the afternoon session. The Jordan drivers worked through their full Friday programme, focussing particularly on setting-up chassis balance and assessing the Bridgestone tyres available for this weekend's Grand Prix.
"I like the circuit a lot here at Istanbul, apart from the last three corners, which are less flowing. The organisers have done an excellent job. In some corners, for instance corner nº8, you have to be really committed. The track was a bit dusty in the first session but it got much better in the second one. It is a pity I had a gearbox problem in the afternoon, as I was quite quick in the morning. The circuit is quite technical to learn but I have really enjoyed driving here."
"It was a good first day. It is always exciting to go to a new track. I was really looking forward to driving here. As I expected I really enjoyed it. The layout in general is great and there are some really fast corners. The car had the right balance from the start so we just had to fine-tune the set-up. The tyre decision is not easy but I am sure we will make the right choice."
"I had a good day today. This morning was a bit challenging, as the circuit is quite difficult to learn and there are many blind corners, but I have learnt the layout faster than I expected. After five or six laps I could start to push. We have had two good practice sessions. I had a small problem in the afternoon so I lost some 20 minutes."
"However, to be honest, I could not have done much with the time as I was struggling again with my neck. This is an anti-clockwise circuit and even the race drivers, who have done more than 20000km this year, were having a hard time too. Since I started with Jordan in Hockenheim, I have done only 350km so I expected it to be really tough."
Adrian Burgess, Sporting director:
"It was an interesting day for the whole team, engineers and drivers included on a new circuit. Narain, Tiago and Nicolas have done a very good job. Narain unfortunately did not get to run new tyres this afternoon as he had a small gearbox problem, which restricted his run. Nicolas and Tiago did some Bridgestone tyre comparison, which will give us a lot of information. Now we are going to analyse this data in order to improve the car and make the right choice of tyres."
Practice session 1: 20th, 1:32.147, 15 laps
Practice session 2: 20th, 1:30.626, 21 laps
Practice session 1: 21st, 1:32.501, 22 laps
Practice session 2: 23rd, 1:30.884, 18 laps
Practice session 1: 22nd, 1:32.886, 12 laps
Practice session 2: 24th, 1:30.899, 12 laps