Turkish GP: Williams preview

The silence of the summer break will be shattered next weekend when the lights go green for the 14th round of the season, the Turkish Grand Prix. For the first time in its history, the sport will visit Istanbul and the newly constructed Otodrom ...

The silence of the summer break will be shattered next weekend when the lights go green for the 14th round of the season, the Turkish Grand Prix. For the first time in its history, the sport will visit Istanbul and the newly constructed Otodrom track. Situated on the Asian side of the historical Bosphorus region, the new circuit will be a venture into the unknown for all the teams, and will bring a host of challenges for all to overcome.

Although the BMW WilliamsF1 Team has not had the opportunity to test due to the August test ban, work has continued relentlessly on the FW27 in an effort to further its performance in preparation for a competitive final stage of the season.

Nick Heidfeld:

"I'm looking forward to the first Turkish Grand Prix for two reasons. Firstly, I've never been to Turkey before so I'm excited about visiting a new country. That is probably one of the best things about having a career in Formula One, you get the opportunity to see places you may not have done otherwise."

"Secondly, I'm really looking forward to driving the circuit. There's nothing more exciting for a driver than racing on a new track. From everything I've heard, the Otodrom sounds really interesting. It has plenty of gradient changes, which I particularly like. Obviously we're going to have to deal with Turkey's considerable heat, but I've never had a problem with that in the past."

"The ability to prepare for a new circuit is, of course, limited. I've bought the Playstation game but, before I go to Turkey, I'll also be doing some work in our simulator at Grove."

Mark Webber:

"I always look forward to new venues. Although there are a lot of races on this year's calendar, it's rare that we go to new circuits which challenge the drivers. I think, though, that Istanbul will do exactly that. I visited the circuit at the start of 2004 and, although they had only just started excavating the site, it looked like it was going to have some good characteristics and have the potential for a great Formula One track."

"Looking at the data now, the circuit appears to have a lot of slow corners, interspersed with long straights. Whether this will provide overtaking opportunities, we will have to wait and see. The circuit's organisers have put so much effort into bringing F1 to Turkey, I really hope that the locals get behind the race so we can put on a good show for them and the rest of the world."

"Both Nick and I scored points in the last race in Budapest, and I hope we can continue to make progress at Istanbul so we can challenge for podiums again before the end of the season."

Sam Michael (Technical Director, WilliamsF1):

"Although we have had a three week break since Budapest, everyone at Grove has been working hard to bring development parts for the FW27 to Istanbul. We made a good step in performance at the last race and we intend to continue that trend in Turkey."

"Istanbul is a completely new circuit but this doesn't stop us from analysing certain aspects to feed into our simulation tools. From these tools, we can predict the set-up, downforce level, brake severity, cooling level and the effect on tyre compounds."

"We are expecting high ambient temperatures, perhaps up to 40°C, which, with no cloud cover, will result in track temperatures reaching around 55°C. In terms of strategy and overtaking opportunities, Istanbul will again present a new challenge for the engineers and the drivers."

Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director):

"We will be competing in Istanbul with the BMW P84/5 engines we used in Budapest, which means we have to cope with two hot races in a row. This places extreme demands on reliability, particularly as the circuit has a number of elevations. In all likeliness, we will be using the largest air intakes possible at the Turkish Grand Prix, as we did in Hungary."

"We are very much looking forward to Turkey's first Formula One race, and to visiting such a great city. A new Grand Prix is more than just another race, it means new markets and new opportunities, and as such it will help safeguard the future of Formula One."

-williams-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Mark Webber , Nick Heidfeld , Mario Theissen
Teams Williams