Bridgestone GP2 Series: Q&A with Jason Tahinci 20 August, Istanbul, Turkey - Round 8 -- Turkish driver Jason Tahinci, in his second season of the GP2 Series with FMS International, was the first Turk to drive a Formula One car on the Istanbul ...
Bridgestone GP2 Series: Q&A with Jason Tahinci
20 August, Istanbul, Turkey - Round 8 -- Turkish driver Jason Tahinci, in his second season of the GP2 Series with FMS International, was the first Turk to drive a Formula One car on the Istanbul circuit at the inaugural Turkish Grand Prix in 2005. In association with Bridgestone, Jason Tahinci previews his home event and explains why Istanbul is such a special circuit.
Q. How is your second season in the GP2 Series going?
A. My season started a bit late and it probably started in Magny-Cours. At the last round in Hungary, I had my best result of the season so far, finishing in 11th place in the sprint race, which is great for my motivation. Hopefully we can keep up this momentum and get a good result in Istanbul.
Q. Are you looking forward to racing in the GP2 Series at your home Grand Prix?
A. It's always special to race in front of my home crowd at a circuit. I really like the track in Istanbul and not just because it's my home circuit or because I live 20 minutes away. As a Turk and as a Turkish nation we are very proud to have such a fantastic venue for the grand prix. It's a special place for me and I really want to do the best I can and give the crowd a good show.
Q. How would you describe the Istanbul circuit and what kind of a challenge does it offer?
A. It's a very flowing circuit with short straights. The circuit's biggest characteristic is that it's anti- clockwise which not many of the circuits on the calendar are, but what makes it really special are all the elevation changes. There are about two to three corners that are literally blind - you can't see the apex so you have to roughly guess your turning point and your breaking point. Every lap is a challenge and you can go quicker and quicker with every lap. For example, even at turn eight, which is a never-ending triple-apex corner, drivers can take different lines and find out what suits them best. It's a very special circuit.
Q. What is the key to getting a good qualifying lap there?
A. Last year, the hard compound Bridgestones came in very quick, which was really good, and the heat was helping obviously. Basically the first lap is the key at this circuit on the hard compound, which is quite unusual, because at circuits like Silverstone where it's cooler it's only the second or third lap that you can manage to get a fast lap in. You really have to use the tyres as best as you can, and try not to be aggressive. The snaking first and second sectors of the circuit stress the tyres a lot, and also turn eight which lasts about eight seconds on the front right tyre. It's important to use your tyres sensibly.
Q. You were the first Turkish driver to drive an F1 car at Istanbul, how was that experience?
A. Yes, I remember the day like yesterday. It was at the 2005 Turkish Grand Prix on the Sunday lunchtime. I did three demonstration laps in a Jordan in front of my home crowd which was pretty special and a dream come true for me.