Race Preview: Turkey - Formula 1

Team Infidel

Forum Spin Doctor

About the Istanbul Park circuit
History: Hosting its first race last season, the purpose-built Istanbul Park is the most recent addition to the F1 calendar. It features many ups and downs due to its hilly location near the city of Istanbul.
Track Length: 3.318 miles/5.340 kilometers
Race Distance: 58 Laps
Number of Turns: 14 (6 right, 8 left)
Seating Capacity: Approx. 110,000 spectators
Number of Grand Prix’s Hosted: 1
Fastest Lap: 1:24.770 set by Juan Pablo Montoya in 2005
2005 Polesitter: Kimi Raikkonen
2005 Podium: Kimi Raikkonen (winner), Fernando Alonso (2nd), Juan Pablo Montoya (3rd)
Championship Standings: Click here

What happened in 2005?
After starting on the pole, McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen led every lap en route to claiming the first-ever win at the Grand Prix of Turkey and his fifth victory of the season.

For complete results, click here
For a complete recap of last year’s event, click here

The race marks the 200th Grand Prix for the McLaren and Mercedes-Benz partnership, which began in 1995. The team’s Technology Partnership with ExxonMobil also reaches the 200 race milestone in Turkey. In this time Team McLaren Mercedes has secured two Drivers’ World Championships, one Constructors’ title and 44 race wins.

What they are Saying
"Yes, I’m feeling very positive. I am in the position where everybody wants to be – leading the championship, with the races counting down. There was some pressure on us after Germany, but the race in Hungary showed that the R26 is still very competitive, and that you have to take every weekend one at a time. Turkey will be a new race with its own challenges, but I am feeling confident. This type of circuit suits our car, and Michelin will bring good tires. So we need to concentrate on our job, put the package together and make no mistakes. Then let’s see what the race brings…”
--Fernando Alonso, driver of the No. 1 for Renault F1 Team

"The Istanbul Speed Park is a terrific circuit, it is demanding on the cars, but great fun to drive, with lots of different types of corner, some straights and elevation changes. All the ups and downs of the track don’t really affect the set up; they just make it more interesting to drive. There are some chances to overtake, a couple of examples are into the first corner, which I found to my cost last year, and along the long stretch that takes you into the low speed turn 12. The corner that everyone was talking about after last year’s race was the double apex left of 7/8. I think it was bumpier than we expected, and because it is such a long, fast corner if you don’t get the line exactly right or lift or accelerate at the wrong moment you will get bounced off the circuit. We exit the turn flat out at 310km/h, and it is vital to have been able to get to this speed as it takes you onto one of the short straights at the back of the track. I took the maiden pole and victory at the Istanbul Speed Park last year, and it would be fantastic to repeat it in 2006. The car again felt strong in Hungary and we had good pace, so we will all be pushing hard towards this."
--Kimi Raikkonen, driver of the No. 3 for Team McLaren Mercedes

"The circuit is fantastic and I was really impressed by the facilities and the layout. The undulations of the track make it very exciting and challenging from a driver’s viewpoint and there are some good overtaking opportunities. It is also quite tough physically and we’re expecting the race to be run in hot temperatures so it was important to keep training between the races, although the break has been good to recharge and get ready for this weekend."
--Rubens Barrichello, driver of the No. 11 for Honda Racing F1 Team

"Istanbul levels the playing field a bit between all the drivers in Formula 1, because it's still relatively new. It's a fantastic circuit - definitely my kind of track - and the only place where I have as much experience as any of the older drivers. I had a reasonable race here last year and enjoy the city, as well, so I'm looking forward to a good weekend."
-- Tiago Monteiro, driver of the No. 18 for Midland F1 Racing

"Essentially (the course) 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."
--Willy Rampf, Technical Director for BMW Sauber F1 Team

"I was back in Japan during this summer break getting involved with the long-running ARTA Junior Kart Summer School of which I am the founder. The time has passed very quickly and I very much enjoyed getting involved with the children and actually participating in a few fun races. Now my focus is back on F1 and with the new complete version of the SA06 ready, I am looking forward to the Turkish Grand Prix. Istanbul Park is a tough circuit, but we have waited a long time for this moment and I believe that the car will perform well."
--Aguri Suzuki, Team Principal for Super Aguri F1 Team

"What makes this circuit interesting is that the track surface itself is very smooth – similar to Monaco and Montreal – and consequently we require a tire compound which can provide grip as well as durability. We also need to be prepared for possible high track temperatures. Bridgestone’s tires therefore for Turkey will be from the current specification range with medium to soft compounds, which we believe will be well suited and competitive in Turkey next weekend."
--Hisao Suganuma, Bridgestone Motorsport Technical Manager

Schedule of Events
Friday, August 25
Practice 1: 4:00 - 5:00 a.m. (ET)
Practice 2: 7:00 - 8:00 a.m. (ET)

Saturday, August 26
Practice 3: 4:00 - 5:00 a.m. (ET)
Qualifying: 7:00 a.m. (ET)

Sunday, August 27
Race: 8:00 a.m. (ET)