Posts Tagged ‘turkey’

Prediction game: Round 7 – Turkey

June 3rd, 2009 7 comments

Kimi Raikkonen, Turkey, 2008After the glamour of Monaco, Formula One heads east to Istanbul Park for the Turkish Grand Prix.

Despite not having a great motor sport tradition, the Hermann Tilke designed circuit became an instant favourite with drivers when the first race was run there in 2005.  Bernie Ecclestone called it “the best race track in the world.

One of the few races to be run in an anti-clockwise direction (the others being Brazil and Singapore) the circuit has a varied mix of low and high-speed sections but the corner everyone talks about is the un-named turn 8, a high-speed, four-apex left-hander.  It generates the most friction of any corner on the calendar and exerts up to 5Gs on the driver’s neck.

Fernando Alonso:

Turn Eight is one of the quickest and longest left hand corners of the year. It’s really a series of corners with four apexes, although we treat it as one apex and try to be as smooth as possible with the steering inputs. We don’t touch the brake at any stage through the corner, and simply lift the throttle slightly to keep the car online. In the middle of the corner we’re doing about 260km/h and you can really feel the g-forces on your body.

Renault will be bringing small updates to the front wing and Director of Engineering, Pat Symonds, thinks that the R29’s performance in medium to fast high-speed corners means Turkey could be a chance for a podium finish.

The Istanbul circuit is unlikely to favour McLaren, though.  Lewis Hamilton finished second last year but, as in Spain, Turkey is likely to expose the downforce problems of the MP4-24 and although the McLaren’s KERS should help, the team is expecting a tough race.

Ferrari on the other hand can look forward to Turkey with some confidence.  Felipe Massa has won the last three Turkish Grands Prix and after setting the fastest lap around Monaco he is hoping to continue the Scuderia’s good progress and fight for a podium finish:

I can’t wait for Friday to see if the progress seen in Spain and Monaco will continue in Turkey.

Although Toro Rosso have never done well in Turkey Sebastien Buemi finished on the podium in GP2 last year and likes the circuit:

I think that with what we learned about the car in Monaco, we should be able to use all its potential now and Istanbul should provide a clearer picture of where we really are in the order. We definitely need to do better than at the last three races!

Another team that needs a good result is Toro Rosso’s sister team Red Bull.  They are 43.5 points behind Brawn GP and if they are to stand any chance of narrowing that gap and fending off Ferrari’s rise they need a strong race from both drivers.  Sebastian Vettel is 28 points behind Button and the next couple of races will be critical for his Championship hopes.

Christian Horner, Red Bull Team Principal:

This is an important race in the Championship and our target is to challenge the Brawns who have had a remarkable run so far. It was also clear at the last two races that Ferrari have made a significant step forward and I think we can expect them to play a key role this weekend, especially as it’s a race they’ve won for the past three years.

To make your predictions in round 7 of the f1buzz prediction game (and be in with a chance to win some nice prizes), just leave a comment on this post with your driver predictions for the race in the following format:

Fastest lap:

Remember, the deadline for entries is start of qualifying on Saturday, that’s 13:00 GMT.

Good luck!

Image: Ferrari

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