What measures has Istanbul Park taken to avoid 2020 scenario?

03-10-2021 14:05
by GPblog.com
F1 News
What measures has Istanbul Park taken to avoid 2020 scenario?

In Russia the F1 drivers drove on a circuit that has hardly seen any action all year. Because it is basically a street circuit, the track is only used for Formula 1 and on Friday there was not much grip. Next week on Sunday we will race in Istanbul, a circuit that had a lot to write about last year. One of the topics was, just like in Sochi, the lack of grip on the track.

The things that were written were initially positive and hopeful. F1 had already raced there between 2005 and 2011 and it was hugely well received then. So drivers had hoped that with the downforce of the 2020 cars, they could really attack the corners.

Grip will be scarce in 2020

However, it turned out to be a completely different story. Grip was almost non-existent in the dry, and even more non-existent in the wet. In the last few corners there was so little grip that the drivers had to stand almost still to get through the corners reasonably. One year on we're racing in Istanbul again, but has this changed?

There haven't been many other racing classes. Partly because of the pandemic not many races could be held and the races that have been done, are mainly of a private league that the circuit has. The 'Intercity Platinum', 'Intercity Gold' and 'Intercity Silver' classes are the only real racing classes at the Intercity Istanbul Park .

FIA and organizers take measures

Good news is that new asphalt has been laid on the Turkish circuit. Race director Michael Masi announced this last week. Last year the cold temperatures and the new asphalt were the spoilers, but now the FIA ​​hopes that there will be more grip. Another change is that the teams now have data from the 2020 circuit, so the cars will also be better adjusted to the conditions.

The first expectations are that rain might play a role in Turkey, but rain like in Belgium seems unlikely for now. In the coming week we will see if it stays dry, or if rain will once again cause surprises in Istanbul, as it did last year with Lance Stroll  taking pole position.

Drivers looking forward to Istanbul Park

As mentioned before the drivers are looking forward to the race in Turkey. The track, designed by F1 circuit designer Herman Tilke, contains a lot of variation. On the one hand there are a number of high speed corners, but there are also some tricky technical corners. There's corner eight, for example, which is a long left hander and with an F1 car you're on the limit, as last year it wasn't quite full throttle. It probably won't be any different this year.

Another interesting section is the final corner combination. From the hard braking area in turn twelve to turn fourteen, there was a lot of action there last year as well. Due to the wet track, there was a huge lack of grip there and other lines sometimes proved hugely successful. This is how Sebastian Vettel took his podium finish last year, at the expense of his teammate Charles Leclerc .

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