Having returned to the calendar last season after a nine-year absence, the team once again heads to the shores of the Bosphorus for the Turkish Grand Prix this weekend. Located in the Tuzla district of the iconic and historic city of Istanbul, the 5.338km Istanbul Park circuit provides a demanding test for both car and driver, in particular the multi-apex turn eight, whilst its anti-clockwise layout also adds to the challenge.
Hosting its first Grand Prix since 2011, the 2020 edition of the race proved one of the most exciting of the season with recent track resurfacing and rainy conditions creating low-grip conditions that were tricky for all. With the return of the F1 fraternity for 2021, we’re sure to be in for yet another dramatic instalment of the Turkish Grand Prix this year.
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: The layout of the Istanbul Park circuit is one of the best of the modern Formula One tracks, however, last year, the conditions, tyres and newly laid surface conspired to negate the exciting layout and make the event extremely difficult. This year, the weather forecast is reasonable, the surface has matured and has been treated, and Pirelli bring a softer range of compounds. All of this should significantly improve the performance of the cars, increase the drivers’ confidence and lead to an exciting race.
Although turn eight is the signature corner of the circuit, it is the earlier sequence of quick undulating corners that really provide the challenge. They demand a lot of the cars as well as bravery and commitment from the drivers. The mix of corners and some well-placed straights should aid overtaking and increase the strategy options on Sunday.
Having dealt well with the mixed conditions in Russia, we now must refocus on maximising the dry performance of the FW43B. We are keen to check that the tyres are working well on the treated surface. Once we are satisfied that this is the case then we can start to tune the car set-up and understand how we can get ourselves into the best possible position on Sunday.
George Russell: I am really looking forward to Turkey. When we raced there in 2020 it was somewhat of an ice rink, which did offer a lot of opportunities! I don’t think it will be the same again this year, but we will be prepared for whatever the conditions have to throw at us. I’m hopeful we can take turn eight flat out as that will be a great experience in the current generation of cars. We’ve now scored points in four of the last five races so we’re going into this weekend full of confidence and hopefully can achieve yet another good result.
Nicholas Latifi: I’m excited to hit the track in Turkey! It was a unique experience for everyone in 2020 due to the rain and very low-grip levels, but hopefully things are slightly different this time out. It can be a challenging circuit, especially with the triple-apex turn eight sequence and the track's elevation changes, but I feel that we’re in a much better position to tackle that challenge this year. We’ve been on a really strong run of races with good performances recently, so I’m happy and looking forward to continuing that trend at Istanbul Park.