Turkish Grand Prix Preview – Force India
After three action-packed races, the FIA Formula One World Championship heads to Istanbul Park for the Turkish Grand Prix this weekend. Already a firm favourite with the drivers, the circuit includes the high-speed challenge of turn eight and genuine overtaking opportunities into turn 12 at the end of the back straight. While Adrian knows the track well having raced there four times, it’s a new challenge for Paul who gets his first taste of Istanbul Park this weekend.
Dr Vijay Mallya, Chairman and Team Principal
I think that overall we can be pleased with our start to the season. To have points on the board and a car that is capable of qualifying in the top ten means we are well placed to build on our competitiveness as we begin the European season. I’m very proud of both our drivers, too. Paul has driven superbly and has adapted very quickly to Formula One. Combined with Adrian’s speed and experience, I see no reason why we cannot challenge for points at every race this year. Plus, we have some promising aerodynamic upgrades in the pipeline, which should make a significant difference to the performance of the car in the coming races.
Adrian Sutil (car 14, VJM04/04)
It feels like ages since the last race, but it was good to have a short break to think about our start to the season, to analyse all the data and to relax a bit. In many ways the first three races were better than expected: we scored points and were always quite close to the top ten. As a team I think we did a good job and we’ve shown we have pretty solid reliability. The task now is developing the car and the updates we have coming look interesting so I’m excited to see how it goes.
For this weekend, I’m looking forward to racing in Istanbul and I enjoy going there. It’s a nice circuit: up and down, long straights and you can overtake. Turn eight is very special – a fantastic corner to experience in an F1 car because of the high g-forces. I think we will be quite competitive and once again the goal is to score points.
Paul Di Resta (car 15, VJM04/02)
I think the season so far has gone pretty well – very positive in terms of our performance from a team point of view. We know that we have work to do in terms of outright speed, but we’ve definitely maximised our strengths. We understand the car better now and that’s where we have made big gains from winter testing.
It was nice to have a break after China and I’ve been able to recharge my batteries before the European season starts. Racing at Istanbul will be a new experience for me because I didn’t take part in Friday practice last year and I’ve never driven the track. All I have to go on is the simulator work I’ve carried out in preparation for the event. Turn eight will be difficult, but the other corners are equally important for a good laptime. For learning a new track the simulation work helps and the team also provide me with as much information as possible. But I need to get an impression first before I think too much about it.
Nico Hülkenberg, test and reserve driver
I like the layout of the track because you can find a good rhythm and there are some interesting, fast corners, so it’s one of my favourite circuits. Turn eight is the most exciting part: it’s a super-quick triple left corner, which means not only a big challenge, but also a lot of fun. And the back straight with turn 11, as well as the entire third sector, is very tricky and challenging. As a city, I think Istanbul is a beautiful place and I am really looking forward to the weekend.
Through turn eight, the drivers experience a maximum lateral force of more than 5g, and average lateral force of 4.2g for over three seconds.
What’s new this weekend?
The team will be evaluating a new front wing design during practice as part of the VJM04’s aero development programme with a view to racing it later in the season.