Turkish Grand Prix Preview – Williams
When: Friday 6 to Sunday 8 May, 2011
Where: Istanbul Park, Turkey
Round: 4 of 19
Former Williams F1 driver David Coulthard refers to Istanbul Park as “a modern day classic”. The track undulates and it has several fast corners, which require aerodynamic performance from the cars and commitment from the drivers.
The most challenging corner on the lap is the quadruple-apex Turn 8, through which the drivers pull 5G for nearly seven seconds. The entry to the corner is blind and there’s a bump mid-corner that tries to throw the cars off-line.Being the first of only five anti-clockwise circuits on the calendar, it’s a physical track for the drivers because the left side of the neck takes a pounding. “As long as you put the necessary work in beforehand, you’re okay,” says AT&T Williams driver RubensBarrichello. “However fit you are, though, you’ll begin to feel your neck by the end of this race. It’s tough.”
Sam Michael, Technical Director: We’re bringing a number of upgrades to the FW33 over the next few races, starting with Istanbul. The package for Turkey will include new brake ducts, revised front wing and rear wings, plus some other secondary items. Combined, these components should give the FW33 a decent step-up in performance. Our objective is to get the car into the points as soon as possible.
Istanbul Park has a great layout for the drivers to get their teeth into. In particular, it boasts an excellent natural overtaking spot at the end of the back straight. Turkey has the notorious Turn 8, a left-hander which places considerable loads on the car’s aerodynamics. A car that can handle those pressures, combined with one capable of some significant kerb riding through the last sequence of corners, is critical at this track.
Rubens Barrichello: I want to have a more competitive weekend with the team than we have had so far this season. We have new parts coming for Turkey which will hopefully work in our favour. I love Istanbul Park. It is one of the most challenging circuits on the calendar and we will aim to be flat out there. Everyone says Turn 8 is a highlight, and it is, but I also find the circuit nice from a set-up point of view with qualifying also a good challenge. I like the track as a whole.
Pastor Maldonado: I’ve been to Istanbul Park four or five times and I think it is a good circuit to race on. Last year I had one of my best races of the season in Istanbul racing in GP2. If we can get the car performing as we want to this weekend, it will be a good event for us. Turn 8 is my favourite part of the circuit as it is an amazing, very long and fast corner. It is also quite a technical circuit. We are improving and I hope we can jump forward with the upgrades we have here and be more competitive.
From Cosworth’s perspective: Istanbul Park is one of the most complicated circuits on the Formula One calendar with a varied mix of high, medium and low-speed sections which puts engines through a tough workout. The vagaries of the track require effective power delivery from the bottom end of the rev range right up to peak power output. The multi-apex Turn 8 remains a stiff challenge for drivers and demands a consistent response from the engine at high-speed. Good traction is critical upon the exit of Turn 12 to negotiate the slow final section of the lap. The track’s location at 125m above sea level and with almost 46m of elevation change over the lap exacerbates the demands placed on the engine.
From Pirelli’s perspective: Turkey is a very exciting track, and from Pirelli’s perspective it is almost our second home race: the Izmit factory, where all the Formula One tyres are made, is only half an hour away from the circuit. Istanbul Park is a very demanding track for tyres as we normally see high temperatures on top of some very challenging corners. Like everyone, we were pleased to see Williams get both cars to the finish in China and with the depth of experience that is clear to anyone who has worked with the team, we’re sure it’s not going to be long before the team is hitting all of its targets.