breaking news

BREAKING NEWS

today is Dec 05, 2021

Formula 1 drivers expect to find a much improved track surface when they tackle the Istanbul Park circuit today.

The venue of the Turkish Grand Prix was resurfaced last year ahead of F1’s first race at the track since 2011. However the late completion of the work and frequent rain during the weekend made for very poor grip levels.

Following last year’s race teams and drivers said the poor state of the surface “cannot be the norm” for future events. The track has been cleaned to improve its surface ahead of this weekend’s race, and several drivers said yesterday they believe the grip levels will be better.

“I think we are all expecting it to be better than last year,” said Carlos Sainz Jnr. “It would be quite a surprise to have the same conditions as last year.

“Last year was very, very difficult. And very difficult also to understand why the grip was so particularly low, to a point that in the race we were quicker on an intermediate tyre than on a slick medium, and that’s why we all stayed on a ‘slick intermediate’.”

If the grip level has significantly improved tyre wear at the track could be high and lead drivers to make multiple pit stops during the race. “We are all expecting the grip to be better,” said Sainz, “how much better, that’s a different question.

“If it’s more like Portimao where the grip is not high but it’s okay then it should be good fun. If it’s like Barcelona or Silverstone, really high grip levels, then it should be also quite exciting because then the tyre wear could be quite an issue.

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“Maybe for my personal interests I want them on the extremes. The more extreme, the more different things that can happen and maybe more opportunity comes for me.”

Max Verstappen said the state of the circuit last year came as a disappointment on his first visit to the track for an F1 event.

“At the end of the day, it’s the same for everyone. That’s why we had to deal with that last year. But I think this track will be a lot better when we have normal grip conditions.

“I remember from when I was little playing the F1 game on this track it was one of my favourite tracks. So last year I was very excited to come back and I was a bit disappointed with just driving because of the grip level.

“I hope this year will be a lot of fun because the track layout is really interesting and really cool. So let’s hope for for better conditions.”

However Charles Leclerc won’t be disappointed if the track is still low on grip as it suited Ferrari last year.

“I’ve heard some things have changed,” he said. “Obviously, they have washed the track several times. So let’s see if it’s as bad as last year.

“I don’t think it will be as bad, but hopefully it will still be slippery and hopefully it will still benefit us.”

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2021 Turkish Grand Prix

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  • F1 announces revised starting times for 22 rounds of 2021 season
  • Official: Australian and Chinese GPs postponed, Bahrain and Imola to open season
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  • F1 confirms record 23-race calendar for 2021 but no race in Vietnam

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