Turkish GP 2020 - GP preview - Ferrari

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By Olivier Ferret

11 November 2020 - 17:44
Turkish GP 2020 - GP preview - (...)

In terms of venues, the second part of the 2020 season has delivered a mix of spectacular new tracks and old favourites. Apart from Russia, a regular feature on the calendar for several years now, we have seen Mugello and Portimão make their debuts and the return of the Nürburgring and Imola. This weekend, we race in Turkey on another circuit much loved by the drivers, last used nine years ago: Istanbul Park.

Spectacular turn 8. The circuit is 5.338 kilometres long and features 14 corners, some of them among the most interesting on the calendar. They include the first turn, a steep downhill lefthander immediately after the start-finish straight. It’s been nicknamed the Turkish Corkscrew, because of its similarity to the famous turn at Laguna Seca in America. The best known corner however is Turn 8, a very fast four apex left hander, similar to parts of the Nordschleife at the Nürburgring. The race distance is 58 laps, equal to 309.356 km. The race was first run in 2005 when Kimi Räikkönen won, while the last time the race was held in 2011, victory went to Sebastian Vettel. Scuderia Ferrari has won three times in Turkey, all of them courtesy of Felipe Massa, his very first F1 win coming here in 2006, followed by two more in 2007 and 2008.

Spectators. Originally, the organisers were planning to allow a crowd of 100,000 to attend, however the worsening of the Covid-19 situation means that the race will now take place behind closed doors.

Programme. After the last round in Imola experimented with a two-day format, Turkey sees a return to normality with two free practice sessions on Friday at 11 and 15 local time (9 and 13 CET,) with the third on Saturday morning at 12 (10 CET.) Grid positions are decided starting at 15 (13 CET) with the eighth Turkish Grand Prix getting underway on Sunday 15 November at 13.10 (11.10 CET).

Sebastian Vettel

“I am happy to be going back to Istanbul Park, a circuit that holds many happy memories and some less so. For example, you could say my Formula 1 career began here in 2008, as I made the headlines setting the fastest time in what was my second Friday free practice session appearance with BMW Sauber. And I also won here in 2011, the last time we came to Turkey.

It’s a very interesting track which is very nice to drive. There are several changes of elevation that are much more severe than they appear on television, as well as some very exciting sections. Of course that includes Turn 8 with its three apexes, but actually, from a technical point of view, this track has a bit of everything. And I think that those drivers who have never been here before will also like it right from the start.”

Charles Leclerc

“This will be my first time at Istanbul Park. I’ve watched a few videos of races and I’ve spoken to those who have raced there already and all the comments seem positive.

I can see the layout is very varied, with gradient changes and some spectacular corners. I am particularly looking forward to experiencing turn 8. It will be interesting to see how the current cars perform there, which will be something new for everyone.”

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