Turkish GP 2020 - GP preview - McLaren
“Istanbul Park will be a new challenge for me this weekend as I’ve never raced there before, but it’s a track I’m really looking forward to. From what I’ve seen, and the clips I’ve watched online, it has all the parts to make it an exciting race. Obviously, when people talk about this track they mention Turn Eight, which will be a fun challenge to go flat-out around the multi-apex left-hander in the cars we have this season.
“The midfield battle is so close with only one point separating three teams. I know everyone in the team will give it their all to try and do the best we possibly can this weekend. Hopefully, the track will give us more chances to overtake than in Imola, so we can try and score some important points.”
“We’ve managed to score important points in the last races and the fight for third in the Constructors’ is insanely close, with only one point separating us and our rivals. I don’t remember a tighter battle in the midfield in recent years. We can’t afford to lose any opportunity and every session of the weekend is important. Extracting the most from the car starting on Friday and into quali can make a big difference for the race. Every little detail can have an impact and with only four races left we need to keep focused.
“I don’t think anyone would’ve predicted us to race at Istanbul Park at the start of the year but it’s great that we are. Another new track for me and for many others. It looks like an interesting old-school circuit that should provide a few opportunities to overtake, and hopefully we can put on a good show for the fans and bring home a good result. Let’s go!”
James Key - Technical Director
“Once again, it’s great to return to a different circuit to those we’ve been visiting in recent years. The last time we raced in Turkey was 2011, so it’s been some time since the team went to Istanbul Park. It’s one of those tracks which is very technical but fantastic to drive and puts a lot of demand on the car, particularly at Turn Eight with that famous multi-apex corner which will be flat-out in these machines.
“The track itself is a real mix of low and high speed, it’s dominated by a set of relatively low-speed corners but also several long straights as well. So, selecting our wing level with these cars, which are very different from the cars in 2011, will be one of the challenges that we face this weekend.
“Since 2011 we’ve been through several regulation changes, so even though it’s a track we know a bit about, with today’s cars it’s going to be quite different. We expect the lap-times to be several seconds faster and some of the slower corners in 2011 will become more medium-speed corners now, so there’s still a lot to learn for the weekend.
“Understanding the track surface, which I believe is new, adds certain challenges to any race weekend. New tarmac is often smooth but also has low grip and can evolve very quickly over a race weekend. So, knowing how that’s working in conjunction with the tyres and the set-up of the car is going to be a challenge for Friday, as it has been at recent events with circuits not familiar to us with these cars.
“We’ve approached the end of the season very quickly since starting it, which has all happened in a compressed manner. Going back to or visiting new circuits throughout this season has been a great technical challenge. With four races to go there’s still everything to play for. It’s a busy period finishing off 2020, going into 2021 with the workload we’ve had with the engine change, and of course, our 2022 project is at the forefront of our minds too. Credit goes to the entire team who continues to work hard throughout this season, especially given the circumstance everyone is currently facing.”
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