After a week off, Formula One heads to Intercity Istanbul Park, one of Hermann Tilke’s finest creations. The circuit had not hosted a Formula One race in nine years before being announced to return for the 2020 Formula One World Championship after major schedule changes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 5.3km layout is a new track for both George and Nicholas, but one that they are looking forward to as the circuit boasts a multitude of challenging corners, most notably Turn 8 which is widely regarded as one of the greatest corners in F1 history.
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: The season is progressing well, and we now have a standalone race in Turkey before we head to the Middle East to complete the season with the final triple-header. The circuit at Istanbul has one of the best layouts of the circuits added to the calendar in the last 20 years. Like Imola, it runs anticlockwise and uses elevation changes to enhance the challenge and spectacle. The famous Turn 8 is the signature corner on the circuit and will subject the cars and drivers to large lateral forces for a sustained period, adding to the physical challenge.
We return to the normal weekend format for this event, which will give us a chance to explore more setup options than we were able to do in Imola. Work will be centred around understanding the track surface and the tyre behaviour and this will enable us to pick a set-up that sensibly balances the qualifying and race requirements. Over recent weeks we have experimented with this trade and were able to make some good progress in both Portugal and Imola. George and Nicholas both showed good pace during the race in Imola and but for a small error, we would’ve finished inside the top 10. Although frustrating to have missed out, we are pleased that we were able to get ourselves into that position, and we hope we can consolidate it here in Turkey.
George Russell: I am excited to get back racing in Turkey, and for the challenge of driving at a new circuit. It has been good to have a week off to reflect on what happened at Imola and learn from my mistake. The recent performance from the car has been really encouraging and I am looking forward to seeing what we can achieve. Overall, I am feeling stronger and prepared to fight back this weekend.
Nicholas Latifi: I am super excited to get to Istanbul and hit the track there. It is probably one of the newer tracks on the calendar that I was most looking forward to driving. I think it is the only one that I haven’t been to, so it’s always nice as a driver to have the challenge of finding your way around the track. From whenever I watched it when they used to race there, it always looked like a fun one. As always this creates a new opportunity for us, with teams not having recent data. I am excited to try and capitalise on that, and hopefully we have a good weekend.