After rather quiet F1 week the racing is about to return. The fifth Turkish F1 Grand Prix is on this weekend. The inaugural race in 2005 was won by Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren that time). But from then on it was all about Felipe Massa who went on to win the Istanbul Park race in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Following Ferrari’s recent return to form there is every chance that the monopoly the current Ferrari drivers have on the Turkish GP wins may continue.
Jenson Button on the other hand has won 5 out of 6 races this year and the last 3 in a row. He will be keen to continue this winning streak. Not less keen will be his team mate Rubens Barrichello to end it and get himself to the top of the podium for a change. Red Bull is another team with a shot at the race win under normal racing conditions.
The other teams to watch may be Toyota and BMW Sauber. How will Toyotas perform following their disaster Monaco weekend ? Will their new diffuser help to move BMW Sauber away from the back of the grid ?
McLaren expects a difficult weekend knowing that their car may not be too competitive on this track.
If I was to make a bet on this race, I would probably gamble on the first Ferrari win of the 2009 season.
The trade mark corner of this track is the Turn 8. It creates the highest G-Force (around 5G) of any corner
experienced during the course of the Formula One season. Turn Eight is a multi-apex (some say three, some say four) left hand turn that goes on, and on for around seven seconds. The best overtaking opportunity is the Turn 12 at the end of the long straight.
Bridgestone will be bringing their soft and hard compounds to Turkey. This will be the first time for the soft tyres to appear at the Istanbul Park. It willbe interesting to see for how long that compound will be able to take the high loadings that the Turn 8 puts through the tyres…
Image: Bridgestone Motorsports, Shell Motorsports