Scuderia AlphaTauri is looking forward to the challenge of this weekend’s Turkish Grand Prix as the FIA Formula 1 World Championship heads back to Intercity Istanbul Park for the first time since 2011. The team may have taken part in the last Formula 1 race held there, but it will be a new experience for both Pierre Gasly and Daniil Kvyat.
Going into the unknown at Istanbul Park hasn’t been a daunting task for Gasly; he is excited to take on the task of learning a new circuit, after the disappointing end to his weekend at Imola. The Frenchman qualified in fourth place and was set for a promising result however he retired in the early laps with power unit issues.
“Like most of the drivers, I’ve never raced in Istanbul, so it will be a case of discovering the track for the first time. The layout looks very interesting and so I’m keen to experience it for myself,” said Gasly. “I have managed to do a few laps of the track in the simulator and it seems really unique with unusual corners – everyone’s heard of Turn 8 with all the long left-handers.”
Kvyat, on the other hand, left Imola having scored his career best race finish, with fourth place, after a strong performance handed the team much-needed points in the Constructors Championship. He said: “I had plenty of time to think about my fourth place in Imola, as I drove home to Monaco through the night after the race.”
“I was happy with the result. It was a good day and it was important to get a strong result for the team in what is really its home race, and it is also important regarding the Constructors’ Championship. We were quick all weekend really, which is a positive sign for the final part of the season.”
Like Gasly, it will be Daniil’s first time racing at Istanbul Park, but the pandemic and subsequent restrictions has meant that he has been unable to practice on the simulator, and has been relying on watching old races to gain some familiarity with the circuit.
He added: “I’ve never raced in any category at the Istanbul circuit and, with the current situation, I’ve not even been able to try it on the simulator, so I will be really starting from zero. Of course, I know where the corners go and have watched old races from there. I know it runs anti-clockwise, like the last race in Imola, and that it climbs and drops a lot and then there’s the famous Turn 8 that goes on forever. I reckon with the modern F1 cars’ level of downforce, it should be really fast now and require plenty of commitment.”