McLaren F1 Team‘s Lando Norris has said he feels Intercity Istanbul Park, which will play host to the Turkish Grand Prix this weekend, will be a “new challenge” for him, as he has never raced at the circuit before, which last featured on the Formula 1 calendar in 2011.
From what he has heard from others, and going by footage he has seen online, he is confident it will be an exciting weekend.
He said: “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.”
He added that they are in a tight midfield battle, with only a single point separating three teams, and hopes that the Istanbul Park circuit will provide more overtaking opportunities compared to Imola.
“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.”
“The fight for third in the Constructors’ is insanely close” – Carlos Sainz Jr.
Norris’ team-mate, Spain’s Carlos Sainz Jr., is encouraged heading into this weekend, the team finding themselves in a tight battle for third place in the Constructors’ Championship, and is determined to use every session to his advantage, aware there are only four races left until the end of the season.
He said: “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.”
He added that he didn’t think that the circuit would be on the calendar, being a new addition due to the changes made as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but is excited to get racing and bring home a strong result.
“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!”
“It’s one of those tracks which is very technical but fantastic to drive” – James Key
Technical director James Key is pleased to make a return to the circuit following its nine-year absence from the calendar.
He said: “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.”