Haas F1 Team are hoping to boost themselves up at the Turkish Grand Prix. This season hasn’t been a strong one for the American team, sitting ninth in the Constructors’ Championship with just three points and only two races where the team have finished in the points.
Romain Grosjean has raced at the Intercity Istanbul Park circuit before, back in his GP2 Series days.
“I think it’s going to be an outstanding circuit, another really good one. It’s very high speed, there’s ups and downs, different kerbs – again, everything you need to have. There’s some low speed at the end of the circuit for some good overtaking. I think it’s going to be a very good weekend,” said Grosjean.
Grosjean sent a message of support to young driver George Russell after his unfortunate safety car incident at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. Grosjean and Russell have a good relationship off-track, proven even more when only Russell sent a message to Grosjean when he heard he was leaving the team.
“I’ve had a good relationship with George. When the announcement was made that I wasn’t going to be with the team next season, he was the first and only one to send me a WhatsApp message. That really shows that he’s a great guy. I know how painful it is to crash under a safety car period – especially when it’s going to be your first point of the season.
“I believe it was the same for me at Baku in 2018. In the lower part of the field, you really need to work the tires a lot. I’ve said it many times, if I was doing Baku again, I’d probably do the same thing as I did three seasons ago. George didn’t do anything crazy, but he just lost the car. It was a tough day for him, but he’ll have plenty more (good days) to come.”
Kevin Magnussen is looking forward to going to another new track. Intercity Istanbul Park is one of the newer circuits, its inaugural race was back in 2005.
In preparation for the race, Magnussen has been watching onboard videos from previous races to get his head round how the track runs.
Magnussen said: “I’m looking forward to going to yet another new track. Istanbul is one of the newer circuits that looks pretty interesting. There are some big high-speed corners, I expect these cars to be easily flat – full throttle. Nonetheless, it looks pretty cool from what I’ve seen.
“I think it’s good to watch as much as you can in terms of onboard videos, previous races, just to kind of get an idea about lines and what kerbs to use and bumps to avoid. In the end though you learn a ton more when you go and drive it yourself.”
Team Principal Guenther Steiner thinks the team hasn’t done too badly at preparing before a race where the team hasn’t been before. Going forward, he just wants the team to try their best and hopefully grab some points.
Steiner said: “It’s like a lot of these late races, our drivers haven’t been to them. We try to do our best and up to now we didn’t do badly. Obviously, Imola wasn’t so great for us, but I would not put that one down to us not knowing what we were doing because it was a new track – it was just the circumstances.
“Otherwise, I think it’s a great experience for the team to go somewhere new, it’s a great experience for the drivers. In the position we are in now, we just try to do our best and hopefully get home with some points.”