2010 Turkish Grand Prix Preview


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Round 7 - Istanbul Park

2010 sees the sixth running of the Turkish Grand Prix at Hermann Tilke's Istanbul Park circuit, located to the east of the city on the Asian side of the Bosphorous.

In its short history the track has become a firm favourite with both fans and drivers, featuring an entertaining mix of high-speed curves, dramatic elevation changes and effective overtaking opportunities. The now-infamous Turn 8 should provide even more drama this season, as improvements to the cars may mean the corner is able to be taken flat out. Among the challenges for the engineers will be high levels of brake and tyre wear, high temperatures and an exacting test of aerodynamic efficiency - not just a question of how much downforce a car has, but how big a penalty is paid for it in drag.

2006 saw the first of a hat-trick of Felipe Massa victories, the young Brazilian scoring his first Grand Prix success by holding off Renault's Fernando Alonso and his own teammate Michael Schumacher, a victim of having to queue in the pits following an early Safety Car deployment.

The overall finishing rate at Istanbul Park is higher than the average for most circuits.
The likelihood of a driver-related retirement is lower than average.
Mechnical failures in the Turkish GP are also less common than at most current tracks.
Finally, the circuit ranks as about average for first-lap retirements in the past five years.

The Last Five Years
2005201550011 - Takuma Sato (BAR)
200622151518 - Ralf Schumacher (Toyota)
200722212008 - Jenson Button (Honda)
200820170314 - Nick Heidfeld (BMW Sauber)
200920182005 - Timo Glock (Toyota)
[td]Year[/td][td]Starters[/td][td]Finishers[/td][td]Retirements - Mech[/td][td]Retirements - Acc[/td][td]Lap 1 retirements[/td][td]Most places gained[/td]

Circuit Ranking (of all 18 circuits)
Finishing Rate
4th Suzuka 85%
5th Istanbul 83%
6th= Shanghai 81%
6th= Silverstone 81%

Mechanical Failures
13th Monte Carlo 10%
14th Istanbul 10%
15th Monza 9%

Driver-related Retirements
12th Suzuka 8%
13th Istanbul 8%
14th Hockenheim 6%

First lap Retirements
10th Montreal 2.4%
11th Istanbul 1.9%
12th Suzuka 1.6%

Felipe Massa has been the undoubted star in the short history of the Turkish Grand Prix, having won from pole position in 2006, 2007 and 2008. The inaugural race was won by Kimi Raikkonen, then a McLaren driver, while last year Jenson Button took full advantage of a slip by poleman Sebastian Vettel on the first lap to set up his victory. Champions Alonso, Hamilton and Schumacher are all aiming for their first wins in Asia Minor this weekend. Other drivers have had a worse time of it, though - Rubens Barrichello's best finish from five starts is eighth, while Adrian Sutil has been little rewarded for his 100% finishing record there.

Naturally, Ferrari have an excellent record in Turkey thanks chiefly to Massa. McLaren's record has been rather up-and-down, and Renault can probably feel more proud of their recent record, despite still awaiting a first win. The generally low rate of attrition among the top cars in particular has historically meant very lean pickings on offer for the smaller teams.

Current Drivers' Records at Istanbul Park
Felipe Massa541st (3)33103.6
Fernando Alonso552nd (2)25005
Jenson Button551st (1)190011
Lewis Hamilton332nd (1)12007
Mark Webber532nd (1)10207.6
Robert Kubica444th (1)8007
Jarno Trulli554th (1)8007.8
Nico Rosberg435th (1)71010.5
Michael Schumacher213rd (1)60110.5
Sebastian Vettel333rd (1)60012.33
Pedro de la Rosa115th (1)40011
Heikki Kovalainen336th (1)3007.67
Rubens Barrichello548th (1)11012.2
Timo Glock228th (1)10014
Vitantonio Liuzzi2115th (1)00116.5
Sebastien Buemi1115th (1)00018
Adrian Sutil3316th (1)00017.67
Jaime Alguersuari0------
Karun Chandhok0------
Lucas di Grassi0------
Nico Hulkenberg0------
Kamui Kobayashi0------
Vitaly Petrov0------
Bruno Senna0------
[td]Driver[/td][td]Starts[/td][td]Finishes[/td][td]Best result[/td][td]Points[/td][td]Retirements - Mech[/td][td]Retirements - Acc[/td][td]Average grid pos.[/td]

Chassis Records at Istanbul Park
Ferrari1091st (3)53015.5
McLaren1091st (1)38016.4
Renault10102nd (2)30007.8
Mercedes GP1091st (1)201012.5
Red Bull1092nd (1)19209.4
BMW Sauber1094th (2)17108.3
Williams1065th (1)73110.6
Toro Rosso10713th (2)02117
Force India10614th (1)01318.5
[td]Chassis[/td][td]Starts[/td][td]Finishes[/td][td]Best result[/td][td]Points[/td][td]Retirements - Mech[/td][td]Retirements - Acc[/td][td]Average grid pos.[/td]
Results for Mercedes GP include BAR, Honda and Brawn
Results for BMW Sauber include Sauber
Results for Red Bull include Jaguar
Results for Force India include Jordan, Midland and Spyker
Results for Toro Rosso include Minardi

Engine Records at Istanbul Park
Ferrari24191st (3)533211.92
Mercedes-Benz14111st (2)48217.36
Renault16152nd (3)46107.75
Cosworth857th (1)32114
[td]Engine[/td][td]Starts[/td][td]Finishes[/td][td]Best result[/td][td]Points[/td][td]Retirements - Mech[/td][td]Retirements - Acc[/td][td]Average grid pos.[/td]
Results for Ferrari include Petronas
Results for Cosworth include Ford

All ranking figures are expressed as a % of total starts.
"Retirements-Acc" are retirements where the reason has been listed as Collision, Accident or Spun Off.
Galahad said:

In its short history the track has become a firm favourite with both fans and drivers

Wish you wouldn't make statements like that G it's almost certain that the race will be taken off the calendar now :D

BTW, if any of you have the F1 game for the PS3 (can't remember it's name) turn 8 is brilliant even in virtual racing.

For your viewing pleasure, here's Sebastien Vettel going round Istanbul park in the Red Bull simulator

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