Grand Prix 2011 Turkish Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

Yes, its a tad early, but I'm not sure about being online tommorow and i'll do it now just to be safe. Well anyway, after a 3 week break, F1 roars back to life at the Tilke designed Instanbul Park circuit with the first European race of the season . F1 has been extremely unpredictable so far (apart from the pace of Vettel) and there seems no reason for this to change in Turkey barring the competitiveness, or lack of, this weekend.

Last years race is remembered for close action and fighting at the front, namely two incidents; The now famous crash between Vettel and Webber and Hamilton and Button arguing on track about who's going to win the race.

While we expect Red Bull and McLaren to pick up from where they left off in China with strong qualifying and race pace, it remains to be seen whether Ferrari can fulfill their pre season promise and finally get back to the front after 3 (or in Massa's case 2) lacklustre races. And what about Mercedes and Renault? Both teams will be aiming at the podium after strong drives this season with Heidfeld and Petrov getting 3rd places and Rosberg leading a sizeable portion in China before finishing a strong fifth behind the Red Bulls and McLarens. Williams appear to be going backwards and are now on a level with Team Lotus for pace and they will need a strong performance to banish doubts, and falling share prices. The midfield has also become increasingly conjested with Sauber, Force India and Torro Rosso fighting over the small points with the likes of Di Resta and Perez making positive early impressions with Sutil and the evergreen Barichello struggling.

At the back HRT and Virgin continue to squabble at the back with HRT finally getting their act together and posing a real problem for Virgin who have recently employed Pat Symonds to evaluate the outfit and suggest ways of improvement due to no increase in pace of their 2011 challenger and they could end up slipping behind the improving Hispania team.

Turkey has become famous for its high speed turn 8 which will no doubt help the likes of Red Bull with their *ahem* flexi-wings and it would be a foolish man to bet against a Red Bull Vettel taking pole on Saturday, but as Murray Walker said, anything can happen and it usally does, particulary with rain being forecast for the latter part of the week, we might be seeing the intermediate tyres being used for the first time this season. Tyres will again be the watch word though whatever the weather, along with marbles.

With the Turkish Grand Prix currently under threat due to rising prices and low attendance figures, this year could be the last time we see F1 cars grace the sweeping track and one of Tilkes' better tracks and if the last 3 grand prix are anything to go by, we should be in for a cracker this weekend.

For Galahad's superb circuit write up see
I'm looking forward to this one.

I expect it will be a walk in the (Istanbul) Park for Red Bull though for several reasons.

1. I don't anticipate anyone being close to them in qualifying still, despite the 3 week break.
2. Turn 8 will really favour Red Bull as they are able to carry huge speed through there, as we saw last year.

Having said that, I really hope it's not as straight forward as that and several teams are in the mix.
Be interesting to see who gains the most upgrade wise.

This track is good, problem is it has too much run would make it even better if it had gravel traps.

Can't call this one due to everyone with upgrades
Just want it to happen now and it to be EXCITING - too long waiting (that should only happen in real life)!
As is becoming increasingly mandatory, there is a dark cloud on the BBC's weather forecast. Although, as we know in F1, that doesn't imply there's going to be rain!

Turn 8 will really favour Red Bull as they are able to carry huge speed through there, as we saw last year.

What is interesting about Istanbul is that other than Turn 8, it doesn't then have a load of fast corners elsewhere. This allows an evenness across the lap, such as the Renault getting away from the Ferrari in 2006 at Turn 8, and the McLarens matching the Red Bulls long enough to entice a mistake last year.

That's why Istanbul is a better circuit than Barcelona!

Anyway, my prediction is nonetheless:

  1. Vettel
  2. Webber
  3. Hamilton
  4. Button
  5. Massa
  6. Rosberg
  7. Alonso
  8. Kobayashi
  9. di Resta
  10. Alguersuari
Being far from an expert please advise as to which cars/drivers will be suited to the Turkish track in Istanbul? I'd appreciate your feedback.
Last year we had Red Bull and McLaren very close to each other, and Ferrari struggled.

Driver-wise it is the favourite track of Felipe Massa, who has only once been outqualified by a team-mate at the race [Raikkonen, 2009].
I expect team will do at least 3 stops, with some teams doing a few more. This will in the main be due to Turn 8 shredding the tyres, be they 'hard' or softs.

Red Bull may walk it, or they may replicate last year, but on Webbers current form, I can't see a repeat of the incident as they are unlikely to be on the same piece of tarmac..
Well we can't predict like we usually can due to the fact it's the first European race, where teams will go crazy with updates. As we saw last year some updates can push a car forward...some can bring them backwards since they don't understand how to use it fully.
Why are Pirelli fiddling with the tyres? I know they are trying to get rid of the marbling, but adding a few laps extra to the hards could make it a straight-forward 3 stopper for all teams. Clearly they haven't heard of the phrase "don't fix what isn't broken".

Although saying that, it doesn't look like that'll be the case at Turkey because of high degradation, but i would say by the sound of these new hard tyres, everybody would've done a 3 stopper at China. Everyone near the front anyway.

This is the best news i've heard from Mclaren regarding upgrades. They say they are going to make smaller ones. Mclaren always seem to over do their upgrades, rather refine the ones they previously made. It probably means they won't close in on Red Bull, but it will give them a chance like Turkey did.
Ha. That is true Axle Tramp. There are a lot of things i wish were in Bernie's vocab.
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