McLaren Racing – Everything you need to know for the Turkish Grand Prix
Yes that’s right, we are in Turkey this weekend – not in Japan as originally planned. The covid-19 pandemic means that for the second year in a row, we won’t be big in Japan. Fortunately, however, the Turkish Grand Prix is ready to step into the breach. Granted, Istanbul Park doesn’t have Suzuka’s breathtaking high-speed 130R, but it is home to another of the world’s greatest turns, the infamous multi-peaked Turn Eight. Istanbul Park isn’t a one-ride pony though, it’s a real racetrack that always offers some drama, so keep scrolling to be aware of what to expect …
How to follow
|When||09 – 10 October|
|Start time||3:00 p.m. local, 1:00 p.m. BST, 8:00 a.m. EDT|
|To follow||TEAMStream and the McLaren app for exclusive commentary and information|
What they say
“I can’t wait to get back on track after a disappointing end in the last Grand Prix. Since then, I have spent a lot of time in the simulator, learning from the experience in Russia, and I am ready to go again.
“The Turkish circuit is a real driver’s track and I am happy that we are going back after an exciting race last year. The fans are really passionate too, so it will be great to see them all again. As always, we will work hard to keep the fight going in both championships. We know how important every race is by the end of the season, so we’re going to do everything to score as many points as possible.
“Back to Turkey! It is a nice circuit which often offers great races. We have worked hard since the last race to make sure we are on the right track. Since we only went back last year, we don’t have a huge amount of data on how best to tune the car, so we worked on the simulation to learn a bit more and allow ourselves to start strong on Friday.
“The fight for third place for the Constructors is very close at the moment and we know that every point counts, so we are doing everything we can to beat our competitors every weekend. We’ve had a good start to the second half of the season, so we’re heading towards Turkey looking to keep and build on that momentum as we approach the final third of the season.
“We are heading to Turkey with the ambition to continue our strong streak in the final third of the season. Despite a disappointing finish in Sochi, there was a lot to learn and a lot of positive points to allow us to move forward for future Grands Prix and to integrate our preparation for the next race.
“Turkey was a welcome addition to the calendar last year, and we are delighted to be back this season. We really feel the support from the local fans, and last year’s race was exciting with varying conditions, which could be the case again this year.
“We are coming to a crucial part of the season, and with the schedule now confirmed until the end of the year, the challenge ahead is now clear. Simply put, we need to make sure we score as many points as possible every weekend, to keep this fight for third place in the constructors’ championship going. The team, both back to the factory and on the track, as well as our colleagues at Mercedes HPP, have done a fantastic job so far to put us in this position, but the battle is still close, we must so maintain our focus, our intensity and give it our all by the end of the year.
What the statistics say
With the Turkish Grand Prix being withdrawn from the calendar after 2011, racing in Istanbul Park last year was a new experience for Lando. Although Daniel took part in the 2011 F1 season, it was not until after the Turkish Grand Prix, so his first glimpse of Istanbul Park also came last year and, like Lando, he recorded a top 10.
They say things go in threes, so with Daniel and Lando winning the fastest lap at the Italian and Russian Grands Prix respectively, could we make it for the third race in a row? Based on last year’s Turkish Grand Prix, the answer is ‘yes’, as Lando clocked the fastest lap of the race.
Go a little deeper into the history books and you will find that we won the first Turkish Grand Prix in 2005: Kimi Räikkönen dominated the proceedings, leading every lap from pole position. Fast forward five years and Lewis Hamilton took home the 12th Grand Prix victory of his career in Istanbul – who would have thought he would reach 100 ?!
Choice of rubber for the Turkish GP
What to watch out for
Sometimes the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix was more like Bambi on ice. A newly redone track meant super smooth, slippery asphalt; Meanwhile, the low temperatures and occasional rainstorms were thrown into an equation that added to the drivers keeping an F1 car pointing in the right direction with great difficulty – even in the dry. The solution for this year’s grand prize? More water, apparently. It sounds slightly counterintuitive, but the circuit has been ‘thrown in the water’ in an attempt to avoid a recurrence of last year’s problems.
It’s not like Istanbul Park needs to be made harder either, with its combination of blind corners and multiple peaks. Turn eight has four, that’s right four, tops and drivers will be subject to over 5g. Elsewhere, Turn One sees drivers plunge down a descent, similar to Laguna Seca’s mind-boggling corkscrew. And overtaking is definitely on the cards here, especially at turn 12 where drivers will get to around 200 mph before they hit the brakes. Want to know more? Check out our track guide with McLaren F1 test and development driver Oliver Turvey.
Weather forecast for the weekend
What to wear
Under my umbrella, ella, ella, eh, eh, eh …
OK, after what happened the last time at the Russian Grand Prix, the irony is not lost on us that this week we recommend that you buy an item from the McLaren store that can help you when the heavens open. However, there is no doubt that it never hurts to be prepared for anything the weather can throw at you – and the McLaren F1 Compact Umbrella is exactly what you need to make sure you’re singing in the rain.
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First victory in nine years, first double in 11 years, first McLaren victory for Daniel Ricciardo, best result for Lando in a grand prix to date, we all know that the 2021 Italian Grand Prix was a moment in history McLaren that will never be forgotten. But what if you could own a piece of this history? Well, now you can. Lando and Daniel both wore a pair of special anniversary gloves to celebrate our 25 year partnership with leading racing clothing supplier Sparco at the Italian Grand Prix and now we are giving away a pair signed by Lando and Daniel. To be the first to know how to get your hands on this amazing prize, register for McLaren Plus now using the form below.
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