Istanbul "a completely different F1 circuit" this year

Formula 1 drivers says that the grippier Istanbul circuit feels "intense" and like a completely different track following the recent surface treatment done there.

Istanbul "a completely different F1 circuit" this year

With last year's Turkish GP return having been marred by problems with the slippery asphalt, circuit officials recently water blasted the venue to try to improve matters.

The changes appear to have worked, with drivers reporting a huge step up in grip levels from their first laps out of the pits in Friday morning's free practice.

McLaren's Lando Norris reckoned that the changes to the circuit meant that the feel was a world away from what he experienced last year.

"It is quite different to what we had last season," he said. "I feel like it is five or six seconds faster than what we did last year.

"It feels like a completely different circuit. It is cool one and a good challenge."

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

The practice times from this year were actually much quicker than Norris suggested.

Hamilton's fastest time from FP1 on Friday was 1m24.178s. This compared with Max Verstappen's best effort from last year that was 1m35.077s.

Speaking about his experience, Hamilton said: "Yeah, much, much different. I think last year was a brand-new surface, and I think oil came up, and they cleaned it off before.

"So I didn't really know what to expect when I went out there today. But jeez, so much more grip than we've ever had before!

"It's intense how much grip there is out there, which is awesome. It's made it a much, much more enjoyable track to drive, much more like it was before."

Read Also:

The improved track conditions did cause some headaches for drivers and teams, however, because the car setups needed for a high grip surface were much different from what was required 12 months ago.

Valtteri Bottas said: "It's like a proper grip and actually I think one of the grippiest tracks we have on the calendar, so obviously makes the track more fun.

"It's a pretty different approach with the car setup compared to last year because of that, and we had to readjust quite a bit during the day

"That was the main thing today you know: trying to adapt and trying to do the balance. I think the starting point was a bit far off, but I'm sure it was the same for everyone.

"But in practice two, actually the feeling is already pretty good and no big issues with the car. I feel like it can be a strong weekend."

shares
comments

Related video

Hamilton braced for "a lot of work" in Turkey F1 fightback after penalty
Previous article

Hamilton braced for "a lot of work" in Turkey F1 fightback after penalty

Next article

Horner: "Balance mish-mash" caused Verstappen Turkish GP FP2 struggles

Horner: "Balance mish-mash" caused Verstappen Turkish GP FP2 struggles
Load comments
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Plus

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021 Plus

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as STUART CODLING finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton Plus

The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls a remarkable champion

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022
How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam Plus

How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam

George Russell joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes this year gives it arguably the best line-up in Formula 1 – if it can avoid too many fireworks. After serving his apprenticeship at Williams, Russell is the man that Mercedes team believes can lead it in the post-Hamilton era, but how will he fare against the seven-time champion? Autosport heard from the man himself

Formula 1
Jan 6, 2022
How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications Plus

How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications

OPINION: The Formula 1 season just gone was the second to be completed under the dreaded shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in many ways it was much more ‘normal’ than 2020. Here’s the story of how the championship’s various organisers delivered a second challenging campaign, which offers a glimpse at what may be different next time around

Formula 1
Jan 5, 2022
The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future Plus

The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future

As attitudes towards the motor car and what powers it change, Formula 1 must adapt its offering. MARK GALLAGHER ponders the end of fossil fuels

Formula 1
Jan 3, 2022