Istanbul F1 circuit surface water-blasted to prevent 2020 drama repeat

The Istanbul Park circuit for the Formula 1 Turkish Grand Prix has been water-blasted as part of a range of work to provide drivers with more grip than last year.

Istanbul F1 circuit surface water-blasted to prevent 2020 drama repeat

Having not been used for F1 since 2011, Istanbul Park was resurfaced in 2020 as part of the preparations for the championship's return last year - the venue being one of those added to the schedule in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the work was completed only a couple of weeks before last year's race and drivers struggled for grip on the new surface with Pirelli's hardest dry compounds as they couldn't keep temperature in their tyres.

The Italian company said it would have made softer compound choices had it known in time that the resurfacing was underway.

The problem was further exacerbated by the heavy rain that hit both qualifying and race itself, making conditions even trickier for the drivers.

Many drivers were critical of the condition of the track - world champion Lewis Hamilton describing it as "terrifying".

FIA race director Michael Masi recently informed the F1 teams that, as part of a package of updates, "the entire track surface has been treated to increase the grip level", a change that comes on top of the usual ageing of the new surface.

The extra grip will create a fresh challenge for teams as the data they gathered last year will now be less relevant.

"We do regularly each season send updates to the teams about any circuit changes for upcoming events," said Masi. "Be they be barriers, fences, gates, whatever. It may be areas of resurfacing.

"So yes, the surface in Turkey has been effectively water-blasted, would probably be the best way to put it, which is a regular treatment that happens.

"We have seen that regularly used in Singapore as an example, where the public roads that are used they resurface those quite regularly because of the movement. That is what has happened there, along with a few other changes."

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF1000, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF1000, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Asked if the circuit had got it wrong in 2020, Masi added: "I think it was just matter of timing last year, I think we said that at the time. It was just literally a matter of timing, and they have rectified that accordingly."

After last year's race, F1 managing director Ross Brawn insisted that the lack of grip had been a good challenge for the drivers.

"I appreciate drivers were not happy with overall grip levels," he said in 2020. "But it was a consequence of the late decision to race there as the calendar was revised to respond to COVID-19.

"I think drivers sometimes need to remember it's a competition of who crosses the line first so, while grip levels weren't high, it was the same for everyone.

"Some drivers got their head down and came to terms with it, others found it a distraction.

"Having a challenging surface as we had this weekend was no bad thing. It showed a driver's talent to the max. I don't think grip levels are a measure of the level of competition you will have."

shares
comments

Related video

Why Perez won't be broken by his latest F1 disappointments
Previous article

Why Perez won't be broken by his latest F1 disappointments

Next article

Norris put in two-day sim session to help analyse Russian GP errors

Norris put in two-day sim session to help analyse Russian GP errors
Load comments
The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move Plus

The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move

OPINION: Uncertainty over Lewis Hamilton's future has persisted since the race direction call that denied him an eighth world title in Abu Dhabi last month. But while walking away would be understandable, Hamilton has time and again responded well in the face of adversity and possesses all the tools needed to bounce back stronger than ever

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2022
What the FIA must do to restore F1’s credibility Plus

What the FIA must do to restore F1’s credibility

OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2022
The six F1 subplots to watch in 2022 as a new era begins Plus

The six F1 subplots to watch in 2022 as a new era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, Autosport picks out six other key elements to follow this season

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1 Plus

Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Autosport on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup Plus

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. Autosport breaks down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems Plus

Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway. But instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Plus

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
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