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

How to get a job in Formula 1 – Engineer, mechanic, hospitality & more

How to get a job in Formula 1 – Engineer, mechanic, hospitality & more
Load comments
Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material Plus

Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull Plus

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be another close contest

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Plus

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Plus

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Plus

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. On the 50th anniversary of his death, Autosport recalls the career of an F1 and sportscar ace gone before his time

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Plus

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Plus

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz Jr. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021