The Battle Continues in Istanbul

The Battle Continues in Istanbul image

Text: Alex Yoong / Photos: | posted May 29, 2010 02:20

2010 Turkish Grand Prix

Istanbul see the seventh round of the F1 Championship take place. The circuit is situated on the Eastern side of the country and is a superbly built facility. In the past few years there has been a lack of atmosphere due to low crowd attendance, but this has not stopped drivers from looking forward to racing here. The reason being, that it is such a wonderful place to drive. There are a huge variety of corners here from high, medium and low speed.

The grand daddy of corners being turn 8, which is an insanely long quick corner. It is also the only corner in the world to have 4 apexes. If conditions and car are perfect, and the driver supremely confident and brave, you can actually go through that corner without lifting off full throttle. Its the sort of corner that get the juices flowing. When Jenson Button won here last year, one of the first things he said when he got out of the car was "I was flat around turn 8", which got big grins of astonishment from his fellow podium runners.

The circuit is also very smooth and flowing, which is similar to Barcelona and Silverstone, so it should be a good track for the Red Bulls. Mclaren should also be strong there because there is a long straight to make full use of their F duct and they have also been quick this year through fast corners. Its whether they have found improvements through the medium and slow corners that will be key for their form.

Also, lets not discount Ferrari as they have been pretty good everywhere. Massa has won here multiple times and i think with something to prove this year, he will be blinding. Alonso as we know is always quick, and i expect him to be able to put behind him the mistakes from Monaco to go well.

One of the big discussion points since the last race has been the form of Mark Webber. It is not a surprise at all for me that he is doing so well. I was his team mate at Minardi in 2002, and the one thing he showed was how blindingly quick he could be. That pace was what got him drives at Williams and then Red Bull. The one thing that curtailed his progress a bit was that he never had much luck in races. Meaning that his race craft was not as strong as his qualifying pace. It was also something that we saw in our time in Minardi.

What was surprising for me, is that he has taken so long to get that part of his game right. Maybe it was the challenge from Vettel that spurred him on, and now the result is that he is driving as good or better than anyone else on the grid. If he can maintain this purple patch, then he will have to be considered a real title contender for this year. Vettel for one will be working very hard to try and stop this.

The battle of the team mates continue...