Bridgestone heads to Turkey for the seventh race of the season where Bridgestone’s hard and soft compound Potenza tyres will tackle the most infamous corner on the current F1 calendar on May 28-30. Istanbul Park Circuit’s Turn Eight is a gruelling multi-apex left-hander which seemingly never ends.
It puts high energy forces through all of the tyres, but it’s the front right in particular which gets a battering. It’s a corner which can accurately be described as the toughest of the year, and one which is a big focus for Bridgestone’s tyre engineers and teams alike. The rest of the 5.34 km circuit is far from easy too. It’s the first circuit of the season to run in an anti- clockwise direction, giving drivers a real work out, especially as only a small part of the track is on level ground, with regular gradient change a real factor around the course of a lap.
Hiroshi Yasukawa – Director of Bridgestone Motorsport, says: “The Turkish market is an interesting one for Bridgestone as we have our BRISA joint venture here with the Sabanci Group. Bridgestone BRISA has always been very pro-active with their activation of our Formula One programme and we are pleased to visit the wonderful city of Istanbul. Felipe Massa will be helping to launch a road safety initiative with Bridgestone in this market.”
Hirohide Hamashima - Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development, says: “Istanbul Park has caused us problems in the past so it is a circuit where we pay particular attention to every aspect of our preparation. We have reviewed the tyre strength and durability of our tyres so far this season and we have seen no problems, even though the latest cars are both heavier and faster than previously.
"Turn Eight is the hardest corner we face during the course of the season, however this is not the only part of the track which is a challenge. The left-right-left of turns 12-14 are the lowest speed areas of the track and come straight after the highest-speed straight. This combination is a breeding ground for tyre graining, so competitors will have to pay particular attention here to minimise this, especially early in the race weekend when the circuit is dirtier and has less rubber on it."
Stats & Facts
|Number & Spec of tyres brought to Istanbul:||2000 (Hard, soft, intermediate/wets)|
|Pole position time 2009:||1min 28.316secs (Vettel)|
|Fastest race lap 2009:||1min 27.579secs (Button)|
|Top three 2009:||Button, Webber, Vettel|