After three exciting races in Australia and Asia, the Sauber Formula One Team is looking forward to travelling to a Grand Prix weekend for the first time this year with its convoy of trucks and its motorhome.
Istanbul Park is a challenging circuit for the drivers and the Sauber C30-Ferrari as well as for the tyres. The target is clearly set: Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Pérez want to fight for top ten positions again – in both, qualifying and the race.
Kamui Kobayashi (car no 16): “After spending some time in Tokyo I’m very much looking forward to the race in Istanbul Park. It is an exciting track and one of my favourites. Last year our performance was pretty good there, and we scored our first point when I finished the race in tenth. It was a relief for us and this feeling is still a nice memory. There are a couple of high speed corners which I like, and I feel we should be quite competitive in Turkey. However, the corner I like most is the triple left hander which forms turn eight. Regarding tyre management, I find it difficult to predict how the situation will develop. The grip level at this circuit is normally very low, which means the cars tend to slide a lot. I believe it will be crucial to save the front tyres in particular so the wear is as low as possible.”
Sergio Pérez (car no 17): “In a way I feel for me the championship is about to start now with these next races on circuits I know. I have raced at Istanbul Park twice in the GP2 series and I find the track very nice. I especially used to enjoy turn eight a lot. With the Formula One car it will, of course, be physically demanding for the neck muscles, and turn eight will also be a special challenge for the front tyres. We will have to be careful with them. In any case I’m really looking forward to the Turkish Grand Prix and I want to bag my first points.”
James Key, Technical Director: “Istanbul Park is a good circuit, and one of the favourites with the teams and drivers. It’s quite technical and challenging. It will be another interesting event for the tyres, because the famous turn eight is one of the high speed corners of the year with the highest loading of the tyres. Although we have seen some high speed corners at the last two events, I think this is by far another step beyond that. It will be interesting to see how well the tyres cope with that in terms of wear and degradation. This could result in some alternative strategies in the race, but we will not know until we get there. The rest of the circuit is a pretty good mix of some medium speed corners and the long back straight, which could provide some overtaking opportunities. But then at the end of the lap we have a combination of three low speed corners where braking stability into them, the line through them and traction out of them is important. They are quite technical corners. Overall this track offers a good mix of different corners. We expect quite reasonable weather conditions, with it not being too hot but in a better window for us than Shanghai was. Tyre management could be the key to the weekend of the Turkish Grand Prix. As far as the car is concerned, we will have some more test items to run on Friday – some of them aerodynamic and some of them mechanical – which we hope to introduce to the car pretty soon. Apart from that it will be another weekend for us to target the top ten, both in qualifying and the race.”