As Formula One prepares to head to Istanbul, Turkey for 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, here is a packed preview containing everything that you need to know ahead of the latest round in Lewis Hamilton’s title fight against Max Verstappen.
Hamilton enters this race with a two point lead over Verstappen with seven races left which means that every point matters in the coming weeks, especially with Hamilton needing to take a power unit penalty at some point in coming races.
McLaren meanwhile will be seeking redemption on a weekend where rain is a decent probability based on early weather forecasts after suffering late heartbreak in Sochi, Russia, as they continue their battle against Ferrari for third in the constructor standings.
Now here is a full guide to everything that you need to know ahead of 2021 Turkish Grand Prix.
Circuit: Istanbul Park
Race Distance: 309.396km
Tyre Compounds: C2, C3 & C4
|Date||Session||UK Time (BST)|
|Friday 8 October||FP1||9:30am|
|Friday 8 October||FP2||1:00pm|
|Saturday 9 October||FP3||10:00am|
|Saturday 9 October||Qualifying||1:00pm|
|Sunday 10 October||Race||1:00pm|
Five Key Points
- Following slippery track conditions throughout the race weekend in 2020, Friday Practice could be interesting in terms of focus as teams battle to get on top of any possible grip issues as dry weather conditions is forecast throughout FP1 and FP2.
- High downforce is key throughout this circuit due to a mixture of high-speed corners and hard-braking zones, which Lance Stroll discovered to his cost last year through front wing damage so clean racing and minimal contact will be key to race strategies on top of managing tyre degradation.
- Red Bull and Ferrari performed well all weekend at this circuit last year in both dry but extremely slippery conditions and wet FP3 plus race, so expect those two teams to be pre-weekend favourites.
- Mercedes initially struggled in Friday practice last year but would of gathered enough data at this track from their issues to definitely come here stronger, especially with knowledge of where they need to improve.
- Showers are provisionally forecast for Qualifying and the race at a probability of 40-50% so timing could be key in Qualifying depending on if and when the rain materialises, whilst tyre management could be vital if we get unpredictable conditions throughout the race with evolving showers.
Last Time Out
Hamilton overcame a tricky start at last year’s race in Istanbul in wet conditions to eventually win on an one-stop strategy, which proved enough to seal the title after title rival – Valtteri Bottas finished a lap down in 14th following a series of spins.
Pole-sitter and initial race leader, Lance Stroll meanwhile finished ninth at the flag after front wing damage reduced downforce, in turn creating heavy graining which saw him tumble down the order after his first stop.
If missed any of the 15 previous rounds of the 2021 season, please click on the links below to catch up on the missed action.