• Chris Kato

The A-Z Guide to the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix

Round 16 of the 2021 championship heads to the exciting Istanbul Park in Turkey...




Welcome to your A-Z Guide to the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix. Having returned to the calendar last year after a nine year absence, the Intercity Istanbul Park Circuit is back again for 2021 in what should be another thrilling weekend in this 2021 championship. This video will help get you set for the race weekend as we'll provide you with all the track info and circuit history about Istanbul Park. We'll also give you guys the weekend schedule and potential weather forecast along with any news and rumors circulating the F1 world. So without further a due, let's learn a little bit about what it's like racing in Turkey!




Track Facts



Formula 1 heads to the shores of the Bosphorus for the Turkish Grand Prix close to the historic city of Istanbul, the only city in the world to sit across two continents which are Europe and Asia. Located in the Tuzla district, the 5.3KM track provides drivers and cars with a demanding test in many different areas. Istanbul Park's anti-clockwise circuit is made up of 14 corners overall, 8 that go to the left, and 6 that go to the right. One of the most famous corners in all of Formula 1 is Istanbul Park's Turn 8 complex. It’s very long, at 640 metres (or 12% of the entire lap) and taken at high speed, with several apexes that place forces peaking at more than 5g on the cars and tyres. With this in mind, teams will be running higher downforce setups in order to push the cars into the tarmac and maximize their grip. Drivers in turn will take their lap time at full throttle only 66% of the time with the top speed being around 320km/h. The pole sitter for Sunday's race will start on the right hand side of the grid with the run down to Turn 1 being only 210 meters.




Grand Prix History



Although it has a short history in Formula 1 only hosting 8 Grand Prix's, Istanbul Park has been a favorite of many drivers in the past 15 years. The most successful constructor in Turkey is Ferrari who won 3 Grand Prix's totaling 37% of all time wins. Right behind them is McLaren who won the inaugural Turkish Grand Prix back in 2005 and added one more to their tally in 2010. Mercedes and Red Bull are the only other two teams to have won at Istanbul Park as they picked up the last two Turkish GP victories. Out of the current drivers on the grid, Lewis Hamilton has the most Turkish Grand Prix wins with two as his most significant one came here last year when he clinched his 7th Drivers Championship. Then you have Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen who both scored one win each back in 2011 and 2005 respectively. Overtaking is quite difficult in Istanbul so pole position is very important. 62% of race winner started on pole while only 25% were able to win starting from second. The only driver to win from outside of the top 3 was Lewis Hamilton last season where he won from 6th in a rain soaked classic. The Turkish Grand Prix has seen 3 safety car deployments leading to a 37% chance of seeing one in Sunday's race.




Grand Prix Schedule



Here you'll find the session start times for Free Practice and the race and Qualifying. The times are in local Turkish time and different areas around the world.






Weekend Notes



Let's start off by looking at the predicted weather forecast at Istanbul Park.



Weather - At the moment, things are looking clear and dry for the Turkish Grand Prix weekend which is a welcome site considering last year's race. Temperatures will be in the mid 20's all weekend with periods of sun and some higher than average wind gusts to pay attention too.


Tyres - Moving onto to the tyre choices, Pirelli have chosen to go with the C2, C3, and C4 tyres for this year which is a step softer than 2020. Grip levels are expected to increase thanks to the softer tyres but also because Istanbul Park has been pressure washed to improve grip. Strategy will be an unknown because of last season's wet race, so Free Practice will be vital data gathering sessions. Istanbul Park is very demanding on the tyres so degradation will be higher than normal.


Sainz's Engine Penalty - Ferrari's Carlos Sainz looks set to start the Turkish GP from the back of the grid due to a 4th Power Unit entering his allocation for the season. Sainz's teammate Charles Leclerc received the newly upgraded Ferrari PU in Russia which saw him start from 19th in Sochi. The developments made by Ferrari on the engine are estimated to be worth around an extra 10-15BHP.


Hamilton Set for Penalties? - Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has not ruled out an engine change for Lewis Hamilton at this weekend's Turkish GP. With 7 races to go, Hamilton is already on his third Power Unit and unlikely to make it to the end of the season on his current allocation. Wolff did say that the decision to take a fresh engine leading to a grid penalty would be taken "spontaneously'.'


Red Bull Special Livery? - On Red Bull Racing's Twitter account on Tuesday, a video was tweeted out potentially hinting at a one off livery for this weekend's race. Fans have speculated that it will be a Honda tribute livery as this weekend was supposed to be the Japanese Grand Prix.


https://twitter.com/redbullracing/status/1445456503138242563/video/1





So that will wrap up this edition of the A-Z Guide for the Turkish Grand Prix. I will now turn it over to you guys the fans, what are you expecting from this weekend's Turkish Grand Prix and who are the favorites to take victory? Be sure to drop your comments and thoughts down below!

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