With practically no experience at Istanbul Park, the Renault team drivers, Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon, have spoken wonders of the Ottoman track. In the case of the Australian, he rode in 2011 in the first free practice session with Toro Rosso, although he did so on a wet track. As for the Frenchman, he has never been competing there.
Daniel Ricciardo – Car # 3
« I can’t wait for Turkey. I only did one session there in free practice 1 in 2011 and it was on a wet track so if it’s dry it will basically be a new track for me. It is an impressive circuit and a lot of fun to drive. It’s going to be very good in a modern Formula 1 car with some fast corners and long periods of time on the gas.
I think we will have a good race as overtaking should be easier [ que Imola]. I think it’s a pretty complete circuit so I’m certainly looking forward to it. Turn 8 is great, but so is Turn 1, the downhill, no vision. It’s really wonderful! «
Esteban Ocon – Car # 31
« Istanbul Park is a new track for me, as I have never raced there before. I watched all the races when I was younger and it looks like a very impressive track. I remember some amazing racing moments there, like Michael and Fernando at the finish line on the last lap in 2006. It has some really fun corners and it’s a fast and very busy lap. It should be exciting in these modern cars.
Turn 1 is a downhill turn and it’s pretty blind approaching it. Several corners from medium to high speed, and everything flows well. Then there’s Turn 8, the triple to the left. You could see an impressive corner on the old cars, and I think this year is going to be even better. Can’t wait to try. Usually on fast tracks we have decent speed so I think it will be amazing to drive and race with overtaking definitely possible on the straights. »
Ciaron Pilbeam – Head of Engineering
« Turkey is another circuit that we have been to in the past, but not recently. It has mostly medium speed corners in the first two sectors, with a long straight leading to the final low speed sector.
There’s also the long, high-speed Turn 8, which puts a lot of pressure on the car, the tires and the driver, and which will be faster than ever in today’s cars. Like in Portimão, the track has recently been repaved, and the three hardest tire compounds will be used C1, C2 and C3. This could lead to poor grip and tricky car balance, as happened in Portugal, especially with the low temperatures forecast for the race weekend. »