Albon: Istanbul’s turn eight will be “easy flat” in modern F1 cars

2020 F1 season

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Alexander Albon is relishing the prospect of tackling Istanbul Park in a modern Formula 1 car.

The track, which F1 first visited in 2005, is expected to be confirmed as a new addition to the 2020 F1 calendar, which has been reorganised due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Formula 1 hasn’t raced at the track since it held the last Turkish Grand Prix in 2011. Since then changes to the technical regulations in 2017 have greatly increased the cornering speeds cars are capable of. Albon expects impressive feats of performance through Istanbul’s signature, quadruple-apex turn eight.

“I think that triple/quadruple left-hander will be easy flat in these cars,” he predicted. “Most likely we’ll be flat on the out-lap. It’ll be fun.”

Istanbul will be the fifth new addition to this year’s calendar along with Mugello, Imola, Autodromo do Algarve and the Nurburgring. Albon is enthusiastic about the venues F1 has chosen.

“It looks really cool,” he said. “I’m excited.”

“I think Liberty and Formula 1 are doing an amazing job choosing these kind of circuits. I don’t know if it’s coincidence or if they’re just choosing them because they’re the ones that are open to races. But it’s going to be a proper circuit.

“Mugello, Imola, Turkey, we’re going to some of the best circuits in the world. I’m all for it.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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30 comments on “Albon: Istanbul’s turn eight will be “easy flat” in modern F1 cars”

  1. Just put the DRS zone through T8 and we’ll be laughing! I remember launching quite a few cars into the air with flat spins around there in qualifying in that version of the game :D

    1. wow
      like modern problems require modern soluitions, that generate more modern problems that require more modern solutions

  2. Easy flat corners like turn8 or copse or 130r are better for racing rather than medium/high speed corners due to dirty air. Maybe F1 is onto something with this.

    1. True. Fast corners are a double-edged sword in that respect. The more easily taken flat the less of a challenge they become (sigh), but the more it effectively lengthens the before and after straights, improving the chances of overtaking.

      1. Maybe less of a challenge but more fun because of the g-forces.
        Rather have the challenge of wheel to wheel racing anyway.

    2. The issue is that although it will easily be flat in qualifying, it might not be in the first half of the race due to the fuel load. Plus, let’s not forget that drivers will probably be taking is easy anyways to nurse the tyres.

  3. @keithcollantine
    A simple request. When the website releases an article or news item concerning track(s) and especially specific turns or DRS zones etc., it would be helpful if you can add an image of the track layout along with it.
    Images of the corners alone arent really helpful without knowing the exact entry and exits.

    Images of track layout were present in the other article titled “Final, 17-race 2020 F1 calendar taking shape including Istanbul and two Bahrain races”. Thanks.

    1. Not a bad idea, but not that had to google a track layout if you want to 🤷‍♂️

      1. @skipgamer I have been doing that ever since days of F1Fanatic. Its not tough to move to another tab and open up an image of the track. But there have been days when i read articles on the fly and wouldnt bother to open up track to see which drs zone has been changed or where gravel traps have been added–the purpose of the article is thus lost. Just trying to make things easier.
        Thumbs up emoji.

    2. Fair point, but this turn in particular is pretty much THE feature of the circuit, kinda similar to what Eau Rouge/Raidillon is for Spa. It’s not outlandish to presume the fans are familiar with it.

    3. @webtel @skipgamer
      The DRS zones would probably be the back straight (as was the case last time F1 raced there) and the S/F straight.

  4. Judging by the photos even back then it was a Closed Event.

    1. Unfortunately this circuit, despite its excellent layout, suffered from many of the other “Tilkedrome” problems – lack of interest in the host country (I believe the race had minimal marketing in Turkey), and being in the middle of nowhere and thus hard for people to get to.

      1. Middle of nowhere? It’s just 10km from Istanbul’s second airport.

        1. @scbriml whilst it is true that it is closer to that second airport, depending on the country you are travelling from, you might find that it is not possible to get flights there.

          Other posters who have been there in the past have commented that, although there does seem to be a bus service from the second airport, it does seem as if the buses to the circuit were more set up for people coming from the main airport and from the western side of Istanbul, in part because options for accommodation nearer to the second airport are rather more limited.

          Others have commented that the buses to and from the circuit can be a bit hit and miss, particularly if you are coming from the western side of Istanbul – there have been a few people commenting about journeys taking a couple of hours, and Keith Collantine mentioned that, when he went there, the bus driver got lost on the way back.

          Now, those transport issues do seem to have improved in later years to some extent, but with races having not taken place for some time, I imagine that, if the circuit were to be opened to tourists, there might be issues with then trying to bring those buses and other measures back. However, to some extent it might be rather immaterial if the race were to take place as a closed door event.

        2. The airport is far from the city center and the most residential areas. But there was plenty of marketing for sure. The main problem for Turkish F1 fans were the ticket prices. The hosting fee of the race is whole lot of money, and when they reflected it to the ticket prices, it costed almost a month of income for most Turkish people.

  5. Easy flat until you have to nurse the tyres, so in the race we might see someone pushing to close the gap and have a go into T9? Most probably not as DRS detection is most likely shortly after…

    1. @zomtec Not necessarily as drivers generally haven’t tended to avoid overtaking shortly before detection points. The detection is probably going to be in the braking zone for T9 as it was the last time F1 raced there:

      1. Apart from Spa La Source!

  6. Of course, it’s going to be with these DF and grip-levels. The only car to have ever managed to take Istanbul Park’s T8 entirely flat without even a tiny lift is the Red Bull RB6. No other car from the 2005-2011 period could take that corner flat.

    1. @jerejj are you entirely sure about that assertion?

      There have been some onboard clips of drivers in 2009 and 2010 that suggested they were also taking that corner flat – there are signs that Trulli might have also been able to take that corner flat in 2009, thanks to the double diffuser on his car, and there appears to be footage of Kobayashi also managing it in his Sauber in 2010. I do have a recollection of some contemporary reports in 2010 that suggested Kubica was also taking that corner flat out.

  7. At least until your front right explodes…

  8. Turn 8 aside, I’d like to see how these cars operate in weather that’s barely going to rise above 15 degrees.

    1. I suppose the Bahrein race will be held during the day this year?

  9. Turn 8 was already fairly easy flat in qualifying when they last raced there, For the top teams at least.

  10. R.I.P right-front Pirelli tyre :)

  11. I think a lot actually will depend on the surface in Istanbul – it used to be pretty bumpy in T8 and modern F1 doesn’t tend to do bumpy tracks. Big bumps + aero don’t always go well together. The ‘flat out’ cars there were relying on the double diffuser to give the grip, which gave it pretty much always if on the power, whereas a stronger reliance on the vortices they manipulate these days is more affected by bumps. I think. Happy to be corrected on that of course!

  12. Might not be if you’re driving a Alpha Tauri by then Albon…

  13. They should call that corner Half-Octagon.

  14. This is/was one of my favorite tracks, bring it on! Icing on the cake was the Webber/Vettel drama. Completely stunning.

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