Esteban Ocon, Renault, Istanbul Park, 2020

F1 drivers braced for punishment from Istanbul’s “killer” turn eight

2020 Turkish Grand Prix

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Formula 1 drivers expect Istanbul Park’s famed turn eight will put their necks under serious strain this weekend.

The rapid, quadruple-apex corner gained a fearsome reputation when F1 cars last raced at the home of the Turkish Grand Prix. The current generation of machines are expected to tackle it at even higher speeds.

Sergio Perez, one of the drivers who competing in the last Turkish Grand Prix nine years ago, said his team mate Lance Stroll – a newcomer to the track – will have to make sure he “warms up his neck properly.”

“That turn eight, it’s a killer when you are a bit cold on the neck,” said Perez. “I expect that my muscles are a bit stronger than they were in 2011 but it’s quite a unique corner. It will be interesting to see how it is now.”

In order to reduce the strain on the necks some drivers using additional padding in their cockpit for support. However Esteban Ocon, who is driving at the track for the first time, said he will try to drive without it.

“It’s going to probably kill the neck on the left side,” said the Renault driver. “I had my engineer [asking] me if I wanted padding, I’m going for no padding. So let’s try.”

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George Russell, another newcomer to Istanbul, expects the corner will tough on tyres as well as necks.

“It’s going to be brutal for us drivers with the current speeds of these modern day Formula 1 cars,” said Russell in response to a question from RaceFans.

“That should be flat [out] and hopefully for probably half the race it will be flat out. I can’t remember exactly how long the duration of that corner is but it’s four to five G of load, which is like the equivalent of 45 kilos, 50 kilos on our necks that we have to sustain for six seconds. So that’s going to be a real task.

“Equally for the tyre, it’s going to be really tough for those Pirelli tyres to hold on. But I think with the measures they’re put in place and what have you it should be fine. And I’m sure after a few laps we’ll be into it and just enjoying the fun-ness of this place.”

Russell expects drivers will have to back off at turn eight during the race in order to ensure they don’t damage their tyres.

“On high fuel it’ll be very tricky,” he said. “It’s going to be a bit of managing during the race because that front-right tyre is going to get an absolute pounding.”

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2020 Turkish Grand Prix

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    Author information

    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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    6 comments on “F1 drivers braced for punishment from Istanbul’s “killer” turn eight”

    1. I wonder how much fatigue in this sport affects performance in comparison to other sports. We can see whenever someone is tired or exhausted in other sports, and their effects. Through a driver’s laptime?

    2. TURN EIGHT in today’s cars could produce some awe inspiring drives this weekend. Thinking how Lewis once described this generation of car as really big and really wide. Then there is the matter of the downforce created by these cars through that incredible set of corners. At the end of the day I wonder if these F1 cars are too powerful and thereby somewhat too much for this Special Corner?
      Turkeys demands will unleash the beast of the modern Grand Prix car. The slower driver and car may become the faster driver and car by mastering TURN EIGHT.
      Of all current young drivers whose will be the quickest through this quad corner?
      I’ve got a feeling about Lando. Let’s hear what he has to say about it. I like George to be very fast but overall the car is still a pig. He might be the one for Eight.

      1. As the corner should be easily flat, I can’t really see much difference between individual drivers in it.

        1. sustaining it for an entire race could expose those less fit, or those who don’t feel confident enough to keep the foot down

    3. “Fatigue makes cowards of us all” – Vince Lombardi, Green Bay Packers

    4. I would think that today”s drivers must be among the fittest drivers ever. Turn 8 will be a test for them, but I reckon George is right that their rubber will give out before their necks do.

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