By Alex Kapadia
Formula One racing ace Jenson Button has stressed the need for achieving a ‘safe balance’ with the tyres in practice for the Turkish Grand Prix this weekend.
Pirelli has risen to the challenge to develop new tyres that degrade quickly, however the McLaren driver believes the Istanbul Park circuit will be a ‘critical test’ for the tyres.
The former world champion said he will use today’s practice session to determine what balance is required for qualifying and for the race itself next Sunday.
He said: “Looking at the track configuration, our simulations suggest that Turkey will be a critical test for the tyres – particularly the front-right, which will be placed under considerable load through Turn Eight.
“It’s a high-speed, multi-apex turn with a lot of loading, so I think we’ll spend part of Friday monitoring the loads through the tyres to make sure we can achieve a safe and achievable balance for the race before we head into qualifying on Saturday.
“I don’t think it’s an under-estimation to say that tyre wear will probably determine every team’s race strategy. It will be important to run the tyre within a safe operating window, and that’s likely to determine when and how often we stop during the Grand Prix.
“The weather also looks like it’s going to be a bit colder than we’re used to in Turkey – the race is three weeks earlier in the season than it was last year, and that might also have an effect on how the tyre operates.
“It’s going to be another interesting race.”