By Alex Kapadia
It’s shaping up to be a three-way race this weekend between Brawn, Red Bull and Ferrari on the undulating Istanbul Park Circuit.
So what are the challenges for the soft and hard tyres Bridgestone are bringing to the Turkish Grand Prix – the seventh in the series?
Hirohide Hamashima, director of motorsport tyres development for Bridgestone, said: “Istanbul has a wide range of different corner types and is a very difficult circuit to master in terms of car set-up and maximising tyre potential.
“It has high speed sections and also heavy braking. Both of these factors mean that a lot of energy is being put through the tyres, so watching wear and degradation will be a consideration.
“This circuit is not only a challenge for our tyres, drivers face a tough race too as the circuit is not clockwise like most of the tracks on the calendar.”
When it comes to tyres strategy it is the tricky Turn Eight that throws up all sorts of problems.
Mr Hamashima said: “Turn Eight is a difficult corner and we have learnt a lot about this corner from the problems we have seen here in the past.
“This season we are using slick tyres, and they are inherently stronger in the tread than a grooved tyre.
“In addition, we developed the tyres using the data gained here previously, so we are not predicting any issues, however we are always vigilant as this corner produces the highest G forces we see all season.”
Alex Kapadia, Opertions Team