Scuderia Alpha Tauri drivers Pierre Gasly and Daniil Kvyat are looking forward to the Turkish Grand Prix this weekend as Formula One returns to the Istanbul Park for the first time since 2011 this weekend.
The circuit features its famous never ending turn 8 and speaking ahead of the race, Pierre Gasly said:
It was a real shame about Imola. We had looked good all weekend, in free practice and then in qualifying when I equalled my best result, so it was hard to take, having to retire when we could have clearly had a really strong result. But that’s racing.
“I knew I was staying with the team next year for quite a while before the announcement, and I’m very happy to continue with AlphaTauri. We work well together, it’s a very good team and we are having a strong season. We’ve still got four more races this season and that’s my main focus at the moment, but it’s true we are finding out things that will be useful for next year, and these last few races are an important part of our preparation for 2021.
“Before Turkey, we had a very short break after Imola. It was a case of staying at home as much as possible while training and ensuring that any trips to a gym were done without taking any risks regarding the virus. They say the Istanbul track can give your neck muscles a real workout, but I reckon I am fitter now than I have ever been in my career, so I have no concerns in that respect. Keeping fit and just getting on with life is becoming more complicated now with the additional restrictions coming into force. You have to stick to the rules and ensure you don’t catch it so you can finish the season.
“Like most of the drivers, I’ve never raced in Istanbul, so it will be a case of discovering the track for the first time. The layout looks very interesting and so I’m keen to experience it for myself. I have managed to do a few laps of the track in the simulator and it seems really unique with unusual corners – everyone’s heard of Turn 8 with all the long left-handers. The first sector seems interesting with some blind parts. There are also some changes of gradient and a lot of corners where you have high lateral and longitudinal loads when you are turning and braking at the same time. I think it is quite complicated and I like that sort of track with a lot of corners where you have to get into a rhythm and so I think I’ll enjoy it. It’s another opportunity to try and do something really good.”
Daniil Kvyat who has never raced here before commented on the race saying:
“I had plenty of time to think about my fourth place in Imola, as I drove home to Monaco through the night after the race. I was happy with the result. It was a good day and it was important to get a strong result for the team in what is really its home race, and it is also important regarding the Constructors’ Championship. We were quick all weekend really, which is a positive sign for the final part of the season. I had a good restart after the Safety Car and only just missed out on the podium. But you can’t ask too much from destiny and, as a team, we can be proud and happy with the result.
“We have four races to go, starting with this round in Turkey. I was always aware of the need to be very careful with regards to the Covid situation. In fact, I’ve been careful all year, but you have to find a way to safely live a little, otherwise, you go crazy! I’ve just focussed on the basics of good hygiene and keeping my distance from others, wearing a mask and so on.
“I’ve never raced in any category at the Istanbul circuit and, with the current situation, I’ve not even been able to try it on the simulator, so I will be really starting from zero. Of course, I know where the corners go and have watched old races from there. I know it runs anti-clockwise, like the last race in Imola, and that it climbs and drops a lot and then there’s the famous Turn 8 that goes on forever. I reckon with the modern F1 cars’ level of downforce, it should be really fast now and require plenty of commitment. Then there are some corners that are similar to famous turns at Spa and Interlagos, so I expect it will be an interesting weekend. But I have been to Turkey before! As a small child, I went there on holiday with my family as it’s quite close to Russia. I remember I enjoyed the warm weather at the seaside, good food and nice people.”