The Sauber Motorsport AG Group under Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN will compete in their 500th Formula One Grand Prix in Turkey this weekend as Formula One returns to the Istanbul Park circuit for the first time since 2011.
Speaking about the upcoming race, Team Principal and CEO of Sauber Motorsports AG Frédéric Vasseur commented saying:
The 500th race for the team is an important milestone, one that shows the incredible heritage of this outfit: we are now in a very small group in the company of some of the most historical teams in the sport and that shows the strength of our project. As an independent team for most of our history, we have shown that it’s possible to build a long-term project and we are confident the best is yet to come – the next 500 races will be even better. It would be nice to celebrate this occasion in style with another good performance, especially after the double points finish we scored in Imola, which was a big confidence boost for the team. The progress we have made is a positive, as is scoring points in three of the last five races, but we know there is a lot more work to do before we are where we expect us to be. Returning to Turkey will be another chance to continue on this path: it is another track on which there is not a lot of information available and we can use it to our advantage.”
Kimi Raikkonen says he is not interested in the numbers but that it is a big milestone for the team:
“This weekend’s event will be race 500 for the team: I am not very interested in numbers, but it’s a big milestone, especially for all the people who have been working for the team in all these years. As for the race, it’s nice to come back to a place like Turkey. It’s a track that made for good racing in the past, so it will be interesting to see how the modern Formula One cars do on it. Everyone talks about turn eight but, with the performance cars have now, it may not be as impressive from within the cockpit: of course, it will be nice to watch, but there are many other corners where a driver can make the difference there.”
Antonio Giovinazzi commented on the upcoming race saying:
“It’s going to be a special weekend for the team, 500 races is an incredible milestone and the fact only three other teams ever made it to this number before shows just how impressive an achievement this is. This is a team that feels like a family and I am sure everyone is really proud of our history, so hopefully we will have a good race to celebrate in the best way. I have never raced in Turkey, it’s going to be a completely new experience for me but I’ve been watching footage of the last events there and it seems like a great track: I can’t wait to be in the car on Friday.”