This weekend’s Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul should see the convergence of several teams at the top, making it a fiercely contested race.
Let me explain what I mean by that. Brawn has been at the peak since the season started, the team to beat, while Red Bull were very close in the early races, but only added their definitive double diffuser aero package to the car for Monaco, where it didn’t really have a chance to show it’s value. Their car has always been good on high speed corners, so in Istanbul they should fly. They have had the chance to challenge Brawn more often than it would appear but they haven’t take their chances, with Sebastian Vettel losing out to KERS cars off the start line in Bahrain and Barcelona and having his race compromised as a result. With a car which should be a match for the Brawn this weekend, if not superior, they can use that to their advantage in defining the best strategy for their drivers.
Likewise Ferrari look like they are getting to their peak performance as well. They have always had a good car, it just lacked downforce. They have steadily added more downforce to the car over the last few events and Istanbul is a track on which they have dominated the last three years, with Felipe Massa. So we can expect them to be on the pace as well. This should, therefore, be a three way fight.
Massa certainly seems to feel he can challenge this weekend. Speaking on the Ferrari website yesterday he said,
“For Istanbul, we will have another small step in terms of aerodynamic development, which should improve the car still further. It will be fantastic if we find we are in a position to fight for the win in Turkey.
“I just like the track and feel comfortable there, but it’s hard to pinpoint why it suits me better than some other circuits. I do prefer fast flowing tracks and have a feel for all the corners here, as it’s not good enough to only be fast over one particular section of the track. I think I’ve also found a good way to set up the car perfectly for this circuit.”
Meanwhile Christian Horner believes that RBR have a great chance in Istanbul.
“This is an important race in the championship and our target is to challenge the Brawns who have had a remarkable run so far. The RB5 will essentially be in the same specification as in Monaco, with a few minor aero updates. the high speed track should be better suited to the strengths of our car. We’ve been competitive at all the circuits so far this season, even though at a couple of races our performance has been compromised by cars equipped with KERS.”
Jenson Button has dropped only four points so far from a maximum of 55, while Brawn GP could break through the 100 points barrier this weekend if they score 14 points. The team has enjoyed three one-two finishes this season.
Brawn is aware that the others are now breathing down their necks and are pushing as hard as their resources allow to keep in front,
“We know that our competitors will be very strong in Turkey this weekend. We will be bringing a new front wing along with some aerodynamic updates and new rear suspension elements,” says Ross Brawn.
Should be an intense weekend..