Updated: 2 days ago
Intercity Istanbul Park is another Hermann Tilke designed track, this time in the less common anticlockwise configuration. With features resembling multiple world-famous tracks, many people believe this circuit is one of the better ones we have seen in F1. The track made its return in 2020, off the back of the Covid Pandemic, following a nine-year gap. The track highlight is the super-fast, multiple apex left-hander of Turn 8, which is totally flat out today.
Sector 1 of Istanbul Park has a mixture of corner types. There is also a fair amount of elevation changes so be wary of that when making the turns. Taking just the right amount of kerb at T1 can be tricky and getting the car slowed in the right way for T4 is also a challenge.
Turn 1: Entry
Turn 1 at Istanbul Park is initially blind as the track drops away. You want to brake around or just after the 100m board on entry.
Try to spot the apex and turn in as soon as you can see the corner - earlier than you think. This is because as the track drops away you are likely to understeer. Ensure that you ease off the brakes accordingly to avoid locking the inside front.
Turn 1: Apex
For the apex of Turn 1, shift down to 4th gear as you trailbrake in. Clip the apex kerb on the striped part but be careful not to get your tire into the step beyond the kerb or it will unsettle the car.
The track begins to level out just after the apex. This means the car begins to compress into the track on the transition, and thus you have more grip. This is a good time to get back on the throttle as your tyres have more load capacity.
Turn 2 begins as the exit kerb out of T1. As you run out, use most of the kerb but it is probably best to avoid the AstroTurf for the most grip. Continue to hug the inside for the initial part of T2.
As the corner continues, begin to naturally let the car drift out on the exit towards T3. Hold the wide line until you can see the next corner. You may think the shorter inside line is the fastest, but the wide line helps you reduce scrub and puts you in a great spot for T3.
Turn 3: Entry
Out of T2 you should be holding the wide line rather than shortcutting the inside. The major reason for this is to allow you to turn into Turn 3 from the far right, as well as to brake straighter.
Hug the left kerb and then make a last-minute sweep to the right as you approach Turn 3. Ensure you get the car in a straight line at the edge of the track by the time you dab the brakes and make your wide turn-in.
Turn 3: Apex
After you dab the brakes, quickly flick the car into the corner using the downforce and shift through to 5th for the apex kerb.
Make sure to ease off the brakes initially but maintain a small amount of brake pressure towards the end of the turn to slow it down for T4.
Position the car somewhere in the middle of the track on the exit for a good compromise with T4.
Entering Turn 4 from the middle of the track, shift down to 3rd gear. As you do, expect understeer as the track drops away. Also, be careful not to lock the inside tyre on the brakes.
Hit the striped part of the kerb but not the AstroTurf and then give up some exit speed in favour of getting back to the right for T5.
Make your way back to the right side of the track out of T4. Try to maintain good minimum speed through Turn 5 by taking a wide entry.
Lightly clip the apex kerb and get back onto the power as early as you can. Let the car drift out naturally but don't go as far as the exit kerb.
Turn 6 comes immediately after the previous corner so making the apex here is not important. Your main focus is to get to full throttle sooner rather than taking the shortest route.
The increase in minimum speed will give you more traction and reduce the unnecessary scrub. Additionally, short-shift to dull the power surges.
Run out to the exit kerb but don't scrub too much speed on it.