F1 drivers praise grippy Istanbul track after 2020 ‘ice rink’ | Racing News

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ISTANBUL: Formula One drivers praised the Istanbul park circuitgripier surface on Friday, saying the Turkish Grand Prix track was fun to drive again and very different from last year’s wet and slippery “ice track”.
Turkey returned to the F1 calendar in 2020 after nearly a decade away with a repaved track lacking grip in wet conditions.
The drivers weren’t impressed and the organizers reacted to the criticism ahead of this weekend’s Turkish Grand Prix by blasting the asphalt to make it more abrasive.
Mercedes world championship leader Lewis hamilton, who last year called the track “terrifying” and joined other drivers in comparing the surface to the ice, said after riding faster in practice on Friday that the track was “very, very different.”
“I really didn’t know what to expect when we came out today, but, God, so much more grip than ever before,” said the seven-time world champion who broke the track record.
“The grip out there is intense, which is amazing.
“So he’s made it a much, much more enjoyable track to drive, much more like it was before (years ago),” said the Brit, who will receive a 10-place grid penalty on Sunday for exceeding the allotment of engines of your season.
Hamilton’s rival in the Red Bull championship Max verstappen, who was out of rhythm in practice on Friday, said the track was now “super pretty”.
McLaren ‘s Daniel Ricciardo He said the track was “completely different” from last year, adding that his car was much faster than it was in the 2020 race.
Istanbul Park, which hosted F1 between 2005 and 2011, offers good opportunities to overtake, but weather forecasts have shown that rain is expected this weekend and strong winds posed a challenge for some drivers on Friday.
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said the track had “much more grip” than last year and Ferrari’s racing director. Laurent mekies He praised the officers for their work on the circuit.
“I think all the drivers have enjoyed a much higher level of grip compared to last year. We will see how it will evolve over the weekend, but we are certainly in a much better place than last year,” said Mekies.





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