Istanbul has passed its trail at the Kärcher to avoid the worries of 2020
The Istanbul Park track surface had been resurfaced in 2020 for the unexpected return of Formula 1 in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the premier class of motorsport no longer visited Turkey since 2011. However, the work was only finished two weeks before the race.
The new surface lacked grip, especially with the harder compounds in the Pirelli range: keeping the temperature in the tires was difficult. The Italian manufacturer had indicated that he would have chosen softer compounds if he had been informed in time of his work. The problems were exacerbated by heavy rains in qualifying and in the race, which made conditions even more difficult for the drivers.
FIA Race Director Michael Masi recently informed the Formula 1 teams that « the entire surface of the track has been treated to increase the level of grip », in addition to the fact that the new surface is aging. The extra grip will create an additional challenge for teams as the data collected last year will be less relevant.
« Each season, we regularly inform the teams of any changes made to a circuit for an upcoming Grand Prix », says Masi, interviewed by Motorsport.com. « Whether it is the walls, the fences, the barriers. It can be the surface of the track which is redone. Yes, the surface in Turkey has been passed to the Kärcher, it is a treatment carried out regularly. »
« We have seen this being done regularly in Singapore for example, where the asphalt on public roads that are used is often resurfaced because of the movement. [du trafic]. That’s what happened [en Turquie], as well as several other changes. «
When asked if the circuit made a mistake in 2020, Masi replies: « I think it was just a matter of timing last year, I think we said it back then. It was literally a matter of timing, and they rectified that accordingly. »
After the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix, Ross Brawn, F1 sports manager, was adamant about the positive impact of the lack of grip in Istanbul. « I am aware that the riders were not happy with the level of grip, but this was the consequence of the late decision to race there when the schedule was changed to respond to COVID-19 », he had declared.
“I think riders sometimes have to remember that it’s a competition to be the one to cross the finish line first. If the level of grip wasn’t high, it was the same for everyone. Some pilots concentrated and got used to it, others experienced it as a source of distraction. «
“Having a rough surface like it was the case this weekend was not a bad thing. It fully showed the skill of the driver. I don’t think the level of grip is representative of the level of competition. has to be fair and equitable. It’s a sport, so we have to give everyone the same opportunity. It’s tough, but it should be seen as a good thing. «