Istanbul Park has all the right ingredients After a short respite from racing and testing, Formula One enters the final spurt of the season on 26th August in Istanbul. This challenging circuit on the Asian side of the teeming city on the Bosphorus joined the calendar in 2005 and requires the F1 trucks to travel the furthest distance of the season.
Built to the designs of German architect Hermann Tilke, the circuit provides a demanding layout for drivers whilst offering teams the best possible working environment. For the BMW Sauber F1 Team's logistics department the race is equally taxing: of all the circuits to which it dispatches a complete complement of equipment, including trucks and motorhomes, its journey to the Sea of Marmara is, at over 2000 kilometres, easily the furthest.
The trip is well worth the effort. Few cities offer as many cultural contrasts as does Istanbul. The 5,388 kilometer circuit, too, sets new standards for variety by offering a complete spectrum of challenges, from fast, sweeping curves and steep descents to slow, technical corners and long uphill blasts which demand maximum power from the BMW P86/7.
"Istanbul Park has all the ingredients necessary for an interesting circuit," states Willy Rampf, BMW Sauber F1 Team Technical Director. "There are slow sections where good traction is required. And then there is the infamous Turn 8, made up of four distinct sections and yet driven in a single line at around 250 km/h. Drag must not be too high on account of the long - often uphill - straights. Good aerodynamic efficiency is therefore the key to a competitive lap time."
Turn 8 has, after just two Turkish Grands Prix, staked its claim to fame by enticing drivers into making errors, making overtaking maneuvers on the short straight which follows not uncommon. "Most drivers find this section quite a challenge," is Robert Kubica's verdict. "It is very long and, in fact, consists of four different bends. But, it's great fun as soon as you've got your line sorted out." BMW Sauber
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