Statements before the 2009 Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul from Lewis Hamilton, Heikki Kovalainen, Martin Whitmarsch an Norbert Haug.

Lewis Hamilton
“I love racing in Turkey: it’s a real challenge because you need to attack the lap to get a good time, but you also need to be careful with your tyres – if you push too much, particularly through Turn Eight, then your tyres are going to suffer. It’s all about finding the perfect balance in practice and being disciplined in the race so you don’t overdo it.
I also love the fact that it’s a new circuit that has really captured the flavour of some of the older, classic tracks – it’s got a bit of everything and is fantastic to drive. Also, as it’s anti-clockwise, it gives your neck a bit of a workout – but you just need to make sure you’ve exercised the left side of your neck a little more than usual before getting in the car.”

Heikki Kovalainen
“Turkey is all about Turn Eight – the high-speed four-apex left-hander. On a good day in qualifying, it’s flat-out – and that’s a pretty good feeling when you get it right. It’s also very important to look after your tyres through Turn Eight – you put a lot of load through the tyres, particularly the fronts, so it’s a good idea to look after them during the race. The best place to overtake here is into Turn 12, the corner at the end of the back straight. You can get a good tow and slipstream past – with KERS we should hopefully see some exciting racing.”

Martin Whitmarsh
Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
“The Istanbul Park circuit is one of the most challenging modern circuits – for both teams and drivers. Firstly, it’s a real set-up challenge – you need to find a handling balance between the high-speed corners, the slower, infield section and the long straights. In addition, tyre-wear – particularly to the heavily loaded front-right through Turn Eight – is a crucial factor in determining overall strategy. For the drivers, a combination of multi-apex and blind corners adds to the challenge. We go to Turkey in the knowledge that the track characteristics are a bit less likely to suit our package than Monaco, but we are improving all the time, have several minor upgrades for MP4-24 and look forward to assessing our competitiveness against our rivals.”

Norbert Haug,
Vice-president, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
“The Layout of the circuit is challenging and comprises the longest and fastest corner of the calendar as well as very slow corners where good brake stability and good traction is needed. KERS should again be a good support to improve our laptimes but nevertheless the Turkish Grand Prix will be a demanding challenge for us.”

Source: Daimler AG