With day one of the Turkish GP done Badger has been on a mission to collect all the news worth printing (and some that might not be) from the Istanbul Park Circuit. Want to know more about Karun Chandhok’s new good luck charm, Lewis Hamilton’s latest fashion statement and who’s joined the F-Duct club this weekend? Then read on…
We start with a celebration: this weekend’s race will be the 800th Formula One Grand Prix for Ferrari, F1’s ever-presents and most successful team. They’re running with a special logo on their engine covers this weekend, in place of their definitely not subliminal advertising for a cigarette brand that we can’t recall the name of because Ferrari definitely weren’t subliminally advertising it.
From F1’s oldest team to its three newst: Virgin, Lotus and Hispania. Badger had a chat with Timo Glock yesterday (keep an eye out for the full interview next week) and told us that the Virgin team’s aim for the weekend was to “get both cars to finish and to try to make little improvements here and there”. Hardly a revelation but true nonetheless.
Bruno Senna meanwhile reported via his Twitter feed that his team are “closer than ever to the others” and that Hispania are “squeezing as much as possible out of this car until updates arrive”.
Lotus will be aiming a bit higher this weekend: Heikki Kovalainen now finds himself within a second of the midfield runners, and will be dreaming of making that giant leap into Q2 before too long. Perhaps it won’t be this weekend, but you get the feeling Lotus should be the first of the new boys to shake up the established order in the sport.
Sticking with the new team theme we move on to Karun Chandhok, who Badger loves a little bit more every weekend. What’s he done to endear himself this time? Well, it seems the Hispania driver is now in possession of a ‘lucky egg’. It was given to him by some friends who were themselves inspired by a similar lucky egg story from the 1988 Jamaican bobsled team (famously portrayed in the film Cool Runnings). Karun won’t be taking the egg on track with him- “My engineers would probably complain that it was another 50 grams of weight”- but is hoping it will improve his fortunes.
Badger has been searching for a name for the Istanbul Park circuit’s ‘turn 8‘ lately. It’s a mega corner, and proved that today by catching several drivers out. Adrian Sutil’s crash there was the most spectacular, and in the afternoon we saw a couple of spins for Kobayash and Liuzzi, several from Massa, and at least one each from Petrov and Chandhok. Did we miss any one? Probably. Whoever it was that went off there it’s good to see a corner providing the drivers with a genuine challenge. If they’re making mistakes it shows that they’re really working, and we like that.
One team’s cars seemed to glide through the turn though, taking it flat out in fact. Can you guess who that was? Of course, it was Red Bull! That car is glued to the ground.
In tyre news (we’ve been sadly lacking in it lately) Italian manufacterer Pirelli look set to become the new supplier for F1 as of next season. With Bridgestone pulling out at the end of the year the search has been on for a replacement, and word is Pirelli have beaten the likes of Michelin and Kuhmo to the tender. The deal could be confirmed this weekend, and we’ll have more on it when/if it is.
Finally, Lewis Hamilton. First he grew a goatee- now he’s gone and got his ears pierced. Both of them in fact, which is apparently the done thing among young gentlemen these days. Would Lewis have done this if dad Anthony was still his manager? You have to ask. Anyway, Lewis joins fellow pierced F1 drivers Tonio Liuzzi and Christian Klien in a rather select little group. Who’s next? Imagine, if you will, world championship leader and Action Man lookalike Mark Webber sporting two pierced ears, diamnte studs glistening as the sun creeps on to an early morning paddock.
We’ll leave you with that image.