With Istanbul on the horizon it’s time for us to delve into the world of Grand Prix press releases. Part one focuses on the slower end of the grid, specifically Williams, HRT and Virgin.
After a week of reshuffle for the Grove based squad, the threat of a race might be the distraction the team needs. Although not in the points, both grizzly veteran Rubens Barrichello and newbie Pastor Maldonado brought their cars home in the previous round, in 13th and 18th respectively, which is better than not finishing at all in our books. With a raft of updates coming for Turkey, does this mark the team’s turning point?
Rubens Barrichello: “I want to have a more competitive weekend with the team than we have had so far this season. We have new parts coming for Turkey which will hopefully work in our favour. I love Istanbul Park. It is one of the most challenging circuits on the calendar and we will aim to be flat out there. Everyone says Turn 8 is a highlight, and it is, but I also find the circuit nice from a set-up point of view with qualifying also a good challenge. I like the track as a whole.”
Pastor Maldanado: “I’ve been to Istanbul Park four or five times and I think it is a good circuit to race on. Last year I had one of my best races of the season in Istanbul racing in GP2. If we can get the car performing as we want to this weekend, it will be a good event for us. Turn 8 is my favourite part of the circuit as it is an amazing, very long and fast corner. It is also quite a technical circuit. We are improving and I hope we can jump forward with the upgrades we have here and be more competitive.”
Another team gambling on updates, but you can bet they would sell their own Spanish mothers to have anything any other team would be able to produce. You have to hand it to the plucky little squad as they know their place on the grid but want to move up as fast as possible, exibited in their 22nd and 23rd place finishes in China and their obvious next target to be on level terms with their main rivals Virgin.
Narain Karthikeyan: “I don’t have great memories of this circuit as my only previous visit in 2005 with Jordan GP was marred by mechanical problems but my memories of Turkey itself are great, the people are so nice and the food is fantastic.”
“I hope to continue from where I left off in Shanghai by finishing the race, gathering valuable data and getting closer to optimising the potential of the F111, which I know has a lot more to give. We are moving in a good direction ever since our first race in Malaysia, so I’m sure that with the upgrades due on the car for Turkey, we will take another step forward towards challenging the teams who are just in front of us”.
Vitantonio Liuzzi: “Istanbul Park is a very technical circuit where I enjoy racing. I remember back in 2006 when I went from 16th to 6th after a great start but, unfortunately, wasn’t able to finish the race because of a differential problem.”
“Our target for Turkey is to verify that our updates are working as per plan, closing the gap on the leader and obviously finishing the race ahead of our direct competitors. If everything goes to plan, I think Hispania Racing can surprise a lot of people by closing the gap considerably with respect to other teams thereby showing how serious our intentions of growing are”.
The squad bearing the name of Richard Branson’s empire have a serious struggle on their hands not to be handed the wooden spoon by their Spanish rivals. I bet the supercomputers sat in Nick Wirth’s offices didn’t see that one coming this far into the season.
Timo Glock: “It’s good to be racing in Europe again and starting off in Turkey, which is a great track and a lot of fun. The fact that this race is slightly earlier this year should be interesting because it is usually quite hot when we come here. We expect it to be cooler so with the new tyres for this year it is difficult for anyone to predict too much.”
“Then there’s a lot of hard work to focus on with our new upgrade. It’s quite a major package but these things take time to adapt to the track and our focus has to be getting as much running as possible so we can get maximum data and use it to keep working with the car in the next few races.”
Jerome D’Ambrosio: “For me it’s all about steady progress now. I’m really happy with my first three races in F1 and now I have to not just maintain that but keep pushing myself and moving forward as there is still so much to learn.”
“Istanbul Park Circuit is a track I know well from my GP2 career and I love it, so I’m looking forward to heading to Turkey this week. The track has some good challenges and the chance to race on an anti-clockwise circuit is always fun and reminds you why you have to keep pushing so hard with your fitness levels, which I’ve been doing over the three-week break.”