Two weeks after the end of the Russian Grand Prix, Formula 1 is back as the protagonist with the Turkish Grand Prix, the 16th round of the 2021 World Championship. This weekend Pirelli will bring the following compounds:
Pirelli PZero White Hard C2
Pirelli PZero Yellow Medium C3
Pirelli PZero Red Soft C4
This means that drivers and teams will be able to take advantage of the three central compounds of the Italian manufacturer’s 2021 range. Recall that this ranges from the C1 compound, the hardest of the 5, to C5, which is the softest.
Why these compounds were chosen
- For the Turkish Grand Prix, which was added to this year’s calendar to replace the Singapore stage, the three central compounds of the range have been named: the C2 will be the P Zero White hard, the C3 will be the P Zero Yellow medium and the C4 will be the P Zero Red soft. The nomination is a softer step than that for last year’s Turkish GP, which took place in November after a nine-year absence from the calendar.
- The decision to select softer compounds is based on data collected last year, which featured a circuit with average wear and low grip levels, which made the surface extremely slippery. However, the track had shown rapid evolution.
- Last year, the track was completely resurfaced just before the Turkish Grand Prix. Since then, the asphalt may have cured slightly and has also been completely cleaned with a high pressure water jet process. So this year riders should benefit from more grip, thanks to the combination of softer compounds, greater asphalt roughness and higher probability of higher temperatures than in 2020.
Characteristics of the track
- The most famous corner of Istanbul Park is 8, considered one of the most iconic corners of Formula 1. It is very long (640 meters, equal to 12% of the entire lap) and is traveled at high speed, with forces exceeding 5g on cars and tires.
- Consequently, Istanbul is a demanding track for tires, on which it exerts a lot of force. Therefore, the teams use a high aerodynamic set-up to help the cars keep the tires glued to the asphalt.
- Many other corners are particularly demanding on the tires: Turn 1 begins with a descent and ends with a climb, while the uphill straight is nicknamed ‘Faux Rouge’ in homage to Spa. The entire track takes advantage of the natural ups and downs of the area. .
- The weather remains a question mark, not least because this year’s race will take place over a month earlier than in 2020. The rain that characterized last year’s Grand Prix prevented the teams from collecting relevant tire data. In particular the C4, the softer compound, has never been brought to Istanbul before.
- Last year, the winning strategy that allowed Lewis Hamilton to take the race and, for the seventh time, the world title, was a stop with eight laps on the Cinturato Blue full wet followed by 50 laps on the Cinturato Green intermediate . Hamilton was one of only four drivers to stop once, with most making two pit stops.
Mario Isola, head of car racing at Pirelli: “Turkey was one of the most spectacular and unpredictable races of last season, especially because of the very slippery track due to the poor grip of the new asphalt. The slipperiness of the circuit, aggravated by the rain, caught the many by surprise, which is why we opted for a softer compound nomination this year, as well as the fact that the race takes place more than a month earlier, so the temperatures should be higher. “
“After making our nomination official, the track has undergone a cleaning process with high pressure water jets, which should have led to greater roughness and grip, so there is also the possibility that with softer compounds we will have to face higher levels of wear than last year “.
“This is something we will only discover when we are there, so the work we did during free practice will be very useful. Since last year everything was new to us, we had opted for the more conservative choice, bringing the tires tougher. The softer compounds chosen this year will probably also pave the way for some different strategies compared to those of 2020 “.
Minimum pressures at the start
Front: 22.0 psi
Rear: 20.0 psi
Front: -3.50 °
Rear: -2.00 °