“Istanbul has a wide range of different corner types and is a very difficult circuit to master in terms of car set-up and maximizing tire potential. It has high speed sections and also heavy braking,” said Hamashima.
“Both of these factors mean that a lot of energy is being put through the tires, so watching wear and degradation will be a consideration. This circuit is not only a challenge for our tires, drivers face a tough race too as the circuit is not clockwise like most of the tracks on the calendar,” added the Japanese official.
No doubt about it, the place that all drivers should watch out when it comes to tire degradation is the famous roller-coasting Turn 8, where a huge amount of load will lead to increased wear for the cars' right-front tire. Hamashima insisted, though, that the tire manufacturer did take into consideration all the data previously gathered on the Istanbul circuit and “are not predicting any issues”.
“Turn Eight is a difficult corner and we have learnt a lot about this corner from the problems we have seen here in the past. This season we are using slick tires, and they are inherently stronger in the tread than a grooved tire. However we are always vigilant as this corner produces the highest G forces we see all season,” added the Japanese official.
Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen also said he looks forward to driving through the aforementioned section, especially since the cars will behave differently this year because of the new aerodynamic changes.
“I really like this track and it’s very demanding. There are all types of corners and blind spots to brake; everything you need for a beautiful race. This year’s cars have less downforce, but we’re using slicks: corner number 8 will be very exciting under these circumstances,” said the Finnish driver.