This week sees the second of three races taking place this month, as Formula 1 returns to the Intercity Istanbul Park in Turkey, last on the calendar in 2011. After the team’s home race at Imola on 1 November, Scuderia AlphaTauri is ready for the 14th round of the 2020 season.
Pierre Gasly (#10)
“It was a real shame about Imola. We had looked good all weekend, in free practice and then in qualifying when I equalled my best result, so it was hard to take, having to retire when we could have clearly had a really strong result. But that’s racing.
I knew I was staying with the team next year for quite a while before the announcement, and I’m very happy to continue with AlphaTauri. We work well together, it’s a very good team and we are having a strong season. We’ve still got four more races this season and that’s my main focus at the moment, but it’s true we are finding out things that will be useful for next year, and these last few races are an important part of our preparation for 2021.
Before Turkey, we had a very short break after Imola. It was a case of staying at home as much as possible while training and ensuring that any trips to a gym were done without taking any risks regarding the virus.
They say the Istanbul track can give your neck muscles a real workout, but I reckon I am fitter now than I have ever been in my career, so I have no concerns in that respect. Keeping fit and just getting on with life is becoming more complicated now with the additional restrictions coming into force. You have to stick to the rules and ensure you don’t catch it so you can finish the season.
Like most of the drivers, I’ve never raced in Istanbul, so it will be a case of discovering the track for the first time. The layout looks very interesting and so I’m keen to experience it for myself. I have managed to do a few laps of the track in the simulator and it seems really unique with unusual corners – everyone’s heard of Turn 8 with all the long left-handers. The first sector seems interesting with some blind parts. There are also some changes of gradient and a lot of corners where you have high lateral and longitudinal loads when you are turning and braking at the same time. I think it is quite complicated and I like that sort of track with a lot of corners where you have to get into a rhythm and so I think I’ll enjoy it. It’s another opportunity to try and do something really good”.