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Paddock Postcard from Istanbul 27 Aug 2006

Missy Elliott (USA) Hip Hop Artist at the Grand Prix Party.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Turkish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, 25 August 2006 Nelson Piquet (BRA) with Flavio Briatore (ITA) Renault F1 Managing Director.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Turkish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, 26 August 2006 The Grand Prix Party.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Turkish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, 25 August 2006 Carmen Electra (USA) Celebrity at the Grand Prix Party.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Turkish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, 25 August 2006 (L to R): Michelle Yeoh; Michael Schumacher (GER) Ferrari and Willi Weber (GER) Agent at the Grand Prix Party.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Turkish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, 25 August 2006

The Turkish race weekend got off to a swinging start on Friday, with hip hop singer Missy Elliot the big hit of the Petrol Ofisi Grand Prix Party at the up-market waterside Reina club, together with actresses Estella Warren (star of the Sylvester Stallone racing movie ‘Driven’) and Carmen Electra. Click here for more pictures.

Once again, all of the drivers present were expressing their enthusiasm for the Istanbul Park track, which Bernie Ecclestone once described as “a circuit at last that sorts the men from the boys.” Turn 8 is very demanding and therefore very popular, but Michael Schumacher also said: “There are a lot of corners where you can’t see the apex until you are on it, and Turns 3, 4 and 5 as well are really technical. Last year we didn’t have a car that allowed us to enjoy ourselves. When you cannot place the car without it losing grip and sliding round it is no fun, but this year we have a car that goes where you point it, so that makes driving here very satisfactory.”

Saturday was certainly a satisfactory day for Formula One hopeful Nelson Piquet, who took pole position and victory over Lewis Hamilton in the GP2 race, to move to within six points of the Englishman with only three rounds left. Hamilton’s ART team-mate Alexandre Premat was third from Timo Glock, Luca di Grassi, Adam Carroll, Andreas Zuber and Piquet’s team-mate Xandi Negrao. They will start Sunday’s race in reverse order, with Negrao on pole.