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Drivers impressed by new track 19 Aug 2005

The start finish straight.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Turkish Grand Prix, Preparations, Istanbul Park, Turkey, 17 August 2005 Jenson Button (GBR) BAR on a moped.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Turkish Grand Prix, Preparations, Istanbul Park, Turkey, 18 August 2005 Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Turkish Grand Prix, Preparations, Istanbul Park, Turkey, 18 August 2005 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Turkish Grand Prix, Preparations, Istanbul Park, Turkey, 18 August 2005 Main grandstand.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Turkish Grand Prix, Preparations, Istanbul Park, Turkey, 18 August 2005

Before a race car had turned a wheel here, already Hermann Tilke’s Istanbul Park had proved a big hit with the drivers thanks to the varied character of its format.

“I’m impressed with the circuit, not only the facilities here in the paddock I also think the track is a little bit different compared to all the new circuits we have seen the in last three or four years, Bahrain or China,” series leader Fernando Alonso said. “I think to go up and down is the most interesting thing from a driver’s point of view because we really enjoy the lap, like Spa or some of the other circuits.”

“I was really impressed,” thought new Ferrari signing Felipe Massa, after borrowing Christian Klien’s supermoto bike and doing a lap. “I think it is a very complete circuit, you can find everything: quick corners, slow corners, change of directions, heavy braking and everything. I think we can see some overtaking in the race, so I think it is a fantastic circuit, just looking like that. Tomorrow we will have some better idea, but I was really impressed and I think they did a really good job.”

Rubens Barrichello, officially confirmed this week as leaving Ferrari for BAR next year, agreed: “Since I came into the track I saw great facilities. It is difficult to know the circuit before we actually get to see the grip level because it is so wide you can take so many lines into the corners, so it is going to be good to get going tomorrow. I walked it; I haven’t done the last bit, but up to there is was quite nice. I have a feeling that the first corner is going to be one where you always tell yourself you can brake later and later because the braking point is still quite plain and then it starts to go down and there will be times when you will just overdo it and there are times when you will tell yourself you could have done more. So it is quite interesting because you don’t see the turning point of the corner and I think there are some facilities to overtake as well.”

As far as the racing is concerned Alonso admitted that he was disappointed not to add to his points score in Hungary, where his game plan after the first-lap brush with Ralf Schumacher was to do enough to get a decent qualifying start position here. “I think it is good that nobody knows this circuit. Normally we are quick on the hot tracks. We saw that in Malaysia and Bahrain. I think all these new types of circuit, with high temperatures, is not bad news for our car so I’m really confident to have a good race here. The qualifying position will not be great for me and Giancarlo, but I also think Rubens and Juan Pablo will not be in a much different position compared to us, so we have to be really concentrated this weekend. We need a good result.”