Turkish Grand Prix: Friday RecapOctober 8, 2021
Mick, Nikita and Guenther offer their thoughts following the first day on track at the Turkish Grand Prix at Intercity Istanbul Park.
Round 16 of the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship began with practice on Friday at Intercity Istanbul Park as teams prepared for Sunday’s Turkish Grand Prix.
Friday’s track action consisted of two 60-minute sessions – FP1 and FP2 – on the 5.338-kilometer (3.316-mile), 14-turn circuit.
FP1 commenced with Schumacher straight out on the Pirelli P Zero Yellow medium tires while Mazepin sampled the White hard compound to start. Both drivers banked a handful of wake-up laps before their respective VF-21s were kitted out with the Pirelli Reds for some baseline running – the soft tires delivering Schumacher a best lap of 1:26.363 (P19) and Mazepin a 1:27.019 (P20). High fuel stints concluded the session with Schumacher returning to his mediums and Mazepin on the hard set.
FP2 once again saw Schumacher and Mazepin split their tire strategy to start – the German sampling the hard rubber for the first time and the Russian debuting the medium compound. With the track rubbering in lap times dropped – Schumacher placing P19 setting a best lap of 1:25.480 on softs during his qualifying sim. Mazepin finished directly behind his teammate in P20 having clocked a best lap 1:25.698 on the soft tires. Friday’s circuit activities ended with high fuel runs through to the checkered flag.
Uralkali Haas F1 Team ran a total of 104 laps on Friday across FP1 and FP2 – 51 by Schumacher and 53 by Mazepin.
Nikita Mazepin, Driver No. 9, Uralkali Haas F1 Team
“It was very interesting because as a rookie and going into one of the very few tracks in Europe that I haven’t driven on, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. The feedback I received from other drivers and what you can read on social media is that it was incredibly difficult to drive. Ever since I got out there for the first time, I thought the grip was improved. The layout is quite special, it’s quite flowing so you need to get a rhythm, which I enjoyed, and I think it could make for a good race weekend.”
Mick Schumacher, Driver No. 47, Uralkali Haas F1 Team
“The increase in grip was there and the car felt good today. I think we were a lot closer to the pack than usual which is very promising, and I think for tomorrow we have a good idea of what we want and what we need. It’s very flowy, it’s a very nice track. I got the chance to drive it in the simulator and it definitely lived up to what I drove there so I’m very happy to be racing here this week. I’m going to be doing the rain dance soon.”
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Uralkali Haas F1 Team
“It was a productive day today in terms of both drivers getting lots of laps in at a track that’s completely new to them – I think we logged over 100 so that’s not bad for a Friday. Both sessions were drama free, which hasn’t always been the case this season, so that undoubtedly helped us just work consistently through our run plan. Obviously, it looks like the track has a little more grip this year, which is a plus, the downside being I believe we’ve got rain on the forecast for the weekend – so we’ll see how that plays out. I’d say it’s been a positive and busy day from our side.”
Event: Free Practice 1 & 2 for the Turkish Grand Prix – Friday October 8
Location: Intercity Istanbul Park, Istanbul
Layout: 5.338-kilometer (3.316-mile), 14-turn circuit
FP1 & FP2 Weather: Partly Cloudy
Drivers: Nikita Mazepin & Mick Schumacher
Free Practice No. 1 Rundown
Schumacher: 19th overall (1:26.636), 25 laps completed
Mazepin: 20th overall (1:27.019), 28 laps completed
Fastest Driver: Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes (1:24.178)
Most Laps: Esteban Ocon of Alpine – 30 laps
Free Practice No. 2 Rundown
Schumacher: 19th overall (1:25.480), 26 laps completed
Mazepin: 20th overall (1:25.698), 25 laps completed
Fastest Driver: Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes (1:23.804)
Most Laps: Carlos Sainz of Scuderia Ferrari – 34 laps