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For the first time since 2011, Istanbul Park plays host to the Turkish Grand Prix.

Having made its debut in 2005, the Turkish Grand Prix remained a fan favourite due to its great overtaking opportunities and infamous high-speed triple left-hander - Turn 8.

With four races remaining in 2020, Lewis Hamilton is within touching distance of winning his seventh drivers' title.

 

 

Hamilton sits 85 points clear of Bottas in the drivers’ championship following his win last time out at Imola, where Mercedes secured a record-breaking seventh consecutive constructors' championship in a row.

With only 104 points left on the table, Bottas must outscore Hamilton by at least eight points to ensure it goes to the next round in Bahrain.

Bottas has only outscored Hamilton by eight points or more on just two occasions this season - the season-opener in Austria and the Russian Grand Prix.

What to expect from this weekend?

Only Hamilton, Sebastian VettelKimi Raikkonen and Sergio Perez have previously raced in Turkey in F1.

Like at Portimao, Istanbul Park has had a new tarmac laid ahead of its return to the F1 calendar meaning expect practice to be very tricky in terms of grip levels.

Pirelli has nominated the C1, C2 and C3 tyres for this weekend - the three hardest tyre compounds available in its range for 2020.

Mario Isola, Pirelli's head of F1 said: “Turkey is yet another new venue on this fascinating 2020 Formula 1 calendar, and although it’s a place that we’ve been to before, to all intents and purposes we can consider it as a brand new circuit for us: especially as we don’t have experience of the new asphalt. For tyres, we expect Turkey to be a challenge in terms of energy loads, which is why we have shifted the allocations towards the harder compounds – just as we did in Portimao, even though the new asphalt might be less severe than we were expecting. 

“As has often been the case this year, the information gathered in free practice will be absolutely crucial, in terms of assessing not only degradation but especially wear on such a demanding layout. Of course, no mention of Istanbul Park would be complete without talking about Turn 8: which this year will probably be taken flat-out by the latest generation of high-downforce Formula 1 cars, increasing the loads on the tyres accordingly. It’s not going to be an easy race for them, so finding the right level of tyre management will be critical.”

 

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