Hamilton tames terrors of Istanbul's Turn 8

The drivers might only negotiate it for seven seconds, but at speeds between 153mph and 170mph they have to thread a needle that takes them through three apexes and more than 180 degrees, with forces greater than 3G.

Small wonder, then, that they all consider the Istanbul Park "Otodrom" circuit's great challenge to be the notorious Turn 8.

This is where downforce really counts, where you need as much down-load as you can get to stick your car to the road for maximum grip and cornering speed. But it's also where the bravery and commitment of a top-line driver can make up for deficiencies in his car – provided it keeps up its level of grip.

When it lets go, as Felipe Massa found out yesterday, you can either run wide on to the generous run-off area or slide sideways at 150mph and wear your tyres right through to the canvas.

Or, as Adrian Sutil discovered in the morning when he lost control of his Force India there, you can simply spear off head-first into the tyre wall. The corner has endless ways to discomfort you.

Lewis Hamilton loves the corner, and has always been very quick through it. So quick, in fact, that in 2007 he wore through his McLaren's right front tyre after overloading it by pushing too hard through there.

"You can't really follow another guy through Turn 8," he says. "That's very hard. They will have better downforce because they're running in the clean air. But if they make a mistake and you can get on the power earlier, then you can outdrag them as you finally exit the corner at 167mph again and build up to 300 on the run down to turn nine. Getting out of that final bit cleanly, really, is the key to lap time."

But with the nonchalance of a Formula One master, he then adds: "Once you've got your way to do it, frankly, Turn 8's not the hardest corner in the world."

The Turkish track is the brainchild of Hermann Tilke, the architect behind other Formula One tracks such as Sepang in Malaysia, Shanghai in China, Sakhir in Bahrain, Singapore and Abu Dhabi.

While some have criticised Formula One races for being boring in 2010 because of the lack of overtaking, the finger has also been pointed at Tilke for making the tracks too homogenised and therefore boring. Turkey is one of his better efforts, however, and though Turn 8 is not as great as Eau Rouge at Spa-Francorchamps or 130R at Suzuka, it is nevertheless one of the better corners in Formula One today.

Tilke will also be responsible for designing the new track in Austin, Texas, where Bernie Ecclestone assured everyone yesterday the US GP will take place from 2012 onwards.

The sport has historically struggled in the United States since the heyday of Watkins Glen in the Eighties, and Texas is its last chance. Tilke has to take the most challenging aspects from his best designs and create something very special there.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies