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F1 | In order to avoid grip problems, Masi says "the entire track surface" of Istanbul Park "has been treated"

As Istanbul Park reappears to complete the F1 calendar in 2021 as it did in 2020, the FIA assures the track's been worked on to make sure last year's problem with asphalt doesn't happen again.

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F1 | In order to avoid grip problems, Masi says "the entire track surface" of Istanbul Park "has been treated"
Fuente imagen: F1.com

As Istanbul Park was resurfaced almost by an emergency call in order to compete on the 2020 F1 calendar, drivers’ complaints about tyre’s grip and temperature were a usual ingredient, and that, added to the rain poured that weekend, made of the Turkish GP an exciting race for the fans after the event’s comeback to the category since 2011.

On his traditional race column at that time last year, Ross Brawn explained the matter himself: "it was a consequence of the late decision to race there as the calendar was revised to respond to COVID-19.”

"I think drivers sometimes need to remember it's a competition of who crosses the line first, so while grip levels weren't high, it was the same for everyone.”

"Some drivers got their head down and came to terms with it, others found it a distraction.”

"Having a challenging surface as we had this weekend was no bad thing. It showed a driver's talent to the max. I don't think grip levels are a measure of the level of competition you will have."

But despite all this, for 2021’s event as Turkey gets into the calendar again by an emergency call, race director Michael Masi said the organization does not want a recurrence of last year and, altogether with Pirelli’s change from the hardest compound to one softer for the competition in Turkey, the FIA worked on the track surface to make sure grip on the tyres are not the reason the race is memorable.

"The entire track surface has been treated to increase the grip level." said Masi, according to motorsport.com. We do regularly each season send updates to the teams about any circuit changes for upcoming events, be they be barriers, fences, gates, whatever. It may be areas of resurfacing.”

"So yes, the surface in Turkey has been effectively water-blasted, would probably be the best way to put it, which is a regular treatment that happens.”

"We have seen that regularly used in Singapore as an example, where the public roads that are used they resurface those quite regularly because of the movement. That is what has happened there, along with a few other changes."

About the 2020 race, Masi concluded: "I think we said that at the time. It was just literally a matter of timing, and they have rectified that accordingly." 

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