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'White Bulls' to stop rot as Bottas searches for solace - What to expect at the Turkish GP

'White Bulls' to stop rot as Bottas searches for solace - What to expect at the Turkish GP

F1 News

'White Bulls' to stop rot as Bottas searches for solace - What to expect at the Turkish GP

'White Bulls' to stop rot as Bottas searches for solace - What to expect at the Turkish GP

F1 returns to Turkey for round 16 of this year's championship and with both titles in the balance.

The Istanbul Park venue where Lewis Hamilton clinched his record-equalling seventh F1 crown last season plays host to a more open battle this year as just two points separate the Briton and Max Verstappen.

Lando Norris and McLaren will surely be spurred on by their heartbreak in Russia, with their hopes of stretching their advantage in the 'fight for third' in the constructors' standings aided by Carlos Sainz starting at the back of the grid for rivals Ferrari.

Ahead of what promises to be another thriller at the venue, here are five things to expect this weekend.

Red Bull to get back on top

It hasn't been an incredible run of races for Red Bull. Of course, Max Verstappen took two wins in a row in Belgium and the Netherlands, yet Red Bull has been outscored by Mercedes by almost twice as many points since the British Grand Prix in July.

Only at the Belgian GP, where half points were awarded, has Red Bull outscored Mercedes.

There is still the feeling the RB16B is fundamentally better than the Mercedes W12 considering the ease of victories in the run from Monaco to Austria where five in a row were amassed.

There is also an extra incentive for the team this weekend as a special white livery paying tribute to Honda will adorn the car.

The design was intended to be used at the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend but with the schedule switch, Red Bull has gone ahead with its planned change anyway.

The gap between Mercedes and Red Bull stands at 33 points, with the latter now needing to start biting into the deficit before it is too late.

Norris to be fuelled by Russian disappointment

If you are a proper F1 fanatic there will be a part of you that still hurts for Norris after his maiden victory was cruelly taken away in the rain chaos at Russia.

The British driver must fuel the rest of his season with the disappointment rather than it festering into frustration.

There are plenty of examples in F1 history of such dejection being channelled into success, never more so than eventual Russian GP victor Lewis Hamilton and his bounceback from losing the 2007 championship to clinching his first title triumph a year later.

The McLaren is, at very least, a very good car and should go well in Turkey. A podium this weekend would be a welcome boost to Norris' confidence given the events of two weeks ago.

Bottas seeking Turkish redemption

Sunday at last year's Turkish GP was arguably Valtteri Bottas' most difficult day in his F1 career.

Needing a miracle result to extend the championship fight with team-mate Hamilton, he endured six spins during a miserable grand prix that has set the mood for the next 12 months or so at Mercedes.

With his time with the Silver Arrows coming to an end, a superb performance in Italy proved the Finn still possesses the raw speed to fight at the front, and despite conditions conspiring against him after a flying Friday in Russia, there is plenty to suggest Bottas should be able to make up for last year's difficulties.

With Hamilton and Verstappen in such a tight tussle, Bottas has to aim for second place if his team-mate is leading. At the very least, he has to be ahead of Sergio Perez. That, as far as Toto Wolff will be concerned, will be a success.

Gasly to put recent pain behind him

One of the standout performers of the season so far, Pierre Gasly has endured a troubled few races.

The Frenchman crashed out of the sprint at Monza before retiring early on, with another no-score following in Russia.

A six-point deficit to Alpine in the race for fifth in the constructors' title has widened to 19 points and with its own tribute to Honda adorning the AlphaTauri this weekend, now is as good a time as any to rediscover form.

The track should suit the AT-02, with plenty of high-speed sections to utilise the power of the Honda, but qualifying in the congested midfield may prove to be the key to a successful weekend. Gasly could find himself back in the top six.

No more ice rinks for F1 cars

Last year's event will go down in history as one of the most chaotic with next to no track grip.

The track was resurfaced just weeks before the race and with oils being released from the unweathered Tarmac, coupled with wet conditions, drivers referred to Istanbul Park as an ice rink.

It provided an incredible weekend of action, with Lance Stroll taking a stunning pole position before a topsy-turvy race saw Hamilton emerge victorious, but there will be none of the same this year.

The track has been "water blasted" to roughen the surface, increasing grip.

That means that this year we should be able to admire the world-famous, quadruple-apexed turn eight in all its glory. Bliss!

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