Jenson Button’s miserable season hasn’t given him much to smile about, so it’s little wonder that he’s hoping for some fun at one of his favourite circuits.
Top-six finishes in each of the last two years are undoubtedly part of the attraction, but the Istanbul Park circuit itself is one of the most popular among drivers.
He said: “The track layout is excellent with a challenging combination of long straights, tight hairpins and the very high-speed turn eight. The changes in elevation also contribute to making it a fun circuit for the drivers.
“There are some really good overtaking opportunities at turn one and turn three where I gained a place in the race last year. You also have a chance at passing into turns nine and twelve.
“To get a really quick lap around this circuit, you really need to consciously push hard all the way round and use the track’s camber to your full advantage.”
The team is still smarting from being beaten by Spyker at the Hungarian Grand Prix, but hopes to have turned a corner technically. Honda senior technical director Shuhei Nakamoto said the team had spent the break trying to work out what had gone wrong at Hungary and how to fix it.
“Everyone at the team was very disappointed with our performance at the Hungaroring and we are making all possible efforts to improve our current situation. The next race in Turkey is a circuit which should be more suited to our car and we expect to be able to fight more effectively in the midfield.”
Button shares the mix of cautious optimism and stark realism: “I have had a couple of great races here in the last two years to finish in the top six, and whilst our performance isn’t quite there this year, I am expecting an improvement from the last race.”