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Friday, June 05, 2009
2009 Turkish Grand Prix - Race Circuit
Image: © 2009 Wheat Images

Turkish Grand Prix A Challenge To Overcome For Lewis Hamilton

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - This Sunday, June 7, 2009, is the Turkish Grand Prix, which will be run on the Istanbul Otodrom, a race circuit that was constructed in 2003, and designed by Herman Tilke. Vodafone McLaren Mercedes F1 driver, Lewis Hamilton, will be focusing hard to try and nail down a win in Istanbul against this season's very tough competition from the Brawn Mercedes Drivers of Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello. Thus far in 2009, the drivers rankings have Jenson Button in front (51 points), followed by teammate Rubens Barrichello (35 points), and in third place is Sebastian Vettel with 23 points. Last year's Formula 1 Champion, Lewis Hamilton, is currently in ninth place with 9 points.

For the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team, the challenge must be to wonder what the equal engine powered Brawn Mercedes team car has in its overall engineering that outweighs the 2008/2009 design work done on the McLaren MP4-24 F1 car. One of the differences may be in the supremacy of the KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) on the Brawn Mercedes F1 car,yet no team would ever reveal to the other what their advantages are. Against Button and Barrichello, Lewis Hamilton is obviously an equal challenger, but the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team need improve the 2009 MP4-24 to give a greater competitive advantage, so that Hamilton can perform at the same level as last season. MP4-24 may not be as good in the corners as the Brawn Mercedes, and also Brawn's KERS may be the other factor if you directly compare the way both cars ran against each other in the last race in Monaco.

The first ever F1 Turkish Grand Prix was held in 2005, and this race was won by Kimi Raikkonen in a McLaren Mercedes. Since 2006, the race has been the property of Felipe Massa, driving a Ferrari, who remarkably has won all three 2006, 2007, and 2008 Turkish Formula 1 Grand Prix's in succession. The fastest lap timed around the circuit was last year in 2008, when Kimi Raikkonen lapped the circuit in 1min26.506 seconds.

A complete lap of the Otodrom circuit is 5.338 km, and the race is a total  of 58 laps for a race distance of 309.396 kms. There are 6 right and 8 left corners on the circuit and the F1 drivers negotiate the Otodrom in an anti-clockwise direction, much like in Imola, Italy and Sao Paulo, Brazil. Last year, Lewis Hamilton finished second on the Istanbul circuit driving the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, and Felipe Massa came in first in his Ferrari.

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