Hamilton hoping for Turkish delight

PUBLISHED: 18:38 06 May 2008 | UPDATED: 21:22 26 October 2009

LEWIS Hamilton will be hoping to savour some Turkish delight come Sunday night. The Formula 1 season stops off in Istanbul this weekend for the Turkish Grand Prix. After getting his campaign back on track in Spain last time out with a third place finish a

LEWIS Hamilton will be hoping to savour some Turkish delight come Sunday night.

The Formula 1 season stops off in Istanbul this weekend for the Turkish Grand Prix.

After getting his campaign back on track in Spain last time out with a third place finish around the Circuit de Catalunya, Hamilton will be keen to challenge for another podium in Turkey.

The event takes place at the Istanbul Speed Park in the Tepeören-Tuzla area near Istanbul, on the Asian side of the Bosporus River.

Hamilton got his first F1 taste of the track last year, finishing fifth, and enjoys racing there.

"It is a fantastic circuit," said the 23-year-old from Tewin.

"It is quite demanding, particularly through turn eight, but it provides a good challenge.

"I always look forward to the race and hope to improve on last year's result."

The Turkish race was introduced to the sport in 2005, with the inaugural grand prix won by the McLaren team.

However, Hamilton's great rival Kimi Räikkönen was in the McLaren driver's seat that day and Ferrari have dominated in Turkey since, with Felipe Massa claiming successive victories.

Reigning world champion Räikkönen currently leads the title race by nine points from Hamilton after four rounds.

Following a solid result in Barcelona behind the red-hot Ferraris, Hamilton is keen to continue the progress the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team have made in this weekend's fifth grand prix of the series.

The Herts motor racer said: "Qualifying was surprisingly close in Spain, both at the front of the grid and in the midfield.

"Whilst there are clear chances to overtake at the Istanbul Speed Park, it is going to be vital to qualify well.

"The balance of the car felt good in Spain, and this is really key at Turkey because of the high speed corners.

"You need to have a stable balance to be quick through them, such as turn three."

Hamilton also hopes to have his McLaren team-mate Heikki Kovalainen line-up on the grid alongside him in Turkey.

The Finn suffered a high-speed crash in Spain, which saw him knocked unconscious after his car careered into the tyre barriers.

After spending time in hospital, he should be back in action this weekend.

Lewis said: "I hope to have Heikki alongside me for the race so we can get a good joint result for the team.

"I know he has a final check at the track on Thursday, so we will have to wait and see until then."

The Turkish Grand Prix takes place on Sunday.


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