Turkish GP Qualifying Weather Forecast: Damp Afternoon at Istanbul Park Amidst Appalling Overnight Rains?

Published 10/09/2021, 2:44 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Intercity Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey – October 8, 2021 General view during practice REUTERS/Umit Bektas


The 2021 Turkish GP started off with a rather pleasant couple of practice sessions on Friday, with the sun beating down on the track amidst puffy clouds all around. However, conditions turned a bit haywire heading into Friday night, as heavy rains showed up.

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Rains were bucketing down through the night at Istanbul Park and only managed to slow down early in the morning. And as of 8:30 AM in Istanbul, rain has come to a complete halt. However, the only question that remains is, will this tricky weather condition extend into the afternoon’s qualifying session?

Well, here’s what we think!

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Weather forecast for F1 qualifying

Rains will likely pick up in the morning, but most of the weather models suggest that the rain gods will show some mercy heading deeper into the day. And by the time we arrive in the afternoon, rain shouldn’t be a factor to worry about. Hence, a dry, or maybe, in the worst case, a damp track for qualifying.

But, that doesn’t necessarily mean drivers will have an easy session in Istanbul. Similar to Friday’s FP2, qualifying, too, will witness extremely windy conditions, with gusts up to 38 km/hr.

It is going to be an absolutely spin-filled afternoon on Saturday. And the fact that Istanbul Park is a rather high-speed circuit, each spin will make sure that the tires get the utmost beating.

Nikita Mazepin being the primary example. The Russian had a spin around turn 8 in FP2, which initially seemed quite normal. However, in the end, both his front tires were shredded into pieces.

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Lack of grip a concern at the Turkish GP?

Indeed! During FP1, the commentators affirmed that the smell of the tarmac was still fresh, meaning the track was still green and could be quite hard for the drivers to keep their cars under check. Yes, the track doesn’t seem as bad as it was in 2020.

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Nevertheless, the overnight rains would have washed away the rubber. And if it is a wet final practice session, the track will remain grip-less heading into qualifying.

Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Intercity Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey – October 8, 2021 Alpine’s Fernando Alonso in action during practice REUTERS/Murad Sezer

This would mean track evolution will be a huge factor to consider. Hence, the drivers will potentially try to post their lap times as late as possible over each part of qualifying. A repeat of the 2019 Monza qualifying? Maybe!

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Bottom line, a major uncertainty hovering over who is going to grab the pole position. Track conditions are certainly going to encourage the mid-field drivers to have a go. So, an exciting qualifying session in the offing!

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Rohit Kumar

1266 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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