Formula 1 teams could opt for some "alternative" strategies in next week's Turkish Grand Prix because of the expected high levels of tire degradation, according to Sauber technical director James Key. He reckons that the challenging Istanbul circuit – which includes the punishing Turn 8 – will make tire management critical to the race.
"It will be another interesting event for the tires, because the famous Turn 8 is one of the high-speed corners of the year with the highest loading of the tires," he explained. "Although we have seen some high-speed corners at the last two events, I think this is by far another step beyond that.
"It will be interesting to see how well the tires cope with that in terms of wear and degradation. This could result in some alternative strategies in the race, but we will not know until we get there...tire management could be the key to the weekend of the Turkish Grand Prix."
Sauber plans to evaluate some new developments to its car in Friday practice in Istanbul, but these are aimed for introduction later in the season rather than straightaway. Kamui Kobayashi reckons that it is hard to predict just how tough tire management is going to be before the teams do some running.
"Regarding tire management, I find it difficult to predict how the situation will develop," said the Japanese driver. "The grip level at this circuit is normally very low, which means the cars tend to slide a lot. I believe it will be crucial to save the front tires in particular so the wear is as low as possible."