Talking Turkey

We like the Turkish Grand Prix, mainly because of that massive, triple-apex Turn Eight. Watching drivers pin it through there from the onboard camera is an adrenalin rush just sitting on the sofa. Imagine how it feels when your brain’s being forced out of your right ear-hole by the G-force…

Even without Turn Eight, Turkey’s anti-clockwise track – one of only three this season, along with Abu Dhabi and Brazil – is testing enough on drivers for that reason alone: turning left.

“The G-force involved going round the corners of this track makes a driver’s head weigh around five times its normal weight,” says BBC Sport’s Sarah Holt.

“The drivers have revealed that one way of coping with the extreme pressures is to have a block wedged into the cockpit to rest their heads on when going through the left-handed corners.”

It’s a syndrome that Top Gear affectionately refers to as ‘Turkey Neck’.

Dealing the best with Turkey Neck during second practice today was McLaren’s Heikki Kovalainen, topping a practice time sheet at the end of the day for the first time this season.

Other improving performers were Renault’s Fernando Alonso in second spot, BMW’s Robert Kubica in third, and Kazuki Nakajima, who put his Williams fourth, ahead of teammate Nico Rosberg for the first time this year.

Rosberg did manage to top first practice, though, just ahead of Lewis Hamilton, who dragged his McLaren up to second place this morning but could do no better than 13th in the second session. He managed to squeeze a few spins/off-track excursions in too.

The Brawns of Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button were off the pace – eighth and 12th respectively – but they always seem to take longer to get on it than the other teams during a weekend.

So don’t be surprised if Button’s on pole come tomorrow afternoon. He’s getting good at pulling it out of the bag.

It’s nice to talk about something other than all that ‘which teams will be in F1 2010?’ hooha isn’t it?

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