To pad or not to pad, that is the Turn 8 question

Michelle Foster


Preparing for the high G-forces at the Istanbul Park, Max Verstappen says his dad will laugh if he uses padding while Daniel Ricciardo hopes his own confidence doesn’t “bite” him.

Formula 1 returns to Turkey this weekend after a nine-year absence.

For some of the drivers it is a brand new circuit but for those who have already put in the laps around here, it is a much-loved one.

But one that comes with its own trials.

One of those is the G-forces generated around the Istanbul Park especially Turn 8 where they peak at 5Gs.

That puts quite the strain on the drivers’ necks as they go through that corner 58 times on the Sunday alone.

So the big question is will they be using padding to help with support.

Verstappen won’t be after his father Jos laughed at him years back. In fact he rather his “head falls off”.

Verstappen replied: “I remember my very first F3 test I did, after one day I couldn’t hold my neck straight and then I had to put the padding in,.

“My dad was laughing at me because I was using that, and since that day, I refuse to put padding next to my head.

“I’d prefer that my head falls off then I’m running with padding! So it will be the same also this weekend.”

Daniel Ricciardo is also going with the no padding option, one he hopes won’t come back to “bite” him.

“My engineer asked me the same question, I laughed him off, so we’ll see if my confidence bites me,” said the Renault driver.

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Esteban Ocon is another who’d like to at least start the weekend without padding.

“Turn 8 is going to be quite a challenge. It’s probably going to kill the neck on the left side,” he said.

“My engineer asked me if I wanted padding, so I’m going for no padding, so let’s try.”

Others, though, aren’t quite so bullish.

Asked the same question while Verstappen was sitting next to him, Alexander Albon replied: “I prefer that my head doesn’t fall off. I tend to use more padding than you [Verstappen] do.”

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