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Intercity Istanbul Park []

(aka) Istanbul Racing Circuit/ Istanbul Otodrom/Istanbul Park is a motor sports race track in east of IstanbulTurkey. It was designed by Hermann Tilke. It was inaugurated on 21 August 2005. It has been called "the best race track in the world" by (former) Formula One Chief Executive Bernie Ecclestone.


The venue of the Turkish Grand Prix is located on the Asian side of Istanbul. It is adjacent to one of the two airports in Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport and is surrounded by forests and fields.

The Istanbul Park racing circuit was one of only five circuits running anticlockwise in the 2011 Formula One season. The circuit is 5.338 km (3.317 mi) long, with an average width of 15 m (49 ft) ranging from 14 to 21.5 m (46 to 71 ft), and covers over 2.215 million square metres (547 acres).

With a total of 14 corners, the sharpest with a radius of merely 15 m (49 ft), the circuit runs over four different ground levels with a start/finish straight over 650 m (2,133 ft) in length. The total race distance of the Turkish Grand Prix is 309.356 km (192.225 mi) over 58 laps.

The track has capacity for approximately 125,000 spectators. The main grandstand has a seating capacity of 25,000 spectators, with natural ground stands and temporary stands allowing for around 100,000 more people. The paddock buildings are two-level structures; the ground floor reserved for racing teams, the upper floor serving as hospitality areas, with an additional viewing capacity of 5,000 seats. At each end of the paddock, there are two 7-story VIP towers.


Turn 8 (nicknamed "Diabolica" by some in reference to Monza's Curva Parabolica) particularly caught the imagination.

Turn 8.jpg

The corner is a fast, sweeping corner with four apexes, similar to one of the multi-apex sections of the old Nürburgring. Spectators and drivers alike raved about Turn 8, comparing it to legendary corners such as Eau Rouge and 130R. The circuit itself has already been compared to Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.

Another notable corner is Turn 1, a sharp downhill left-hander immediately after the front straight. This corner has been nicknamed by some as the "Turkish Corkscrew" in reference to the famous Corkscrew at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Both the 2006 F1 and MotoGP races at the circuit featured multiple incidents at this corner. A third noteworthy area is the uphill kink in the middle of the back straight; due to its similarity to Eau Rouge, it has been jokingly referred to as "Faux Rouge". 

Felipe Massa 2013.jpg

Felipe Massa has an affinity with this circuit, with the Brazilian winning three of the seven Grands Prix held at Istanbul Park.

Formula 1 Races (2005-2011)[]

The fastest race lap was achieved by Juan Pablo Montoya in 1'24.770, a time which is yet to be surpassed.

  • 2006: The 2006 Turkish Grand Prix was won by Felipe Massa (Ferrari), who led from start to finish, Fernando Alonso (Renault F1) came in second and seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher in third.

The fastest race lap was achieved by Michael Schumacher in 1'28.005.

  • 2007: The winner of the 2007 Turkish Grand Prix was the Brazilian Felipe Massa (Ferrari), who won the race for the second year in a row. 

The fastest race lap was achieved by Kimi Räikkönen in 1'27.295.

  • 2008: The winner was the Brazilian Felipe Massa (Ferrari), who won the race for the third year in a row, also starting in pole position.

The fastest race lap was achieved by Kimi Räikkönen in 1'26.506.

The fastest race lap was achieved by eventual winner, Jenson Button with a 1'27.579.

    The race featured the greatest recorded number of pit stops          and overtaking manoeuvres in a dry race in F1 history.

Last Turkish Grand Prix (2011)[]

The first Grand Prix of Turkey took place in 2005. Due to financial disagreement, the last Turkish Grand Prix took place in 2011, despite earlier agreements concerning Istanbul Park. 

Return in 2020[]

On 25 August 2020, it was announced that Istanbul Park would return for the 2020 Formula One World Championship, after a nine year absence.


Amidst a series of calendar changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, on 25 August 2020 it was confirmed that a race would be held at Istanbul Park for the 2020 Formula One season. The Grand Prix weekend will take place between 13-15 November 2020, with the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix due to take place on 15 November 2020.  

With four more races added to the 2020 season last minute, the Turkish Grand Prix will be run just before a back-to-back double header in Bahrain, with the Bahrain Grand Prix on November 29 followed by the Sakhir Grand Prix on December 6. The season will conclude with Abu Dhabi Grand Prix which will take place at the Yas Marina Circuit on December 13.

According to the latest announcement, the grand prix is set to accept viewers and tickets will soon be on sale, of course this being in line with Covid-19 precautions and in the event of an increase in case numbers, this decision will be annulled.

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