|Active from||2005 - present|
|Major events|| FIA Formula One|
Turkish Grand Prix
GP2, DTM, 1000 km
|Length||3.317 mi (5.338 km)|
|Lap record||1:24.770 (COL Juan Pablo Montoya, McLaren-Mercedes, 2005, class)|
Istanbul Park (Turkish: İstanbul Park), also known as the Istanbul Racing Circuit or initially Istanbul Otodrom, is a motor sports race track in Akfırat County east of Istanbul, Turkey. It was inaugurated on 21 August 2005. It has been called "the best race track in the world" by Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone.
The venue of the Turkish Grand Prix is located in Pendik on the Asian side of Istanbul, close to the junction of Kurtköy on the north side of the TEM motorway, linking Istanbul to Ankara. It is adjacent to the newly constructed Sabiha Gökçen International Airport and is surrounded by forests and fields.
The Istanbul Park racing circuit is one of only five circuits of the 2010 Formula One season that runs anticlockwise, the others being Interlagos circuit (used for the Brazilian Grand Prix), the Singapore Street Circuit (used for Singapore Grand Prix), the Korean International Circuit (used for Korean Grand Prix) and the Yas Marina Circuit (used for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix). 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 70.5 ft), and covers over 2.215 million m². With a total of 16 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 main grandstand has a seating capacity of 25,000 spectators. In addition, natural ground stands and temporary stands can provide a total capacity of over 155,000. 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.
The circuit and its facilities were designed by the well-known racetrack architect Hermann Tilke, who said he designed the track to try to catch the drivers out. The inaugural Turkish Grand Prix certainly caught the drivers out, with many drivers spinning off throughout the weekend.
Turn 8 (nicknamed "Diabolica" by some in reference to Monza's Curva Parabolica) particularly caught the imagination. 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 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."
The circuit is not, however, without its critics. After qualifying, Jenson Button claimed that the track was getting bumpier as the weekend went on, particularly at Turn 8, which was what caused so many drivers to spin off. This harks back to another circuit designed by Hermann Tilke, Shanghai International Circuit, which is said to be sinking in places because it was built on the site of a former swamp. Jarno Trulli was notable for his lukewarm feeling towards the circuit, saying that he felt the circuit was easy to learn, and that good performance was down more to the car than the driver.
Major Motorsports EventsEdit
Formula One Edit
Top speed at the speed trap in 2005 was 329.5 km/h (204.8 mph) by modern F1 cars. In 2006 with the smaller 2.4 liter V8 engines (instead of the 3.0 liter V10s of previous years) the fastest cars reached 320 km/h, this is not down to power, however, the tyres were a major let down for all participating teams in the 2006 venue.
Felipe Massa has an affinity with this circuit, with the Brazilian winning 3 of the 6 Grands Prix held at Istanbul Park.
- Main article: 2005 Turkish Grand Prix
The fastest race lap was achieved by Juan Pablo Montoya in 1'24.770, a time which is yet to be surpassed.
- Main article: 2006 Turkish Grand Prix
The fastest race lap was achieved by Michael Schumacher in 1'28.005.
- Main article: 2007 Turkish Grand Prix
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 having qualified in pole position. During the press conference following the race, he commented that "the Istanbul Park was the track where he made his career turn-around, and finally began winning races." He also praised the track as well as the city.
The fastest race lap was achieved by Kimi Räikkönen in 1'27.295.
- Main article: 2008 Turkish Grand Prix
The winner of the 2008 Turkish Grand Prix 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.
- Main article: 2009 Turkish Grand Prix
The fastest race lap was achieved by eventual winner, Jenson Button with a 1'27.579.
- Main article: 2010 Turkish Grand Prix
The winner was Britain's Lewis Hamilton of McLaren, with teammate and countryman Jenson Button in second and Australian Mark Webber of Red Bull Racing in third. Webber had led much of the race, before he was deliberately spun off by teammate Sebastian Vettel.
In 2006 the winner of the GP2 race was Nelson Piquet Jnr, however the real battle was with Lewis Hamilton who, at the beginning of the race, spun off and dropped right down the field from 2nd to 16th. However he raced his way back through the pack with some spectacular overtaking moves to finish in second.
- Main article: 2009 Turkish GP2 Race
15 racers completed the race while 11 drivers were not classified. The winner was Russian Vitaly Petrov of Barwa Addax, who stepped up so to second place in the championship table with 29 points ahead of Jérôme d'Ambrosio having 18 points. Petrov's teammate Romain Grosjean, who retired from the race, leads the championship with 31 points. The Italians Luca Filippi of Super Nova Racing and Davide Valsecchi of Durango finished 2nd and 3rd.
- Istanbul Park homepage
- Instanbul Park on Trackpedia
- Photos of the F1 race at Istanbul Park
- Track info from the official Formula1 website
- ↑ BBC Sport: Turkey to keep F1 race until 2021
- ↑ Trulli unmoved by Istanbul - www.itv-f1.com
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Tilke GmbH: Istanbul Park
- ↑ "GP2 News". Paddock Talk. 2009-06-07. http://paddocktalk.com/news/html/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=111242&newlang=&topic=36&catid=73. Retrieved 2009-06-07.
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|This page uses some content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Istanbul Park. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Autopedia, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.|