Istanbul Park


Istanbul Park

Motorsport venue
Name = Istanbul Park | Location = Istanbul, Turkey
Time = UTC +2


Events = F1, MotoGP, GP2, DTM, 1000 km, GT, WTCC
Length_km = 5.34
Length_mi = 3.32
Turns = 14
Record_time = 1:24.770
Record_driver = flagicon|COL Juan Pablo Montoya
Record_team = McLaren-Mercedes
Record_year = 2005

Istanbul Park ( _tr. İstanbul Park), also known as the Istanbul Racing Circuit or initially "Istanbul Otodrom", is a motor sports race track in Akfırat County east of İstanbul, Turkey. It was inaugurated on August 21, 2005. It has been called "the best race track in the world" by Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/motorsport/formula_one/6583387.stm BBC Sport: Turkey to keep F1 race until 2021] ]

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 three circuits of the 2008 Formula One season that runs anti-clockwise, the others being Interlagos circuit (used for the Brazilian Grand Prix) and Singapore Street Circuit (used for Formula 1 Singtel Singapore Grand Prix ). The circuit is 5.338 km long, with an average width of 15 m ranging from 14 to 21.5 m, and covers over 2.215 million m². With a total of 16 corners, the sharpest with a radius of merely 15 m, the circuit runs over four different ground levels with a start/finish straight over 650 m in length. The total race distance of the Turkish Grand Prix is 309.356 km 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 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. [ [http://www.itv-f1.com/News_Article.aspx?PO_ID=33874 Trulli unmoved by Istanbul - www.itv-f1.com] ]

Major Motorsports Events

Formula 1

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.

2005

The winner of the inaugural Turkish Grand Prix was Kimi Räikkönen (McLaren-Mercedes), Fernando Alonso (Renault F1) came in second, followed by Juan Pablo Montoya (McLaren-Mercedes).

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

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 7 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 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.

2008

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.

GP2

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.

MotoGP

2005

The winner of the MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 16 was the Italian Marco Melandri (Team Movistar Honda MotoGP) with 41'44.139. Second was Valentino Rossi (Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha), also from Italy, and third was the American Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda Team).

2006

Marco Melandri from Fortuna Honda Team won once again despite his 14th starting position. The Australian Casey Stoner of Team Honda LCR became second before Nicky Hayden from Repsol Honda Team.

Other events

The circuit has also hosted FIA World Touring Car Championship, Formula-G, Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) and the Le Mans Series 1,000 km race.

Image gallery



References and notes

External links

* [http://www.trackpedia.com/wiki/Istanbul_Park Trackpedia's guide to racing and driving in Istanbul Park]
* [http://www.futbol.vg/istanbul-park-istanbul-racing-circuit-track-circuito-formula-one-f1/ Detailed information on the circuit, detailed map, videos on board, virtual and 3D views of the famous curves. Info in Spanish and English]
* [http://www.istanbulparkcircuit.com Istanbul Park website]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lk8p-uL6TDQ Formula 1 Party of 2006 in Reina, Istanbul]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRzOXHz4h1o Grand Prix Party in Sortie, Istanbul]
* [http://www.sonbaski.com/f1foto.html Photos of the F1 race at Istanbul Park]
* [http://www.formula1.com/races/in_detail/turkey_791/ Track info from official F1 site]
* [http://www.race-game.org/tracks/istanbul.htm Track info from race-game.org]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/motorsport/formula_one/circuit_guide/4756552.stm BBC circuit guide]
* [http://www.e-turkey.net/v/istanbul_istanbulpark/ Photos and info regarding Istanbul Park with some crash photos on the circuit]
* [http://www.geocities.com/ciroalbertopabon/Circuitos_eng.htm Ciro Pabón's Racetracks: 3D views and virtual laps of all F1 circuits, including this one (with an overlay to show the location of the track), via Google Earth]
* [http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=ballica,+turkey&sll=49.894634,-97.119141&sspn=42.630548,92.460938&ie=UTF8&ll=40.957199,29.409671&spn=0.014406,0.022659&t=k&z=16&iwloc=addr Google Maps location of Istanbul Park]
* [http://www.safarimotorspor.com Safari Motorsport]
* [http://www.istanbulracingweekend.com Istanbul Racing Weekend]
* [http://www.itv-f1.com/news_article.aspx?id=42639 Turkey dog incident under investigation]
* [http://watch.tsn.ca/auto-racing/clip51351#clip51351 TSN Track Walkthrough]


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