Istanbul Park

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Coordinates: 40°57′6″N 29°24′18″E / 40.95167°N 29.40500°E / 40.95167; 29.40500

Istanbul Park
Istanbulpark.png
Official logo of the Istanbul Park.
Location Istanbul, Turkey
Time zone UTC+2
Major events Formula One (Turkish Grand Prix)
FIA World Touring Car Championship
Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters
GP2 Series
Le Mans Series
MotoGP
FIA World RX of Turkey
Istanbul park.svg
Length 5.338 km (3.317 mi)
Turns 14
Lap record 1:24.770 (Juan Pablo Montoya, McLaren-Mercedes, 2005)
Aerial view of Istanbul Park

Istanbul Park (Turkish: İstanbul Park), also known as the Istanbul Racing Circuit, or initially as the Istanbul Otodrom, is a 155,000 capacity motor sports race track in Akfırat village 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.[1]

Description[edit]

The venue of the Turkish Grand Prix is located in crossing of boundaries of Pendik and Tuzla districts on the Asian side of Istanbul, close to the junction of Kurtköy on the north side of the Otoyol 4, 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 was one of only five circuits running anticlockwise in the 2011 Formula One season, the others being Autódromo José Carlos Pace (used for the Brazilian Grand Prix), the Marina Bay Street Circuit (used for the Singapore Grand Prix), the Korea International Circuit (used for the 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 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 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 has rapidly become the most famous corner of the track.

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 Mazda 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".

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.[2]

Features[edit]

Designer: Hermann Tilke[3]
Capacity: 26,250 permanent covered seats, 125,000 temporary seats[3]
Building area: 220 hectares (540 acres)[3]
Race track area: 8 hectares (20 acres)[3]

Major motorsports events[edit]

A view of the start-finish line.
A view of the main grandstand.
A view of the pit lane.
A view of the pit lane exit.

Formula One[edit]

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. Top speed at the speed trap in 2005 was 329.5 km/h (204.8 mph) by F1 cars. In 2006 with the smaller 2.4-litre V8 engines (instead of the 3.0-litre V10s of previous years) the fastest cars reached 320 km/h (200 mph).

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

2005[edit]

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 is yet to be surpassed.

2006[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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.

2009[edit]

The winner was the British Jenson Button of Brawn GP, with Australian Mark Webber and Germany's Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull Racing completing the podium.

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

2010[edit]

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.

2011[edit]

Sebastian Vettel won the 2011 event for Red Bull Racing, ahead of team-mate Mark Webber and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso. The race featured the greatest recorded number of pit stops and overtaking manoeuvres in a dry race in F1 history.

GP2[edit]

In 2006, the winner of the GP2 race was Nelson Piquet, Jr., 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.

2009[edit]

Main article: 2009 Turkish GP2 Race

Fifteen racers completed the race while eleven 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 second and third.

Fastest lap time: Karun Chandhok  India, Ocean Racing Technology – 1:36.679 on lap 14[4]

MotoGP[edit]

2005[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

From 2005 to 2007, the circuit hosted the FIA World Touring Car Championship (2005 and 2006), Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (2005), Le Mans Series (2005 and 2006), as well as the International GT Open, Formula-G and the World Series by Renault

The first leg of the 2012 FIA European Truck Racing Championship was held on 13 May 2012 at Istanbul Park.[5] The Superbike World Championship raced at the track in 2013. The FIA World Rallycross Championship will race at Istanbul Park in 2014.

Record lap times[edit]

Category Time Driver Car Date
F1 1:24.770 Juan Pablo Montoya McLaren-Mercedes 2005 Turkish Grand Prix
GP2 1:34.398 Romain Grosjean DAMS 2011 Istanbul Park GP2 Series round
LMP1 1:39.359 Emmanuel Collard/Jean-Christophe Boullion Pescarolo C60 Hybrid-Judd 2005 1000 km of Istanbul
Renault 1:39.530 Pastor Maldonado Draco 2006 Formula Renault 3.5 Series season
LMP2 1:42.336 Thomas Erdos MG-Lola EX264 2006 1000 km of Istanbul
GP3 1:45.391 Tom Dillmann Carlin 2011 Istanbul Park GP2 Series round
DTM 1:47.101 Gary Paffett Mercedes C-Class 2005 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters season
FIA GT1 1:49.611 Jean-Denis Délétraz/Andrea Piccini Ferrari 575 2005 FIA GT Istanbul 2 Hours
MotoGP 1:52.334 Sete Gibernau Honda RC211V 2005 Turkish motorcycle Grand Prix
WSB 1:54.872 Tom Sykes Kawasaki ZX-10R 2013 İstanbul Park Superbike World Championship round
WTCC 2:04.525 Gabriele Tarquini Alfa Romeo 156 2005 FIA WTCC Race of Turkey
Formula-G 2:18.003 ARIBA-1 2006
Truck 2:32.048 Antonio Albacete MAN SE 2012 FIA European Truck Racing Championship season

References[edit]

External links[edit]