Istanbul Track Guide

Location: Istanbul, Turkey Track Length: 5.338 km Laps: 58 Lap Record: 1:24.770

Istanbul Park

Turkish Grand Prix F1 circuit guide

Istanbul Park has hosted the Formula 1 Turkish Grand Prix since it first appeared on the calendar in 2005.

The track is based in the municipality of Tuzla, Istanbul. It's a 3.317-mile anticlockwise circuit designed by Hermann Tilke and consists of 14 turns.

The Turkish Grand Prix held what looked set to be its last Formula 1 race in 2011, but the event returned to the 2020 calendar after a nine-year absence as part of the rescheduled Formula 1 season.

Tilke may not always be the most popular track designer for some fans, but few would disagree that Istanbul Park is his finest work.

Described as "the best race track in the world" by former Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, the venue features one of the most beloved corners in the world of motorsport, that being Turn 8, or "Diabolica" as it is nicknamed.

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 have compared Turn 8 to legendary corners such as Spa's Eau Rouge and Suzuka's 130R.

The track has a capacity for 150,000 spectators, whilst the two-floor paddock buildings, of which the the upper floors serve as hospitality areas, provide space for another 5,000 people.

Turkish Grand Prix F1 circuit information

As well as the famous Turn 8, drivers must also watch out for the sharp left that is Turn 1, also known as the "Turkish Corkscrew". The 2006 Turkish Grand Prix saw multiple incidents at this corner.

In general Istanbul Park is a narrow track with an average width of just 15 meters. It provides a complete test for drivers from the high-speed thrill of Turn 8, to the sharpest turn on track with a radius of only 49 feet.

Turn 1 - Hard on the brakes as the track dips downhill into the tight left nicknamed the "Turkish Corkscrew". Accelerate out and take plenty of kerb on the right.
Turn 2 - A full-throttle left bend.
Turn 3 - The circuit climbs uphill and then a blind left curve emerges. A medium speed corner but beware of what's to come next.
Turn 4 - As soon as the track opens up from the curve a 90-degrees right corner arrives, but it's wide enough to launch an overtake.
Turn 5 - Back on the throttle briefly before dabbing the brakes to move through this tight left curve.
Turn 6 - Another left bend but not as extreme leaving drivers to tackle it full throttle.
Turn 7 - Floor it down the back straight and then hang on through this long and fast right hairpin.
Turn 8 - And now for the famous Turn 8. Maximum attack, four apexs on the left, enjoy!
Turn 9 - Another short straight which ends at a medium-speed left.
Turn 10 - Really the second part of this section, full power through the right kink and ride the kerb on exit.
Turn 11 - Downhill into the flat-out right curve and then climb uphill through the other side.
Turn 12 - The circuit loses elevation again before it's time to give the screaming engine a rest and trust the brakes. Press that pedal hard and hope the tyres stick for this tight 90-degrees left.
Turn 13 - A slow right then immediately arrives, drift over to the left to enter the pit lane, stick to the inside kerb if you're going for another lap.
Turn 14 - The final corner, 90-degrees left, floor the accelerator on exit, use the kerb and power down the main straight.

Turkish Grand Prix schedule: 2020 Turkish Grand Prix

Friday, November 13, FP1: 1100-1230

Friday, November 13, FP2: 1500-1630

Saturday, November 14, FP3: 1200-1300

Saturday, November 14, Qualifying: 1500

Sunday, November 15, Race: 1310

Turkish Grand Prix tickets: how to get them for the big race

The Formula 1 website are asking fans to fill out a contact form on their website so that they can receive ticket information once the situation surrounding fan access to the Turkish Grand Prix becomes clear.

There are cautious plans for an attendance of 100,000 fans at the 2020 event, but the global pandemic means this is subject to change. and are also asking fans to fill out a contact form so that they can reply to them with further information on tickets once available.

Turkish Grand Prix directions: how to get there

Sabiha Gokcen International Airport is only 10km away from the Instanbul Park circuit. From there the track can be reached via Havaalanı Kavşağı and İstanbul Park Blv by car.

If you plan to take the train then it's only a five minute walk from Sabiha Gokcen International Airport to Sabiha Gökçen Nizamiye station. There you need the 16s to Kurtköy Semt Polikliniği and then the 132D to Ballıca Caddesi. Note though it's then roughly a 40-minute walk to the track, though the route is rather straightforward. Taxis are cheap.

Bus seems to be the method of choice for traveling in and around Istanbul. If you're travelling from the city centre itself then the 251 bus from Mercidiyekoy departs every 20 minutes. It's a one hour and 50 minute-journey to the transfer point at Pendik but the fares are cheap as chips.

From there the E-9 bus runs every hour to Sabiha Gokcen at which point a taxi is the best option for the remaining 8.3 miles. But again the taxi fares are super cheap.

Turkish Grand Prix history, memorable races and past winners

Istanbul Park has hosted the Turkish Grand Prix seven times, and Felipe Massa is the driver who has made the most of those having won three Turkish GPs in a row between 2006-08.

His three wins also mean that Ferrari are the most successful constructor at the Turkish Grand Prix.

Drivers with most wins

Felipe Massa, 3 wins (2006, 2007, 2008)

Sebastian Vettel, 1 win (2011)

Lewis Hamilton, 1 win (2010)

Jenson Button, 1 win (2009)

Kimi Raikkonen, 1 win (2005)

Teams with most wins

Ferrari, 3 wins (2006, 2007, 2008)

McLaren, 2 wins (2005, 2010)

Brawn, 1 win (2009)

Red Bull, 1 win (2011)

Last seven wins

2011 - Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull
2010 - Lewis Hamilton, McLaren
2009 - Jenson Button, Brawn
2008 - Felipe Massa, Ferrari
2007 - Felipe Massa, Ferrari
2006 - Felipe Massa, Ferrari
2005 - Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren

Istanbul Park F1 circuit fastest lap

Juan Pablo Montoya holds the race lap record at Istanbul Park, setting a 1:24.770 whilst driving for McLaren in 2005. He would finish the race in P3, just over a second behind the Renault of Fernando Alonso.

Istanbul Park F1 circuit: what the drivers say

Felipe Massa has said that "Istanbul Park was the track where he made his career turn-around, and finally began winning races."

Lewis Hamilton: "As this circuit provides some overtaking opportunities, it should be a good one for the spectators and the fans as well."

Turkish Grand Prix Schedule January 1-1

Practice 1
Practice 2
Practice 3
Qualifying 1
Qualifying 2
Qualifying 3