2011 FORMULA 1 DHL TURKISH GRAND PRIX
Turkey made its debut on the Formula One calendar in 2005 with an all-new purpose-built circuit in Istanbul. The spectacular 5.378 kilometre track was designed by famed German architect Hermann Tilke, the man behind Sepang, Bahrain and Shanghai, and features 14 turns - eight lefts and six rights - with the cars reaching speeds of up to 330 km/h.
An unusual feature of the venue is that the lap runs anti-clockwise, making the Turkish Grand Prix one of only three races on the calendar to do so (Brazil and Abu Dhabi being the other two). It possesses a wide variety of corners - including the notorious multi-apex Turn Eight - and while perhaps not as technical as, say, Shanghai, it definitely provides the drivers with real challenge.
The character of the circuit is further enhanced by plenty of gradients - the track is built on four different ground levels. There may be fewer obvious overtaking opportunities than at some other Tilke circuits - it doesn't feature the long straights followed by tight hairpins that characterise the likes of Sepang and Shanghai - but the potential for a driver under pressure to make a mistake here means no shortage of passing.
As you'd expect from a new venue, spectator facilities are impressive - organisers knew they had to rival the very high standards set by Bahrain and China. Seating capacity is around 130,000, with 25,000 of those in the main grandstand, and parking is available for 12,000 cars. Dominating the circuit's skyline are two seven-floor VIP towers at either end of the paddock.
- Gbeyli Ky Yolu
Istanbul Park Circuit
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