Formula 1 DHL Turkish Grand Prix 2020, the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix, which takes place over 58 laps of the 5.338-kilometre Intercity Istanbul Park circuit on Sunday, November 15.
Intercity Istanbul Park (İstanbul Park), also known as the Istanbul Racing Circuit, or initially as the Istanbul Otodrom, is a motor sports race track in Tuzla, east of Istanbul, Turkey. It was designed by the well-known racetrack architect Hermann Tilke and was inaugurated on 21 August 2005. It has been called "the best race track in the world" by former Formula One Chief Executive Bernie Ecclestone, who held the managing rights of the circuit between 2007 and 2011. The circuit is currently managed by the Turkish company Intercity.
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 O-4 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 running anticlockwise. 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 Turkish Grand Prix was first held on 21 August 2005 as part of the 2005 Formula One season and last held on 8 May 2011 as part of the 2011 Formula One season. The circuit had not hosted a Formula One race in nine years before being announced to return for the 2020 Formula One World Championship after major schedule changes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. There’s no doubt that Istanbul is one of the best tracks ever penned by Tilke, with parts of the circuit having been compared over the years to similar features at Spa-Francorchamps, Interlagos and Laguna Seca. The crown jewel of Intercity Istanbul Park, however, remains Turn 8, an incredibly fast, bumpy, multi-apex downhill left-hander that’s a proper test of drivers’ commitment.
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 corner eventually became the basis of turns 17 and 18 at the Circuit of the Americas. 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 WeatherTech 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.
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. The top speed measured of an F1 car measured by the speed trap was 329.5 km/h (204.8 mph) in 2005. F1 cars equipped with the smaller 2.4-litre V8 engines (instead of the 3.0-litre V10s of previous years) reached 320 km/h (200 mph) in 2006. Felipe Massa has an affinity with this circuit, with the Brazilian winning three of the seven Grands Prix held at Istanbul Park.