Formula 1, Turkey, Turkish Grand Prix | What Went Wrong?
When you ask an f1 fan which former tracks i would like to see back in formula, one most would have istanbul park on their list. I mean why wouldn’t you designed by herman tilke, just a little bit over 5.3 kilometers long and turn 8. Oh we’ll get to turn 8.. The turkish grand prix was first held in 2005 and it was on the formula one calendar until 2011.. This was a favorite track for drivers and fans. Even bernie eckerson said in 2005 that it was the best race track in the world. So what happened? How did it go from being one of the most hyped anti clockwise tracks ever built to simply vanishing off the f1 calendar after 2011.? This is the story of the turkish grand prix. What went wrong let’s begin with some backstory. The circuit was designed by famous track designer herman, tilker and construction began in september 2003. The circuit was ready in august 2005, just before the very first formula, one race in turkey. The total cost of the entire facility was around 40 million dollars. It included a 25 000 seat grandstand along the main street, an entertainment and hospitality area which could seat 5 000 people above the pits and in the seven story, vip towers which were situated on each end of the main straight after adding temporary seating. The total capacity of the track was over 155 thousand hermann tilker, originally planned for the circuit to be run clockwise, but soon found that running anti clockwise would be much more challenging.
The circuit in general is very well designed with turn 8 being an iconic section of racetrack. The multi apex fast corner is one of, if not the most satisfying corner, to watch on board. It soon earned the nickname diabolica. The back straight featured a slight turn going uphill and was soon known as foe rouge. The circuit had all the features that would make a racetrack great elevation changes, fast corners and a slow final sequence of corners, which could create overtaking opportunities. So what went wrong? Why are we no longer racing here at the very first formula? One weekend in turkey, the race was won by kimi raikkonen and the event was seen as a big success, with a large crowd in attendance, drivers and fans both praised the circuit and its facilities. Bernie eccleston himself actually purchased the circuit in 2007. and bernie was sure. The future of the race in turkey would continue into the future with a 14 year deal being mentioned, but as the years went on, attendance dropped and broadcasting cameras were aimed away from deserted stands. Where you’d normally see them full of spectators, grandstands were, in some cases covered to hide empty seats. So you may be asking why and how? Why did fans stop attending the race when the track was so popular, as in the case of the south korean grand prix, which i made a video on, you can check it out in the cards or in the description.
The location of istanbul park was the main problem and what ultimately became the reason why attendance dropped so bad, for example, to get to the track from the city. It was a two hour bus ride, which was let’s, be honest, it’s, a bit of a pain let’s. Compare this to the albert park circuit. Where i live in melbourne, i mean sure it is a street circuit, but albert park is a 20 minute tram ride away from the cbd. This is why the australian grand prix works so well in melbourne. There is a great public transport system and the event is fairly close to the city. Albert park is only a 30 minute drive away from melbourne’s southeastern suburbs, and even if attendance sometimes was going down over the years, it’s been packed every single year that i’ve gone to the event. I guess what i am trying to illustrate is that track location is a very important factor when organizing an event like this sitting on a bus for two hours from the city to go to a racetrack, just doesn’t, give much incentive unless you’re a real hardcore fan. It was also difficult for f1 to really connect with turkey. The country didn’t have a strong racing background with various categories racing there through the years even motogp had a short stint there from 2005 until 2006. promotion attempts by race, organizers consistently fell short and, as we have seen throughout the years, if you don’t give people a Reason to attend and have some level of excitement in the build up to it.
It’S almost always going to be destined for failure. It takes more than a great race to sell tickets and to touch back on what i said about melbourne the racing in recent years. Hasn’T been great at albert park, but the event is well organized and there is so much to do and it’s easily accessible. There have been whispers recently linking istanbul park to a return in 2020, which would see the circuit being added to the unique list of improvised tracks for the 2020 season, i’d. Personally: love to have istanbul park back on the f1 calendar. This is one of herman tilke’s, best ever tracks and thought of current gen cars racing around this anti clockwise beast such an exciting prospect. Nothing has been officially confirmed yet, but all the rumors are pointing to a return for 2020 to fill the gaps in for the season. All we can do now is wait and hope that this motor racing masterpiece comes back when we have missed it so much. I don’t know what the long term future of formula one and istanbul park will turn out to be, because there are some long standing problems that can once again hinder the event, but hopefully we see turn 8 very soon, Music. As always.