Turkey’s Intercity Istanbul Park is poised to host a Grand Prix for the first time since 2011 this year.
Formula One has announced that the long-awaited championship is set to return to the city of Istanbul. Intercity Istanbul Park was once well-regarded for its races between 2005 and 2011, then ceased to do so due to commercial reasons.
For many, Turkey’s emergence last month as a candidate for a race came as a surprise.
The circuit venue has been primed by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who hopes to reintroduce Formula One to the city once more. Nevertheless, the exhilarating race is likely to reinvigorate the countries motorsport industry.
Formula One has confirmed the remainder of its 2020 calendar year. Four more races have now been finalised to conclude the season in Turkey, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi, taking the total to a potential 17 races this year, should none be adversely impacted by COVID-19.
The prized motorsport has gone to considerable lengths to resume racing during the coronavirus outbreak, this resulted in the postponement and cancellation of various competition for Formula One, Formula E and MotoGP.
Despite these trying times, Chairman of circuit owners Intercity Vural AK stated that he aims for an aspirational six-figure crowd and a one-year deal with Formula One to be extended beyond the November race.
“We plan to host 100,000 people by applying the highest level of measures (at the racing venue, to prevent the spread of the virus),” said AK.
Turkey’s Istanbul Park is regarded as a serious contender with a fearsome reputation amongst the world’s most renowned drivers boasts top speeds of 270kph (170mph), four distinct apexes and numerous bumps. Of the current grid, only six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, four-time champion Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen and Sergio Perez, all of whom have prior experience in Formula One machinery at the circuit.
French racing driver Esteban Ocon who has never raced in Turkey enthusiastically stated his eagerness for the upcoming race.
“Turkey is a fantastic circuit, if it comes to the calendar, awesome. It’s an old-school circuit, something I was watching on TV when I was younger. [The] massive left-hander, flat-out [circuit], is going to be pretty impressive,” animated Ocon.