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- Istanbul, Turkey
- MAY 6, 2011 at 12:00 AM
- MAY 8, 2011 at 12:00 AM
The Turkish Grand Prix (Turkish: Türkiye Grand Prix) debuted on August 21, 2005 as part of the 2005 Formula One season. Since then it has been held annually at the newly built Istanbul Park Circuit, constructed by famous German civil engineer Hermann Tilke. Tilke has stressed how this circuit differs from his other recent tracks, in that it dips and falls, following the contours of the land. He has also clearly been influenced by many of the world's finest race tracks. Corner 1 is very similar to corner one in Autódromo José, Carlos Pace, Brazil and has also been compared to the world famous 'corkscrew' at Laguna Seca. In addition there is a flat-out kink on a hill, in many ways very similar to Eau Rouge corner at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, this has led to fans nicknaming it 'Faux Rouge'. Without question the best corner of the track is Turn 8, a quadruple apex corner with a load of 5G (5 times the force of gravity) for 4 seconds, which in reality is 4 corners joined together. Mastering this particular turn is a feat that many drivers have found extremely tricky. Last year's Grand Prix saw Jenson Button win, with Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull Racing completing the podium. Vettel had qualified on pole but a mistake on the first lap scuppered his chances of victory
There was controversy at the podium ceremony after the 2006 race, the winner's trophy was presented by Mehmet Ali Talat, who was introduced to the television viewers via captions as the president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, a state which is only recognised by Turkey. The FIA announced an investigation and it was feared the incident, which could be seen as a breach of the organisation's political neutrality, would jeopardise the future of the Turkish Grand Prix, and possibly even the country's round of the World Rally Championship. The matter was concluded with a 5 million dollar fine, which was later reduced by half.