Formula 1 returned to Istanbul for the first time since 2011 last year, and on the weekend, the Turkish Grand Prix will host the F1 race for the second straight year.
The 16th race of this season will take place over 58 laps of the 5.4-kilometer (3.4 miles) Intercity Istanbul Park circuit on Sunday on Oct. 10.
The 2020 race saw Lewis Hamilton secured the last season’s F1 title at Istanbul Park with a first-place finish on a wet track.
Having won the seventh title in Istanbul, Hamilton finished the 58-lap race at 1:42:19, equaling F1 legend Michael Schumacher’s record by winning the seventh Formula 1 title.
Sergio Perez from Mexico was the runner-up — 31.633 seconds behind the leader– while German driver Sebastian Vettel came third with 31.960 seconds behind British driver.
Having kicked off the race in the pole position, Racing Point’s Canadian driver Lance Stroll finished ninth.
Brazilian driver Massa leads Turkish GP with 3 wins
The Turkish Grand Prix, which was drafted this year after the cancellation of the Canadian GP, has rejoined the Formula 1 calendar in June.
F1 organizers previously revised 2021 as the Turkish Grand Prix has returned to this year’s campaign after one year.
A retired Brazilian driver, Felipe Massa, stepped onto the podium three times in the first spot in Turkish GP history and Turkey has hosted eight races so far.
The 40-year-old is the most successful driver in Istanbul Park, having won the Turkish Grand Prix three times in 2006, 2007, and 2008.
On Aug. 27, 2006, Scuderia Ferrari’s Massa was crowned as the Turkish GP winner, his maiden Formula 1 victory.
The Turkish Grand Prix made its debut in the F1 calendar in 2005 as Alfa Romeo’s Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen won the 2005 Turkish Grand Prix.
He beat Spain’s Fernando Alonso, who came second, and Juan Pablo Montoya from Colombia, third in Istanbul.
“Istanbul Park’s Turn 8”
Consisting of 14 bends, one of the most exciting features of Istanbul Park is its Turn 8.
The curves are fast and slow, left and right, long and short but Turn 8 is very long, fast, and quite challenging. Its total length is 640 meters (2,100 feet) long.
Drivers take the fast corner turn to the left with an average of 150 degrees inclination, therefore tremendous pressure arises. Due to the effect of pressure, they try to catch the right angle and complete the bend in the most harmless way.
“You enter it on full throttle, and once in, it is a corner where you are continuously building up lateral G-force. And you really have to be quite precise with the line that you take,” Hamilton said on the official F1 website.
“It is also important how much minimum speed you carry through the whole corner, as you carry it all the way down the next straight,” he added.
Major sporting event with fans after 10 years
This weekend’s race will be with spectators as the novel coronavirus continues to affect daily and social life.
In an interview, Ali Vural Ak, the Founder, CEO & Chairman of the Board at Intercity, said that a total of 100,000 fans would be back out in force of this major sporting event.
The last time the F1 fans were able to watch a race here was in 2011.
10 drivers took the podium
Ten drivers were able to make the podium in the past eight races since 2005.
Raikkonen, Massa, Alonso, Montoya, Michael Schumacher, Hamilton, Vettel, Perez, Jenson Button and Mark Webber managed to enter the top three in Istanbul.
In the 2005 Turkish GP, McLaren-Mercedes displayed one of the finest shows to smash lap record. Montoya set the fastest lap at an average speed of 330.3 kph (205.238 mph).
The 41-year-old Colombian also set the fastest lap time recorded in Istanbul with 1 minute and 24.770 seconds on lap 39.
Who is the oldest driver on the F1 grid in Istanbul?
Sunday’s Turkish GP will be three starlets’ first taste, Germany’s Mick Schumacher, Russia’s Nikita Mazepin and Japan’s Yuki Tsunoda will go into Istanbul Park for the first time.
The oldest driver on the grid at the Turkish GP is Raikkonen, nicknamed “The Iceman,” with Raikkonen starting the season aged 41.
The Iceman is the most experienced driver in history with 346 (21 wins) Grands Prix.
The previous record-holder in appearances was Rubens Barrichello, as the Brazilian driver attended 322 races in nearly 20 years between 1993 and 2011.
Alonso, 40, had 329 appearances, including 32 victories so far.
Japanese driver Tsunoda, 21, is currently the youngest driver among the 2021 competitors. AlphaTauri team member is the only current driver born in the 2000s. He was born on May 11, 2000.
Meanwhile, 22-year-old Mick Schumacher — son of seven-time former world champion Michael Schumacher — is a driver for Haas F1 team.