For the first time since 2011, Formula 1 returns to the fan favourite Istanbul Park for the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix.
While plenty has changed with the F1 cars in nine years, most notably the V6 turbo-hybrid engines as opposed to standard V8s, the situation on the driver front remains fairly similar.
That win helped Vettel on his way to the second of four World Championships in a row, but skip forward to 2020 and Lewis Hamilton is currently on an even more dominant streak.
Mercedes have already wrapped up their seventh Constructors’ Championship in a row, while Hamilton is poised at the Turkish GP to take his sixth title in seven years, and record-equalling seventh World Championship overall.
If Hamilton wins the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix then it’s game over, the title is his. However, if his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas won and didn’t claim the bonus point for fastest lap, then P2 would also bring the title home to Hamilton.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the Turkish Grand Prix…
When is the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix?
The start times for the Turkish Grand Prix are as follows…
Practice 1: Friday November 13, 1100 local time (0800 British time)
Practice 2: Friday November 13, 1500 local time (1200 British time)
Practice 3: Saturday November 14, 1200 local time (0900 British time)
Qualifying: Saturday November 14, 1500 local time (1200 British time)
Race: Sunday November 15, 1310 local time (1010 British time)
Where does the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix take place?
Istanbul Park has hosted the Formula 1 Turkish Grand Prix since it first appeared on the calendar in 2005.
The track is based in the municipality of Tuzla, Istanbul. It’s a 3.317-mile anti-clockwise circuit designed by Hermann Tilke and consists of 14 turns.
The Turkish Grand Prix held what looked set to be its last Formula 1 race in 2011, but the event returned to the 2020 calendar after a nine-year absence as part of the rescheduled Formula 1 season.
Tilke may not always be the most popular track designer for some fans, but few would disagree that Istanbul Park is his finest work.
Described as “the best race track in the world” by ex-Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, the venue features one of the most beloved corners in the world of motorsport, that being Turn 8 or ‘Diabolica’ as it is nicknamed.
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 have compared Turn 8 to legendary corners such as Spa’s Eau Rouge and Suzuka’s 130R.
The track has the capacity for 150,000 spectators, while the two-floor paddock buildings, of which the the upper floors serve as hospitality areas, provide space for another 5,000 people.
Directions: How can I get to the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix?
Sadly, the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix will be held as a closed event with no fans in attendance. However, the race organisers have said they would like to discuss a long-term deal with Formula 1, so here are the travel directions to Istanbul Park, hopefully for future reference.
Sabiha Gokcen International Airport is only 10km away from the Istanbul Park circuit. From there, the track can be reached via Havaalanı Kavşağı and İstanbul Park Blv by car.
If you plan to take the train then it’s only a five-minute walk from Sabiha Gokcen International Airport to Sabiha Gökçen Nizamiye station. There, you need the 16s to Kurtköy Semt Polikliniği and then the 132D to Ballıca Caddesi. Note though it’s then roughly a 40-minute walk to the track, though the route is rather straightforward. Taxis are cheap.
Bus seems to be the method of choice for traveling in and around Istanbul. If you’re travelling from the city centre itself then the 251 bus from Mercidiyekoy departs every 20 minutes. It’s a one hour and 50 minute journey to the transfer point at Pendik but the fares are as cheap as chips.
From there the E-9 bus runs every hour to Sabiha Gokcen at which point a taxi is the best option for the remaining 8.3 miles. But again, the taxi fares are super-cheap.
Where can I watch the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix?
Pay-TV broadcaster Sky Sports will show the entire race weekend on its dedicated Sky Sports F1 channel. You can also access a live stream of the coverage via Now TV.
Free-to-air broadcaster Channel 4 will show extended highlights from qualifying and the race.
Subscribers to F1’s own app can hear radio commentary on the race proper from the BBC and access live data throughout every session.
PlanetF1 will carry live timing and expert commentary on every session of the race weekend, from FP1 on Friday morning to the race on Sunday afternoon.
The Turkish Grand Prix will be shown live on TV on the following outlets in other key markets:
United States: ESPN
Canada: RDS (French), TSN (English)
Australia: Fox Sports, One (Network Ten)
France: Canal + (pay TV) and TF1 (free-to-air)
Italy: Sky Italia, TV8
Germany: RTL and Sky Deutschland
Spain: Movistar F1
What are the odds for the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix?
Latest bookmaker information as expected shows that Max Verstappen is the favourite to take victory at the Turkish Grand Prix.
Here are the leading odds from bet365:
8/13 Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
9/4 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
14/1 Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)
20/1 Alex Albon (Red Bull)
20/1 Lance Stroll (Racing Point)
20/1 Sergio Perez (Racing Point)
(Last updated Saturday November 14)
How can Lewis Hamilton win the 2020 Drivers’ World Championship?
There are many different permutations in play in Istanbul for Lewis Hamilton to win a seventh World Championship title. Some more realistic than others, but you have to prepare for every outcome when silverware on the line.
Here is the state of play:-
- Hamilton cannot be champion in Turkey if Bottas wins the race with the fastest lap
- Hamilton will be champion if he is second and if Bottas wins the race without the fastest lap
- Hamilton will be champion if he is at least fourth and if Bottas is second with the fastest lap
- Hamilton will be champion if he is at least fourth or fifth with the fastest lap and if Bottas is second without the fastest lap
- Hamilton will be champion if he is at least fifth and if Bottas is third with the fastest lap
- Hamilton will be champion if he is at least sixth with or without the fastest lap and if Bottas is third without the fastest lap
- Hamilton will be champion if he is at least seventh and if Bottas is fourth with the fastest lap
- Hamilton will be champion if he is at least eighth with the fastest lap and if Bottas is fourth without the fastest lap
- Hamilton will be champion if he is at least eighth and if Bottas is fifth with the fastest lap
- Hamilton will be champion if is at least ninth with the fastest lap and if Bottas is fifth without the fastest lap
- Hamilton will be champion if he is at least ninth and if Bottas is sixth with the fastest lap
- Hamilton will be champion if he is at least 10th and if Bottas is sixth without the fastest lap
- Hamilton is guaranteed to be champion if Bottas is seventh or lower
What is the weather forecast for the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix?
Friday, November 13: 14c, cloudy with chance of drizzle
Saturday, November 14: 13c, cloudy
Sunday, November 15: 13c, sunny spells
Which drivers have won the Turkish Grand Prix?
Interestingly, there is only one repeat winner of the Turkish Grand Prix, that being Felipe Massa who claimed victory at the event in three consecutive seasons from 2006-2008.
The previous winners of the Turkish Grand Prix are as follows…
2011 – Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
2010 – Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)
2009 – Jenson Button (Brawn)
2008 – Felipe Massa (Ferrari)
2007 – Felipe Massa (Ferrari)
2006 – Felipe Massa (Ferrari)
2005 – Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren)
What is the starting grid for 2020 Turkish Grand Prix?
Lance Stroll kept hold of his shock pole position after being cleared by the stewards of a possible yellow flag infringement, joining him on the front row is Max Verstappen.
Carlos Sainz was handed a three-place grid drop for blocking Sergio Perez, while team-mate Lando Norris was given a five-place grid drop for a double yellow flag infringement.
1 Lance Stroll Racing Point 1:47.765
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull 0.290s
3 Sergio Perez Racing Point 1.556s
4 Alex Albon Red Bull 2.683s
5 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 3.830s
6 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 4.795s
7 Esteban Ocon Renault 4.857s
8 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Racing 4.980s
9 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 5.493s
10 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing 9.461s
11 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:55.169
12 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:56.696
13 Kevin Magnussen Haas 2:08.007
14 Carlos Sainz McLaren 1:55.410*
15 Lando Norris McLaren 1:54.945***
16 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri 2:09.070
17 Romain Grosjean Haas 2:12.909
18 Nicholas Latifi Williams 2:21.611 *****
19 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 1:58.556 ****
20 George Russell Williams 2:10.017** and *****
* Drops three places for blocking
** Drops five places for engine penalties
*** Drops five places for yellow flag infringement
**** Drops to the back of the grid for aborted engine change
***** Pit lane starts
What are the latest F1 Championship standings?
After 13 of the season’s 17 races, here is how both of the 2020 Championships look at the top end:
Lewis Hamilton – 282 points
Valtteri Bottas – 197 points
Max Verstappen – 162 points
Daniel Ricciardo – 95 points
Charles Leclerc – 85 points
Mercedes – 479 points
Red Bull – 226 points
Renault – 135 points
McLaren – 134 points
Racing Point – 134 points
Tyre choices for the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix
— Pirelli Motorsport (@pirellisport) September 9, 2020
Istanbul Park will prove to be one of the most physically demanding stops on the 2020 calendar, not only for the drivers but for the cars as well.
For this reason, Pirelli are bringing the hardest compounds in their range.
For the Turkish Grand Prix the C1 will be the hard tyre, the C2 will serve as the medium and the soft compound will be the C3.