When was the track built?
Work began on the circuit in Akfirat, around an hour’s drive east of Istanbul, in 2003, with the Hermann Tilke-designed track readied in August 2005, having had $40 million lavished on it.
When was its first Grand Prix?
No sooner had the track opened than it was hosting the inaugural Turkish Grand Prix on August 21, a drama-filled race won by McLaren’s Kimi Raikkonen, with Mark Webber and Michael Schumacher famously coming together when Webber tried to unlap himself.
What’s the circuit like?
There’s no doubt that Istanbul is one of the best tracks ever penned by Tilke, with parts of the circuit having been compared over the years to similar features at Spa-Francorchamps, Interlagos and Laguna Seca. The crown jewel of Intercity Istanbul Park, however, remains Turn 8, an incredibly fast, bumpy, multi-apex downhill left-hander that’s a proper test of drivers’ commitment.