Turkish Grand Prix Betting

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Before 2005, the Republic of Turkey had never conducted a Grand Prix motor sports event. In fact, the country had never hosted any type of Formula One race at all. In order to gain a spot on the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) World Championship calendar, a suitable F1 circuit was needed, so the world’s most famous track architect, Hermann Tilke of Germany, was contracted to come up with a design and given 540 acres of undeveloped land in Akfırat village east of Istanbul as his canvass. When finished, it would be called the Istanbul Otodrom (“Istanbul Racing Circuit”), also known as Istanbul Park.

Tilke borrowed heavily from other F1 courses for his original concept—an anti-clockwise 5.338-kilometre course with 14 turns to “catch the drivers out.” The very first turn was patterned after the opening corner of Brazil’s Autódromo José Carlos Pace. He added a challenging quadruple apex corner at turn #8, too. And there’s a flat-out kink on a hill similar to Eau Rouge corner at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps; which fans have jokingly dubbed the “Faux Rouge.” Tilke also made sure that the track dips, rises and falls with the natural contours of the land.

The inaugural Turkish Grand Prix was held on 21 August 2005 at Istanbul Park as the 14th leg of the 19-race F1 season. It was a perfectly sunny day for racing with 100,000 spectators in attendance as Finland’s Kimi Räikkönen started in the pole position and finished atop the podium. He was joined by runner-up Fernando Alonso of Spain and third-place finisher Juan Pablo Montoya of Colombia. FIA official had nothing but praise for the course and one even called it “the best race track in the world.”

Over the next three seasons, that “best race track’ was dominated by Brazil’s Felipe Massa. He beat Alonso to the finish line in 2006, outdistanced Räikkönen in 2007 and defeated Great Britain’s Lewis Hamilton in 2008. All of Massa’s victories were with Team Ferrari.

By 2009, the Turkish Grand Prix had been moved up on FIA’s F1 schedule to the seventh race of the season. It was held on 7 June, and this time Massa would not be a factor. The Brazilian never got closer to the front of the pack than fifth position and ended the day in seventh. Meanwhile, Britain’s Jenson Button, who was leading all other drivers in points coming into the race, took the opportunity to add to his lead by beating Australia’s Mark Webber to the finishing post and leaving Germany’s Sebastian Vettel in third.

The 6th Turkish Grand Prix was the 800th Grand Prix appearance of Team Ferrari, but it was most memorable for a collision between Red Bull Racing teammates Vettel and Webber, which resulted in Vettel’s retirement and Webber’s loss of the lead. That opened the door for Massa and Alonso to try for a milestone Ferrari win, but in the end it was Great Britain and McLaren-Mercedes that gained the advantage, with Hamilton finishing first, Button taking second and Webber left in third.

Red Bull-Renault would get their revenge in 2011, with Vettel winning the race and Webber as his runner-up followed by Alonso in third. Hamilton and Button could do no better than fourth and sixth, respectively. It was an exciting competition that featured a recorded-setting number of pitstops for a Grand Prix race (more than 80) and the most overtaking moves since 1983.

Unfortunately, the 7th Turkish Grand Prix also had the distinction of being the last of its kind—at least for the foreseeable future. On 30 July 2011, it was announced that the race would not be on the FIA calendar from 2012 onward. The factors contributing to the decision were purely economic. Steady sponsorship could not be secured and fee increases for hosting had got out of hand.

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