Setting the scene for Turkey

Setting the scene for Turkey

As it prepares to host its sixth grand prix, Turkey still hasn't quite found its niche in the Formula 1 schedule, as Edd Straw reflected during the build-up at Istanbul Park

The Turkish Grand Prix is a curious oddity on the Formula 1 calendar. On the one hand, you can make a formidable case for Istanbul Park being the best of the 'next generation' circuits that have sprung up over the past decade or so, being as it combines great facilities and 21st century safety standards with - uniquely for this type of track - a corner that genuinely holds its own as one of the best on the grand prix calendar.

But Turn 8 aside, the track remains something of a white elephant (unusual in itself in Turkey, for you usually find them only in zoos). The fact is, Turkey is a country of over 70 million people, just over 70 million of which aren't particularly interested in a grand prix being held there. A shame, given that Istanbul itself is a great city and, just to the east of its boundaries, it has a pretty good track.

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