Four years of the Turkish Grand Prix

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The Turkish Grand Prix was the only new event on the F1 calendar in 2005 – the first year I started writing F1 Fanatic.

A look back on those first four races tells the story not only of what happened in the races and the championships – but also how this site has changed.

Here’s the stories of those four races as written on F1 Fanatic – including the one I watched at the track in 2006.


Kimi Raikkonen’s hopes of making serious inroads into Fernando Alonso’s world championship lead took a hit when Raikkonen’s team mate Juan Pablo Montoya tangled with a backmarker:

Monteiro endeared himself even less to Montoya, whom he thumped into with three laps remaining, damaging the MP4-20’s diffuser, precipitating a spin by Montoya that finally gifted second place to Alonso. Thus McLaren were denied their first one-two finish of 2005 and Raikkonen’s assault on Alonso’s title lead took just two points from it instead of four.

2005 Turkish Grand Prix articles


I was at this one, trekking over from Greece with my friend Nikos. We boiled in the heat and choked on the dust, and got stuck in Istanbul overnight when we missed out train home. For our pains we witnessed a terrific scrap between Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher. If only we’d gotten their early enough to see Lewis Hamilton’s epic GP2 comeback drive as well…

The battle for the major places between the championship leaders was less swashbuckling but extremely tense. On lap 28 the tension took its toll on Schumacher, who slithered wide at the high-speed, high-G load turn eight and struggled to rejoin the circuit.

It could have been provoked by any number of distractions: the stamina-sapping forces, frustration at his early misfortune, the pressure of the championship hanging in the balance, or just plain brain-fade. The immediate cost of the mistake was four seconds – but it would prove far more costly than just time.

2006 Turkish Grand Prix articles


Not a vintage race, but a pot-boiler of a result for the title battle. The Ferraris had everything their own way, but championship leader Lewis Hamilton lost a likely podium finish after a puncture. How badly he would miss those crucial extra points at the end of the year. But eventual champion Raikkonen wasn’t getting any favours from team mate Felipe Massa – at this stage, anyway:

Raikkonen suddenly caught team mate Massa as their pit stops drew close – cutting his team mate’s advantage to just 0.4s on lap 38 as they hit traffic. The Finn made his second pit stop on lap 41, and Massa came in on the next lap, holding the lead easily.

From that point on it was clear that they were told not to race each other – Raikkonen no doubt ruing the mistake he made in qualifying.

2007 Turkish Grand Prix articles


Massa completed his hat-trick (or, for those of an American persuasion, ‘three-peat’), beating Hamilton despite the McLaren driver overtaking him early in the race.

Hamilton had needed to start first, not third, and being out-qualified by both Massa and his team mate despite both carrying more fuel suggests the race was his to lose. He did his best two make amends however, catching and passing Massa on lap 25.

2008 Turkish Grand Prix articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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31 comments on “Four years of the Turkish Grand Prix”

  1. so many Massa photos on the front page of F1Fanatic!!! It seems as if he is leading the championship, not Button

    1. comment somethin interesting.only the championship leaders picture must be there? its not a rule sumedh.dont forget massa won 3 times in turkey

      1. Not just any 3 times as well, but the last 3 times… for me that means Massa owns Turkey.

        Unfortunately I feel he is about to hand it over to somebody else this time, Button probably.

    2. It’s nice to see someone else other than a Brawn driver. Just because they are leading the championship doesn’t mean we can only have Brawn pictures.

    3. The sri lankan
      3rd June 2009, 0:02

      yeah im sick of seeing button and Brawn on headlines. Massa was the runner up if people are forgetting things here.

  2. there are some quote on the F1 website where drivers etc talk about the track. Made me laugh becuase Fisi is talking about the adrenaline etc that the gradients give. But correct me if i am wrong but Fisi has never completed a full racing lap at istanbul park yet had he? If thats the case then those 1st 10 secounds must be an amazing ride… or maybe he is talking about the walk back to the pits??!!

    1. I can’t confirm nor deny that Fisi has not completed a “racing” lap, and on that tentatively accept your information… however…

      Fisi has completed many practice and qualifying laps at the circuit, which usually are faster than race laps and mostly traffic free when he is on it.

      1. A quick check reveals that Fisi was 4th in 05, 6th in 06, 9th in 07 and he retired last year. He has been involved in tangles at the first corner in the last 2 races there however.

        1. Cheers Dan, i couldnt remember! Hopefully this year….

        2. Not to mention Fisi was in a second-corner collision in 2006. I’d just like him to have a collision-free race this year…

          1. I’m pretty sure 2006 was at turn 1 too, he spun trying to avoid Alonso and Schumacher, I believe, who were battling in front of him, and collected a number of others in the process… then in 2007 he hit Trulli, and in 2008 Nakajima.

  3. It`s become par for the course for the FIA to suddenly find something illegal on a dominant car. If it happens again I won`t be overly surprised. That`s the problem when they start reacting to all the “I`m bored”, “There`s no point watching anymore because the Championship is over” comments.

    1. (((((yawn))))))

      1. I was replying to a completely different thread (about Brawn) but the reply has turned up on this one.

        1. This whole F1 season is straaange!

  4. Think Massa has a good chance because the F60 was pretty good in Spain and dont forget that Istanbul has two long straits and Massa has the “magic button” as Vettel likes to call it. Really hope that he wins it and Button crashes out so that the championship could close th gap a little bit

    1. If u wanna close the champship gap, then pray for Vettel! Y Massa?? :P

      1. True. I would be so unbelievably happy if Vettel could wipe the smug look off Brawns face

  5. Think Massa has a good chance because the F60 was pretty good in Spain and dont forget that Istanbul has two long straits and Massa has the “magic button” as Vettel likes to call it.

    I think the “Magic Button” is in another car :)

    My crap theory is that the track anti-clockwise — the same as Interlagos — gives Massa the edge at this track, but I´m not sure that this will be enough to beat the “Magic Button”…

    1. Vettel was refering to the “magic button” for Hamilton on the start of the Bahrain gp this year

      1. Oh, Skova, I know that. I was just doing a crap joke with Jenson´s surname… :

        And about KERS and starts, I was watching the Monaco start again and Vettel made a dangerous move at Massa that could end in a disaster in that narrow straight:

        He is under a huge pressure.

  6. Massa came into 09 as a championship favorite… That’s now gone. The least he can hope for is to make it 4 in a row in Turkey. That would be a great bright spot for this season he’s having. Plus it would change things up a bit… The Brawn fairytale is wearing out a bit!

    1. Massa was championship favorite?


      From the first race itself, it was known that Massa and Raikkonnen are out of championship race, same was the case of Hamilton and Kovalinen.

      1. Read it again, dude! I said he WAS a favorite up until the first race in Australia…. His chances are now gone.

        Up until the first race in Australia, you’d be a fool not to think that Massa was a favorite for the championship.

  7. Well guys, not sure whether it is within the scope of this thread perhaps, but I was browsing thru the Turkish Grand Prix.
    One interesting fact, in 2005 Montoya did the FL with 1:24:770, which is 2.027 secs less then Kimi’s pole timing! How did that happen??
    That is the lap record as well. Can 2009 reg cars beat that?

    1. Raikkonen’s pole time would have been set with fuel and the track was really dusty in qualifying, it being one of the first times the track had been used.

  8. Also, anybody has video of 2005 FL? Please post.

  9. One of the few Tilke designs that is really good, so I am looking forward to it. If Massa pulls out the win again, Ferrari may not be back in the race but they’ll be a factor in it for sure.

  10. Turkey is another track with a cloud hanging over its’ future. It is said to have been making tens of millions of dollars loss annually. Bernie had to jump in to secure its’ continued presence but, if it doesn’t pay it will probably disappear from the calendar when the current contract runs out. (2011?)
    Shanghai may also go the same way.

  11. Devolution of the word “epic” continues…

  12. My word we have some brawn haters on here
    its not so long ago that a certain german was winning it all in red cars bring back the good ole days no thanks
    i’m proud of jb am proud to be british and brawn deserve every win they get
    sure it would all be different if LH and mclaren were winning
    lighten up and be good sports fans who take rough with smooth
    i did have been honda fan from first incarnation

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