2011 Turkish Grand Prix discussion

This area is for people who are attending or planning to attend the 2011 Turkish Grand Prix at Istanbul Park.

Use the comments below to share your thoughts on the race, where on the track you intend to watch from, how you’ll get to the track and more.

Taken any pictures or video at the race?

If you’ve got any pictures or video from the race weekend you can share them with F1 Fanatic by uploading them to our drop.io, or you can arrange to email them in. Contributions are always welcome.

2011 Turkish Grand Prix

88 comments on “2011 Turkish Grand Prix discussion”

  1. I will be attending the 2011 Turkish Grand Prix. Does anybody have any information on ways to get to the circuit from Istanbul (Sultanahmet)? Is there a shuttle bus? Please advise!



    1. HI!
      From teh Sultanahmet go to the track shutle bus (~5 try)

  2. Judith McDowell
    14th November 2010, 23:24

    My husband and I are also going to the Turkish GP. We’re hiring a car and staying at a hotel at the small airport near the track (only a few km away apparently). I read all the reviews from last years race and the trip from Istanbul to the track just seemed a lot of hassle. We’ll see when we get there tho! Have you picked your seat yet Brent? We were thinking maybe Silver 8 at the pit entry but havent bought tickets just yet! Can’t wait!!

  3. Hi Judith! I’m sitting in Bronze 5 (curva diabolica). I sent in my request weeks ago, but haven’t received a confirmation as of yet. I may pick up an additional ticket at trackside if the mood hits. I’m staying at a hotel in Sultanahmet. Transpo from there does sound like a pain, but it’s my first trip to Istanbul, so I wanted to see the city as well. Cheers!


    1. Hi Brent,
      I read that there are buses from the center of Istanbul to the circuit. The buses leave from the new part of the city (Taksim) from 7 a.m. onwards.

  4. istanbul park website has a comprehensive list of buses for this years GP (2010) so i am sure they will for 2011.
    can anyone advise best website to buy tickets from; bookf1 have them on sale but worried about dodgy resellers. also is silver 8 a good stand?

    thank you

    1. I copied this from the Istanbul Park website (information for 2010)

      Shuttles from the City Centre to the İstanbul Park Circuit and back to the City Centre

      Bus Stops in the City:

      European Side
      – Taksim
      – 4. Levent

      Asian Side
      -Kadıköy (Kumluk)
      -Alt Bostancı (İDO)
      -Pendik (İDO)

      Friday 28 May, 2010

      The first bus will leave from the city between 0700 hours and 1400 hrs.

      The buses return to the city will start from 1000 hrs and the last bus will leave at 1830 hrs.
      Saturday 29 May, 2010

      The first bus will leave from the city between 0700 hrs and 1400 hrs.

      The buses return to the city will start from 1000 hrs and the last bus will leave at 1900 hrs.
      Sunday 30 May, 2010

      The first bus will leave from the city between 0700 hrs and 1400 hrs.

      The buses return to the city will start from 1000 hours and the last bus will leave at 1900 hrs.
      Important information:


      The duration of the journey is approximately an hour and half from the European Side and an hour from the Asian Side. The buses will depart as they are full so media members are advised to allow sufficient time for travelling.


      The cost for one way travel from the Asian Side is 2 tickets (3 YTL)

      The cost for one way travel from the European Side is 3 tickets (4,50 YTL)

      It is possible to pay on the bus with the exact change.

      Cait – Is this the “comprehensive list” that you mention or were you refering to something else?


      1. that is pretty much the list i meant !

  5. Man I love this comment and it was so good and I am gonna save it. One thing to say the Indepth analysis you have done is greatly remarkable.No one goes that extra mile these days? Well Done :) Just another suggestion you shouldinstall a Translator Application for your Global Audience ..

  6. I was at the race in 2010 and transportation to the track isn’t such a big hassle. Buses leave from Sultanahmet as they are filled and you can pay the fare in cash or with akbil.
    Buses leave in front of the Tourist information center near the Blue Mosque tram station (you can’t miss it really).
    On a race day it took us 1,5-2 h to reach the track so it wasn’t as bad as I heard.

    If you have any other questions about the race I’ll be happy to answer them.

  7. Me, my wife and our two sons aged 8 and 9 will be attending the Turkish Grand Prix in 2011.

    We got our flights, 11 days car parking at Luton airport, tickets to Istanbul Park for 3 days and a hotel room for the night before our flight for £120 less than the cost of just the tickets for Silverstone 2011.

    Don’t you just love EasyJet and countries that don’t rip their customers off?

  8. hello, me and my boyfriend are going to the Turkish grand prix 2011 my first race can not wait!
    Has anybody who has been before ever rented a car? What are the driving conditions like? We are staying in a hotel near the blue mosque but neither of us have been to istanbul before. We have looked at previous reviews and don’t really fancy the trip on the bus. Car rental companies are charging about £200 to rent a car for 4days so are considering doing this.
    Also does anybody know if there are any driver autograph sessions on any of the days?

    1. I went to the Trukish GP this year. We didn’t rent a car because driving around there is not as easy as it is here in spain.

      We took the bus to go to the track, and it was good enough. The trip takes less than one hour from the city center.

      Sorry, my english is not very good.

    2. Buses for the track leave right in front of the Blue Mosque and they proved to be fast and reliable (it took us 1,5 hours on a race day). Before you rent the car check does your hotel have a parking for guests as that could be a significant problem there.
      As for driving conditions – in my opinion traffic is much more chaotic in Italy for example, just be sure to use your car horn a lot :D

    3. I went last year, such a great venue! We’ve just booked a car for this year £125 for 4 days with Avis.

      I managed to miss the autograph session last year, so if anyone knows when it will be please let me know!!

    4. From Sultanahmet you can cover a great area of the city by walking. Buses and trams are everywhere and the drivers are very helpful (and, I found, honest*) as you muddle through the money. I was impressed, looking at the traffic on the motorway, how busy and slow it was. Unless you have plans to wander the countryside I would forgo the car.

      * struggling with luggage I left too much money with the driver. Great concern from driver and front-of-bus passengers that I get my change.

  9. Hey vicki, not been to the turkish gp before but been on holiday to turkey and I hired a car for a few days whilst i was there. Should be fairly easy to do whilst your there. The turkish roads from my experience are fantastic and they even have countdown timers at tehir traffic lights. The only advice I would give is that somne locals drive very erractically and overtake in the silliest of places even the coaches and trucks over there overtake everybody! So you just have to watch out for everybody else really. Also because of the climate over there be EXTREMELY careful if it rains as the roads get as slippy as ice with just a quick shower.

  10. I went to the Turkish GP last year and don’t have any complaints about the transport laid on. The buses do take a while, but this is due to traffic and they don’t stop along the way, so I can’t see hiring a car being any quicker (in fact, unless you drive with the bravado of a Turkish bus driver, it’ll probably take much longer).

  11. Renting a car won’t do you any good unless you plan to stay outside the city, closer to Istanbul Park. If you plan to stay close to the center you won’t need it. It’s a pain in the a** driving around at the center of Istanbul especially during the weekends. I live in Istanbul believe me:) It’s only a privilege if you know the side roads, shortcuts etc.

  12. Drive, the roads are a lot of fun for confident drivers. It’s a little crazier than driving somewhere like Italy. I’d recomment saying on the Asian side, Istabull has a lot of traffic especially the bridges. Loads of parking at the track and no traffic

  13. I lived in Turkey last year and also attended the Grand Prix.

    My general advice would be to stay somewhere central such as Sultanahment or Taksim Sqaure as Istanbul is an amazing city and it would be well worth having to make the extra journey to the track in order to see the city proper.

    A regular and affordable shuttle service on well marked buses runs from all major transport hubs in the city out to the track. I’d reccomend this strongly as using the regular public transport will involve several changes and probably end up saving no money and wasting lots of time. Also the driving in Turkey can be quite hectic especially in built up areas so again the shuttle bus will help you avoid stress.

    As the circuit is in the middle of nowhere there is little in the way of good or cheap food. I’d reccomend packing a picnic at a supermarket.

    I’d also reccomend picking up an umbrella or something to use for shade as it can be quite hot in Turkey in May and there’s little shelter at the track. As I’ve found at other Grand Prix a small set of binoculars is also good for seeing the TV screens which can be quite far away (Kangraoo TV was unavailable at the track last year).

    If anyone would like any advice on not just the Grand Prix weekend but also staying in Istanbul generally post a reply here and I’ll do my best to help out.

    1. Hi Ronan
      Thanks for your useful local advice. I am coming to Istanbul and have already booked a car but am now thinking its maybe the wrong choice if parking is a problem. I am staying in Sirkesi nr the Train station and was hoping to drive to the GP on the 3 days. What do you suggest and if using the bus from taksim, is there any possibility of not getting a seat? Would be pleased to hear from you. Kind Regards (beardie4@yahoo.co.uk)

      1. Asghar; I have gone to the GPany times and visit Istanbul a lot. I would not rent a car especially since you are staying in Sirkesi. It very congested with traffic but the public transportation is plentiful, There are trams to get around the area you will stay in and taxis are plentiful. For the 3 days of F1 there are busses dedicated just for transport to the track and back. They leave from Sultan Ahmet and Taksim. From Sirkesi it is about a 7 minute walk to the busses. Ditch the car.

        1. Hi Tom and thanks for replying. its much appreciated. I will cancel my car and make plans for the buses. Many thanks again.
          Kind Regards

  14. Hi,

    I’m wondering if anyone has info on the General Admission tickets. I will be attending this year, and because of the price, am thinking to get a GA ticket. Of course Id love a grandstand seat, but I only plan on going for one day, Sunday, so it it a bit expensive. Anyone been with a GA ticket before? Is there space to sit (on the grass, or non reserved grandstands)? Can you walk around? Are you able to see the race clearly with a GA ticket? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

    1. I had General Admission tickets last year – on race day I was at turn 9 as there was a tv screen there so I was able to follow the race quite nicely. You can walk around, you get a bracelet first time you enter into GA zone and with it I entered into several GA zones. There is a bus riding around the track and stopping at each grand stand so it is quite easy to get around the track. I haven’t tried entering into the grandstand with GA ticket and I doubt they will let you do it.

  15. Judith McDowell
    7th March 2011, 22:45

    Hi, does anyone know if you can pick up radio 5 live on digital radio around the circuit in Turkey??? We are trying to decide whether to hire Fanvision (Kangaroo TV) or to buy digital radios.

    1. Kangaroo tv wasn’t available for hire last year.

      1. Judith McDowell
        8th March 2011, 23:07

        Hi Gabal, I think its just been released recently for 2011. Its now called Fanvision and I went on their website and it seems to be available for Turkey. They’re now sending the equipment to your home too so that would save all the queues. If Radio 5 live was available I think we would just buy Digital Radios cause we’d have them for all future GPs but not sure what to do yet.

        1. I’m not familiar with how digital radio works in various countries and with Kangaroo TV (or however it is called now) you also get a video feed and live timing so live english commentary isn’t the only thing you get with it.

    2. 5live can be picked up if you have a scanner, but not with any sort of normal radio. It is also fed through on fanvision.

  16. Hi, does anyone know if you can pick up radio 5 live on digital radio around the circuit in Turkey??? We are trying to decide whether to hire Fanvision (Kangaroo TV) or to buy digital radios.

    Is Fanvision available for hire at the circuit? Please advise.

    1. Judith McDowell
      11th March 2011, 23:24

      Hi Brent,

      I’ve just booked our fanvision for Turkey! I hired it directly from the fanvision website. The new Fanvision is only available to buy but you can rent the old style Kangaroo TV with updated software ( I hope thats correct!) I think you can only have it sent to your home before you go, don’t think its available for collection at the track. It cost approx £54 including delivery (within UK). Hope that helps!

      1. Thanks Judith!

        That’s what I gathered from their website as well. I’m leaving for Europe on 17-April (from the US), so I’ll probably be on the wrong side of the Atlantic when it gets delivered to my home. Maybe I can pick one up at Istanbul Park, we will see. Can’t wait for this season to start!


  17. Can anyone help with Shuttle bus stop locations?

    Info seems outdated considering its only two months away

    Not booked hotel yet, trying to work out locations for easy access to shuttle bus.

    Last years details show 4 bus stops(Duragi) on the European side run by the IETT

    (assuming they’re the same ones this year)

    Found 2 on Google maps, not sure where the other two are exactly – can anyone help\confirm?

    – Taksim : “İETT Taksim Peronları” – Easy\obvious!

    – 4. Levent : 3 bus stops shown around the “4. Levent Metro”, so not sure which one? 2 directly opposite and one round the corner on Akcam Sk

    -Mecidiyeköy : presumably “IETT Metro Mecidiyeköy Durağı” ? Which is shown as a bus stop, up the road from the Metro stop “Sisli” – or is Google wrong (not the 1st time)

    -Sultanahmet : İETT Sultanahmet Durağı

    Thanks in advance for any info & help.

  18. Judith McDowell
    27th March 2011, 22:14

    Can I ask what might seem a stupid question??

    I read on a few tourist websites that women must cover their arms and legs. Does anyone know if that is the norm at the GP or can women just wear GP team gear and 3/4 length trousers????

    Thanks for any help!

    1. That is what you are expected to wear when entering in some place of worship. If you have shorter clothes they just lend you a cape you cover yourself with (men and woman alike).
      No such limitations exist anywhere else in Istanbul (that I saw) and especially not at the race track.

      1. Women need to wear a scarf and cover the shoulders and legs if exposed when entering a mosque. Feel free to enter the mosque and take pictures. At the mosques they will have scarfs and wrap-arounds for those who need them. In Istanbul, since there are tourists from all over, you may wear summer attire such as shorts and T-shirts. At the GP wear your GP attire and what is comfortable. If you venture out of the tourist areas of Istanbul keep in mind that women may get a lot of stares if there is a lot of skinn exposed, especially clevage. Other than that not many restrictions.

  19. Judith McDowell
    28th March 2011, 13:12

    Thanks for your help Gabal and Tom!!!

    1. Your welcome. If you need any more help let me know. I go to the GP often and I’ve been living here for quite a while. Maybe I’ll see you there. I’m in the grandstand in the 307 section.

  20. Hi Tom
    do you know if there is a site that shows the seating in each grandstand? I just need to know where a block is in Silver 8

    1. Asghar; Go to this site http://www.biletix.com/f1/index.htm# and on the right side of the screen you can find the silver tribun 8. Click on the 360 tur and that will give you a view of the stand. Just move your cursor over the stand and the different seat sections will show. Click on it and you’ll get your view. Hope that helps.

  21. Judith McDowell
    30th March 2011, 21:19

    Hi Tom,

    You may be able to help me again!! My husband and I are hiring a car at Ataturk Airport and driving to a hotel at Sabiha Gocken Airport. Is there a main road which we could manage with maps or would you advice we buy a Turkish map for our sat nav? I have been trying to find some info on the internet but haven’t been very successful!

    Thanks again

    1. Hi Judith;
      Since you won’t be in Turkey for any length of time touring around I wouldn’t pay to get the Turky map for your GPS. From Ataturk airport to Sabiha Gokcen is very easy and it is mostly on a main highway/expressway. In fact just go to Google Maps, click on get directions and type in Ataturk Airport and to Sabiha Gokcen, Pendik, Istanbul, Turkey. It will show you on the map and give you step by step directions to get to the airport. The driving at times gets congested but it moves along quite smoothly. Keep in mind in that area there is nothing much to do or see other than than Istanbul park; the race track. SultanAhmet and Taksim is where the historical sites are and other things to do are located. If you have any other questions just let me know; I’m glad to help. One other thought is to keep some Turkish Change as there is a toll to cross the bridge but I don’t know the cost. Enjoy.

      1. Judith; If you look at Google Map there are a couple of different ways you can try. If you look on the map I would take the route that takes over the Bosphorous bridge which will be Boğazıçi KPR on the map. Then you can decide which route you want to take by connecting with the D100 or back to the O-1/O-2. There will be signs directing you to the Airport. Contact me if you have further questions or I just really confused you.

        1. Judith McDowell
          2nd April 2011, 21:37

          Thats great. Thanks again Tom! Just booked our car and getting really excited!

    3rd April 2011, 14:00

    Hi, has anyone seen any race-day only tickets for sale? The websites I’ve seen only seem to sell tickets for the whole weekend and I’m not THAT keen, especially as I want to combine it with a fair bit of sightseeing and I only have a limited amount of time in Istanbul.

    1. Sandra, I only saw separate tickets the year Istanbul opened and haven’t seen them lately.
      I guess you may have to sacrifice one day for sightseeing and pay for three days. It isn’t right but unfortunately I think you’ll have to do that. If you have any specific questions I’ll try to answer them for you.

  23. Hello Tom/anybody else that may be able to help.
    Me and my boyfriend are going to the Turkish Grand Prix. We are staying at the Byzantium Hotel which I believe is near the blue Mosque.
    Does anybody know the easiest and cheapest way of getting an airport transport.
    we are getting an easyjet flight and therefore arriving at Sabiha Gokcen airport.
    Is it cheaper to arrange a transfer to the hotel over in England or is it fairly easy to get a transfer when we arrive at the airport. If this is the case- how much can we expect to have to pay?
    Thanks in advance

    1. Hi Vicky,
      No need to arrange transportation. Once you exit the airport there will be buses named HAVAS. There will be one that goes to TAKSIM which is very close to Sultan Ahmet which is where you want to go for your hotel. From Taksim you can take a taxi which won’t cost much or I can explain how to take the tram from there. The bus from the airport to Taksim is 14TL unless it has changed but I don’t think so. It is a 1.5 hour ride. The bus departs every half hour starting at 0400 and stops at 2130. From Taksim there will be buses that go to the track on all 3 days and back. Hope this helps.

  24. steven milne
    7th April 2011, 21:32

    hi there im going to my first grand prix at turkey cant wait :) have no idea how to get to race im staying at the Barcelo Eresin Topkapi hotel , millet cad , is the buses going to grand prix passed this way or do i have to travel elsewhere to catch the buses thanks

    1. Buses for the track leave right next to the Sultanahmet (Blue Mosque) tram station – I think it is two stations by tram from your hotel.

  25. steven milne
    8th April 2011, 6:18

    thanks gabal :)

  26. Hi Tom,
    Thanks for getting back to me it was a great help.
    I have another question though. My boyfriend isn’t too keen on getting the buses and would prefer to rent a car. I have tried to contact the Byzantium Hotel to see if they have a customer carpark and I am waiting for a reply.
    Would you reccomend driving? one of the reasons he’d prefer to get a car is so we didnt have to rush leaving the circuit and could take our time and the other is not having to waste time queuing for the buses. We know we wouldn’t get to the circuit any faster than the buses get there but for him its more a matter of comfort. what is it like driving in Istanbul and do you know whether hotels like the Byzantium have a car park

    1. Hi Vicky: Sorry I am late in responding but I am in the States right now and I didn’t have internet last week. Renting a car and driving shouldn’t be a problem if you don’t mind traffic. The busses are convenient but there are long lines after the race. I am not sure of parking at the hotel. The Sultanahmet area doesn’t have a lot of parking but it depends on where your hotel is. I hope this helps you.

  27. hi
    we are flying into ataturk, what is the best way to get to the blue mosque area?
    thank you :)

    1. Cheapest way is with metro/tram – you need to switch from metro to tram once but it is pretty straightforward. There are also taxis and shuttles but with notorious Istanbul traffic you are at risk of getting stuck in a traffic jam with them. Here is a page that describes how to get to Sultanahmet from the Attaturk Airport.


  28. Thanks Tom,
    thats been a great help.
    Hotel got back to me and say there is a car park near by and found a rental company for £120 for 4days so think we’re going to rent a car, that way we can take our time after the race etc.
    Tickets arrived yesterday block 209. So excited cannot wait!!!

  29. Hello,
    I have been on the istanbul park website and it states that there is 12000 car parking spaces. Does anybody know if you have to pay for a parking space or is it free on a first come first serve basis?

  30. The parking is free.

  31. Judith McDowell
    21st April 2011, 22:50

    Hi Tom or Gabal,

    Do you know if there are cash machines at the circuit?



    1. I wouldn’t know – I was carrying cash for the duration of my trip last year so I haven’t even looked for an ATM. I think there was one near the ticket office area but I can’t remember which cards was it accepting.

  32. There has been for the last 2years, but not prior to that (it’s a portable one in a truck)

    1. Judith McDowell
      22nd April 2011, 8:24

      Thanks Alex!

  33. i study at Okan university which is located just near to GP Istanbul Park.
    and i also live near. can help with cheap flat accomodations near student flats

  34. brilliant cant wait for turkey grand prix not long now and also got phone call from mclarem , myself and friend getting a paddock tour on the fri :) threw the mclaren club :) excited .com

    1. Judith McDowell
      25th April 2011, 18:24

      Hi Steven,

      My husband and I got a paddock tour with McLaren too, so excited! Is it the 5:30pm one???


  35. judith

    yeah the half five one :) cant wait

    where u from :)

    1. Judith McDowell
      25th April 2011, 22:27

      Hi Steve, thats 3 people I know thats going to that one! Will be great meet you all.

      We’re from Waringstown in Northern Ireland (about 25 miles from Belfast!

  36. steven milne
    26th April 2011, 7:16

    brilliant :) we coming from scotland , should be a blast

  37. Does anyone know if there will be a pit lane walkabout at Turkey – and if so when it’s likely to be?

    can’t wait now – fly out on Tuesday :D

  38. HELP!

    Some last minute questions:

    1. Can I buy tickets from the circuit, I am flying from the UK on Tuesday to Antalya.

    2. Any experiences of the Antalya – Istanbul flight? I am dreading it and I’m really nervous.

    3. Does anyone know which way the numbering for stand silver 8 works? I want to sit in the far right of the stand (from standing in the stand looking at the circuit perspective) towards the top. I’ve looked at the pictures on the website but I can’t see one that actually labels the seating / sections of that grandstand.

    Finally, any hotel recommendations for accommodation in Istanbul?

    1. Judith McDowell
      28th April 2011, 23:00

      Hi, if you look at Toms reply to Asghar on page 2 there is a link to the seating plan which gives the block numbers in silver 8, its very good!!

      Sorry can’t help with the rest, this is my first year going to Turkey but cannot wait!!!

    2. You can buy tickets at the circuit no problem. Ticket office is bythe main gate just behind the main grandstand over the footbridge from the car park.

  39. Can somebody please tell me if I am able to use my iPhone and laptop with dongle as normal when in istanbul? Somebody I spoke to told me my phone and Internet would not work in turkey- is this true???

    1. It’ll work fine, but be aware turkey is not in the EU so it is unbelievably expensive to use. You’ll be better off getting a local sim card at the airport. They speak English and you’ll need to show them your passport. It will save you a fortune. Make sure it’s unlocked though or it won’t work.

  40. Hello!
    do you have any suggestions to choose a good place in General Admission area? Which are the better places to have an excellent view of the race? We’d appreciate your help.

    1. I was seated at turn 9 last year and it was pretty decent. You are close to the track, there were several overtakes in that corner, big screen is visible from there so you can follow the action on the other parts of the track as well and you can see cars coming downhill from turn 8 slowing down towards 9 and then accelerating again uphill towards the back straight.

  41. Judith McDowell
    30th April 2011, 23:22


    Has anyone who booked fanvision equipment received it yet?? I still haven’t received mine and I’m getting a little worried. Just wondering if it is only mine that hasn’t arrived or if they’re all late!

    1. Judith McDowell
      3rd May 2011, 23:42

      Fanvision crisis is over, it arrived this morning, yipee!

  42. Hi all

    Is there wifi coverage on the track?

  43. No public wifi at the track I’m afraid.

  44. Will be coming into town for the Gradn Prix (first ever race). I will be staying in the Sultanahment area. I know that there is a shuttle bus leaving from Sultanahment but does anyone know exactly where they are leaving from? Are the buses clearly marked? Do you pay on the bus? Thanks. The help is greatly appreciated.

    1. Buses are clearly labeled (it says Formula 1 on them) and they leave in front of tourist information office right next to the Blue Mosque tram station. In 2010 fare was 4,5 liras on Friday and Saturday and 5 liras on Sunday.

      1. Much appreciated. Thanks!!

  45. Hi guys

    Does anyone know if one can pick up tickets once in Istanbul or at the race track on the day – Sunday?

    We left it a bit late this year and only arriving on Saturday morning

    Do you think we could still manage to find some tickets (Grandstand 8 or 1 at least)

    Thanks for any help

    1. Dear Danza;

      I can help you to find out cheap tickets on main tribun as well.. also on race day a car transport to circuit which is very difficult and uncofoortable by bus..if any questions about istanbul just emal me ceyyavas@hotmail.com

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