Formula 1 heads to its latest unexpected round on the reshaped 2020 calendar with the Turkish Grand Prix at Istanbul Park.
With Lewis Hamilton leading home a Mercedes 1-2 for the fifth time this season last time out at Imola, the German manufacturer wrapped up a record-breaking seventh consecutive F1 world constructors’ crown.
This weekend Hamilton has the chance to seal the F1 drivers’ title at the Turkish GP, which he will achieve if he avoids conceding eight points or more to Bottas in the standings.
When did F1 last race in Turkey?
The last F1 Turkish GP was nine years ago when Sebastian Vettel claimed victory for Red Bull at Istanbul Park.
Despite being immensely popular with the drivers, the Turkish round dropped off the F1 calendar due to increasing hosting fee demands from championship organisers.
In total there have been seven Turkish GPs in F1 history, between 2005-11, with Istanbul Park hosting all of those races after it was constructed in 2005. The circuit was designed by iconic track architect Hermann Tilke.
Why is F1 racing in Turkey?
Due to the redrafted 2020 F1 calendar following the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent cancellation of 13 races, series bosses have scrambled to produce a campaign of a minimum of eight races to meet FIA world championship criteria along with reaching a minimum of 15 races to fulfil the TV broadcasting deal.
As well as hosting double-headers at the Red Bull Ring, Silverstone and Bahrain, F1 will also head to venues not on the original 2020 calendar, with Istanbul Park the fifth of the new destinations, following on from Mugello, the Nurburgring, Portimao and Imola.
Will fans be allowed at the Turkish GP?
In October, race organisers had to drop plans to open the circuit to spectators due to growing COVID-19 concerns. Originally the Istanbul circuit had hoped to attract up to 100,000 fans for the race but with rising infections it has now been decided by the governorship of Istanbul that the race can only go ahead behind closed doors.
2020 Formula 1 Turkish GP session timings
F1 is sticking to its traditional format of two free practice sessions lasting 90 minutes each on Friday, followed by an additional practice session running for one hour on Saturday morning.
The Q1, Q2 and Q3 knockout-style qualifying format is also being retained on Saturday afternoon to decide the grid for the 58-lap Turkish GP on Sunday.
Friday 13th November 2020
Free Practice 1: 8:00am-9:30am GMT (11:00am-12:30pm local)
Free Practice 2: 12:00pm-1:30pm GMT (3:00pm-4:30pm local)
Saturday 14th November 2020
Free Practice 3: 9:00am-10:00pm GMT (12:00pm-1:00pm local)
Qualifying: 12:00pm-1:00pm GMT (3:00pm-4:00pm local)
Sunday 15th November 2020
Race: 10:10am GMT (1:10pm local)
How can I watch the Turkish GP?
Channel: Sky Sports F1 HD
Channel numbers – Sky: 406
Channel numbers – Virgin Media: 506 (Sky Sports F1 HD)
Sky Sports has live and exclusive broadcasting rights in the United Kingdom with the build-up to the F1 race starting from 8:30am ahead of lights out at 10:10am.
When can I watch the highlights?
Channel: Channel 4
Start time: Saturday qualifying 4:30pm, Sunday race 4:00pm
Channel 4 has the rights to show Turkish GP highlights of qualifying on Saturday and the race on Sunday.
Weather forecast for the Turkish GP
Istanbul Park is set for mixed conditions for the race weekend, with an increasing chance of rain on Saturday and Sunday. Across the three days of planned track action highs of 17 degrees Celsius are forecast – around the same temperature as the Emilia Romagna GP.
Pirelli tyre allocation for the Turkish GP
Pirelli has opted for its hardest range of compounds for the Turkish GP, with the hard tyre C1, medium tyre C2 and soft tyre C3.
For all of the races in the reshuffled 2020 F1 season each driver will be given the same allocation of tyres per race, while for Turkey there is a slight tweak in the allocation compound splits across the usual 13 sets.
Each driver will get seven sets of softs, three sets of mediums and three sets of hards rather than the usual eight sets of softs, three sets of mediums and two sets of hards. Pirelli will also supply a range of wet and intermediate tyres for each driver.
Most F1 Turkish GP wins
Felipe Massa: 3 wins (2006, 2007, 2008)
Sebastian Vettel: 1 win (2011)
Lewis Hamilton: 1 win (2010)
Jenson Button: 1 win (2009)
Kimi Raikkonen: 1 win (2005)
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