Four years of the Turkish Grand Prix

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Istanbul, 2008, 470313

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.

2005

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

2006

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

2007

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

2008

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