Istanbul Park – spectators’ experiences

Tell us about your experiences of visiting Istanbul Park in Turkey.

You may wish to include:

  • When you visited the track
  • Where you watched from
  • How easy it was to get to
  • How much of the track you could see
  • What support races there were
  • What you liked and didn’t like
  • How much it cost and whether it was good value

Please use the reply box below to leave your comments.

Are you going to the 2011 Turkish Grand Prix? Chat with other F1 fans who are going to the race here: 2011 Turkish Grand Prix discussion

83 comments on “Istanbul Park – spectators’ experiences”

  1. – 2006
    – Silver 3, stand 7
    – It was very easy, with buses from Sulthanamet. But the bus trip was too long. 2 1/2 hours — I spent a total of 15 hours on the bus over the weekend, so next time I would skip friday
    – Very good view of turns 12, 13, 14 — a very good overtaking spot with lots of action. TIP! The best view of Turn 8 is general admission tickets. You get a lot closer than on the silver 2 grandstand.
    – GP2, SEAT Cup and Womans Lupo er something.
    – Liked the track and the trackside stalls was very good. There was buses going around the track. Didn’t like that the other grandstands were closed on friday, and that it’s in the middle of nowhere. The atmosphere could also have been better — can’t compare with the 2 other races I’ve been two in that regards (Spain and Hungary 2007)
    – around €240 for the tickets, very good prices on the plane ticket and Hotel — around €260 total for a week. So very good value.

    1. Sigmund, what was Silver Stand 7 like for view?? what other corners/straights/action could you see from this stand?


  2. I went to Istanbul Park for the second Grand Prix there in 2006.

    As is often said simply getting to the circuit is extraordinarily difficult. We caught a bus from Istanbul which took about an hour and a half and on the return journey the driver got lost.

    At that time the race was held in early September and the heat was fierce. Unless you’ve got a grandstand seat there’s no shelter and spectator facilities around the far side of the circuit are damn near non-existent. This is a pain if you’re making a trek out to the mighty turn eight, which is easily the best thing about the Istanbul track.

  3. – 2009.
    – Bronze 5.
    – Not easy. And I’m a Turkish. Even it took one and half an hour from the continent of Asia. The track is really middle of nowhere.
    – Most of it because of the bus trips.
    – That year, there was GP2, Turkish Touring car and Porsche Cup.
    – Just seeing and living the atmosphere worths everything. But the security wires in front of us were really annoying. On the other hand, we’re at the nearest tribun to the track.
    – It cost me about 100 $. And it’s a reasonable value.

    1. Erika-from-Hungary
      9th December 2009, 6:27

      Dear Shagrathian,
      i would like to visit the Turkish GP in 2010, and a have some questions:
      -there is a public-pitlane-walk on Thursday?
      -what do you mean about Bronz 2? (is it far from the track?)
      how much does it cost apprx the bus-ticket to the circuit?
      really takes 1,5 hours the trip? better way to rent a car?

      many thanks in advance for your help

  4. It was the first time i went to a f1 race since canada 1996. Watched indy cars.
    I got a very good deal on plane 90 euro, from spain, race ticket 40 euro, for general admision. You could walk almost the hole circuit.
    But i got the feeling that the cars were underpowered, and you just got the feeling of no speed. May be because the track is so wide open.
    But i saw the martini legends in jarama, with a ferrari 2007, on slik tyres, and the sesation of speed was much higher. A feeling i didn’t get in stambul.

  5. Mark from Canada
    6th February 2010, 21:55

    I traveled from Canada to Turkey for the Grand Prix last year (2009). There was no Thursday pitlane walk, which was disappointing. We took the bus each day from Taksim Square to the circuit. Get their early, and take the 1st bus (7am I think). The bus is really cheap, but the ride is ~90mins in light traffic.

    The circuit itself really is in the middle of nowhere. There’s no nightlife, and when we returned to Istanbul, you’d be hard pressed to find any evidence of an F1 race taking place. We stayed at the Hilton, and the hotel prices were not your typical gouging/inflated rates I’ve paid at other races.

    Walking the track is a must do. This is a great circuit, and the elevation changes are much bigger than you see on the TV. And the cars taking Turn 8 was very impressive. You get a great sense of the speed and different lines drivers take.

    Our seats were in Grandstand 8, which is at the final turn complex. I think it’s a great spot because you see the cars coming down to the hairpin at T12 from full speed, then through T13/14 and onto the main straight. You also see the pit entrance, and can see down the pitlane.

    The lack of crowds meant few lineups for beer and toilets. The bus ride back to Istanbul after the race was very long. Huge traffic jams.

    I don’t regret going. I’d never been to Turkey before, and I do like the circuit. It was unfortunate that Canada with it’s consistent sell-out crowds and massive F1 atmosphere lost it’s race in ’09 while Turkey was tarping over grandstands so the TV camera’s wouldn’t notice that only 20k people showed up.

    But, that’s history. Canada is back!!

    1. simon henry
      7th March 2010, 20:14

      Hi Mark
      I wonder if you could tell me if there were fences obstructing the view from grandstand 8. And if you have any photos taken from there. its so hard to find a good ticket shop with photos taken from the stand.
      Many thanks

    2. Mark
      I appreciate your notes about the Turkish GP.
      I am travelling to the race this year (from Ontario). It looks like a real pain to get to the track. I havent arranged transportation yet (or bought my ticket yet). I was hoping I could pick up the ticket at the track. Do you know if the rows are numbered from the top or bottom? I hve been too lots of races and its not always the same…
      also how difficult was it to catch a bus after the race? is it just public transportation and you just get on the next one available?

  6. I’ve booked to goto the Turkish GP this year and will report back my experience in June.

    All I can say for now is that I’ve booked tickets for Grandstand 2 and I’ve booked a hotel just outside the airport, so travelling by car to the circuit should only take about 30mins.

    1. Darren from UK
      10th March 2010, 11:37

      I have also booked tickets for F1 in Turkey.

      I am too staying in a hotel just outside Ataturk Airport. Getting to the circuit from the city seemed a bit longwinded.

      According to the circuit’s site,
      special buses are being run from this airport.

      Has anyone gone from the airport by bus, or would it be better to hire a car?

  7. And what about silver 1?
    I booked there. Any recommends?
    I’ll be there with my son (9 years).

    1. hi i am a turkish and i was there in 2007,2008,2009 and i can say if u cant go gold or platinum (mainstand) u should go silver 1. Because u can see first corner and exit of pit and maybe inside of pit . i think u can see pit lane and pit stops. Also, after racing u can enter track for watch ceremony. Door near of silver 1 so u can enter easily. and it is near of foods and close to f1 team stands. And i think 1 corner is important. Because much passings are in this corner maybe crashes. And u can see exit of pit stop which is important in istanbul park. So i can adivece u there.

      1. elias kosseifi
        15th April 2011, 16:11

        hi ALICAN HOW to contact you please write me
        i took the silver 1 tickets thanks

    2. elias kosseifi
      15th April 2011, 16:05

      hi george we took the silver 1 too if u knw something any advice plz write me thanks

  8. There are two airports serving Istanbul.

    Ataturk is the main international airport and is the opposite side of the city to the circuit – a journey of about 50 miles which will also involve getting across the Bosphorus on one of the bridges. Google maps puts this as a 1.5 – 2 hour journey. Given Istanbul’s traffic I think this is a bit optimistic.

    Sabhia Gokcen is the other airport and was originally a domestic airport but is also used by low cost carriers and others. It is much closer to the circuit (about 7 miles) and avoids the Istanbul traffic, but is a bit out of the way of the sights of Istanbul and the main hotels / nightspots.

    I’ve decided to split the difference and booked a hotel on the Asian side of Istanbul about 20 miles from the circuit. This means getting into proper Istanbul for a days sightseeing is pretty cheap and easy, but the bridges across the Bosphorus are avoided.

    Booked seats in Grandstand 8 (silver). I’d recommend booking your tickets directly with the circuit website. They have good panoramic pictures from each grandstand, and you get to choose which block of the stand you want to be in. We have gone high up (to avoid the fences) at the end closest to T12 which is a potential overtaking spot.

    If you use Google Earth, someone has made a 3D model of the main stands and pitlane buildings. If you turn these on, plus the “terrain overlay” (to factor in gradient) you can go and “virtually sit in your seat” then pan around to get a good idea of the view you will have.

  9. I’m going to the race in Istanbul this year and have been trawling the web trying to find the best way to get there (i.e. one that may avoid a 3 hour round-trip) and whether it’s worth sucking it up and just paying massively over the odds to stay somewhere near the circuit. I’m desperately trying to avoid the latter and found the quote below on the Trip Advisor forum, could anyone who’s actually been to Istanbul comment on the options?

    “If you stay in Sultanahmet, take the tram, get off at Eminonu, get on the ferry at Eminonu and go to Kadikoy on the Asian side. At Kadikoy get on the municipal bus E-10 (Kadikoy-Kurtkoy-Sabiha Gokcen) and go to Sabiha Gokcen Airport. There at the airport take a taxi to go to Istanbul Park (15 minute taxi ride) where the Grand Prix is taking place. A little roundabout but it will work. Plus you will see a lot of places.You have to leave early though.You can return the same way. Only taxi will cost around 20 TL, the rest very inexpensive.

    There is an alternative also. Go to Taksim (tram/funicular) and take the HAVAS bus from Taksim direct to Sabiha Gokcen Airport. The rest the same.”

    If anyone else is going and is interested in sharing a cab, etc, let me know!

    1. @pointer, me and a friend are going to the race and I have been trying to find a reasonable priced solution to get to the track from Beyoglu district (near sultanahmet). I got a quote for a airconditioned van for 280 EUR per day! Pretty expensive but if you can get as many as 7 ppl into the van the cost surely is much more reasonably priced. So are there more people interested in this solution? Maybe we could team up?

      I also got the info that the normal “shuttle fee” from Taksim to the track is 20 EUR pp one way.

  10. If we manage to gather 10 people we could hire one of these
    and combine it with a short taxi trip from the shore….

    1. Hello,
      I’m coming to Istanbul from England to watch the race with my Girl Friend. We will be staying in the city and centre. I’ll be interested in sharing any sort of private transport to avoid having to go on the public bus and deal with traffic jams.

      Let me know.

  11. George sakko
    29th April 2010, 21:12

    I booked a platinum ticket for the istanbul gp! i would like to know if there will be a thursday pitlane walk! any ideas???? any1 to share a taxi!!! ????

  12. George sakko
    29th April 2010, 21:12

    George sakkos* my name

  13. Hi,

    Does anybody know how much the bus will cost from Taksim Square to Istanbul Park? Also does anyone know where I can find a bus timetable for this service? I have been searching the net for ages but find that the information available is very limited. My husband and I dont drive, we are staying in Sultanhamet and we need to pick our tickets up from the ticket office behind the main grandstand either on the Thursday or the Friday but obvioulsy dont want to spend our entire weekend on busses. Also any ideas on how much a cab would cost?
    Any help / advice will be appreciated!

    1. Hi Weeme

      I’m in the same situation. Also going to stay near Sultanahmet and need to go to the race. If you find any information will you please let me know. Or anybody els. I will share the costs.

  14. Hi,
    Does anybody know if there will be buses going from Kadikoy to Istanbul Park? Is it possible to find a timetable?

  15. There are meant to be buses going from Kadikoy. I have e-mailed the circuit to ask for times and exact departure point, but they are not published until about a week before the race.

    1. Unomaha1980
      16th May 2010, 18:24

      In this link you can find last year’s shuttle schedule
      That might give you an idea.
      “Kalkış” means “Departure”
      “Varış” means “Arrival”
      The first table is for Friday and Saturday. The third table is for Sunday.
      Let me know if you have any questions.

      1. Hi Unomaha1980
        Can you confirm where in Sultanahmet the bus stop is please. I will be staying 1 minute fro Sirkeci Station, so just need to know if Sultanahmet is closer or if Taksim Square is easier. many thanks

        1. Buses for race leave in front of tourist information center which is halfway between Blue Mosque and Aja Sofija. To arrive to Taksim from your location you would need to switch from tram to funnicular at least once so I think Sultanahmet buses are closer for you.

  16. I have got a couple of quotations for taxi and shuttle to the track.

    A taxi for transportation both saturday and sunday from and to Beyoglu (near sultanahmet) to Istanbul park is 290 EUR total cost, dunno how many seats in the car yet.

    Shuttle service is 30 EUR per day per person (roundtrip).

    1. Unomaha1980
      16th May 2010, 18:37

      I recommend you to rent a car. You can rent a decent car for 70 Euros per day. Istanbul is a big city but it is not hard to find direction, roads are wide. As soon as you pass Bosphorus you just need to follow the “Istanbul Park – Formula 1” signs by the road. From Beyoğlu it will take approimately two hours to get to the track.

  17. Travelling from Canada to the race and staying at Sheraton “near” the airport. It sounds like getting to the track will be very challenging. Anyone else happen to be staying at Sheraton hotel that wants to plan transportation?

    1. Hi Dave
      I am also staying at the sheraton in bakirkoy, have you found the best way and cheapest way to get over to the track?

  18. Hi there,

    Me and my husband will visit Istanbul for the Grand Prix 2010 but we still have no tickets. Someone knows if i can buy tickets from there?? before the race i mean, general admission or better bronze…or all the tickets are sold??

    Thx for your reply…

    1. Unomaha1980
      16th May 2010, 18:07

      You can get your tickets from the kiosk named as “Biletix” at the entrance of the track on the right hand side. Do not worry there will be plenty of seats left in all tribunes since ticket sales is low in Turkey. I will buy my ticket on the race day also.
      In this website
      there are pictures of the views from each tribun.
      Hope this will be helpful. I am Turkish by the way, any questions are welcome.

      1. Is it Cheaper to buy the tickets at the kiosk than before you arrive

      2. elias kosseifi
        15th April 2011, 16:21

        hi i need to talk to you i have many questions please qrite me to tell me how to contact you thanks

        1. If you’re going to ask questions about visiting the race you might as well post them here so other people can see the answers. That’s what this area is for.

  19. Hi,
    Does anybody know how to pick up the tickets if you book them directly with the circuit website? We are trying to get some tickets now (at 2 weeks for de GP) but we are traveling to Turkey in a week. They say they send the tickets but when…
    Some help, please. Thanks for all your comments, they are very useful.

    1. Unomaha1980
      16th May 2010, 18:15

      I recommend you to contact with the customer service by filling out the form on the link below.
      You can also call the ticket company’s call canter. The phone number is +90 216 556 98 00.
      9 is the country code

      1. Thanks a lot for your help!
        Have you ever been there before? If you have, which stand do you recomment? Actually im interesting in bronze seats or even for general admission. Im thinking of bronze seats tribune 5. What do you think??

        Oh.. i’ll stay at Ibis hotel.. (I’ll visit Turkey with a group), do you know how far is circuit park from there? we’ll be there by bus.

        Thanks a lot for your time…

        1. unomaha1980
          20th May 2010, 9:37

          Hello Elena,
          I bought my ticket from Silver Tribun 1 (first corner) in the last 4 years. This year I will get my ticket from the main granstand from the closer part to the first corner. I recommend Silver Tribun 1 or among bronze choices, Bronze Tribun 2 has a nice view. Anyhow, this year there are only 4 tribun choices excluding main grandstand.

          Ibis Hotel is in Zeytinburnu I guess. It is far away from the track. By bus it takes 2 hours approximately (if you take the direct bus to the track, ask your hotel about the shuttles). You can catch one from Sultanahmet.

          Enjoy your trip.

  20. Hello all,
    I am from Bosnia and Herzegovina and I have been in Istanbul park 2009 and I am coming back this year :). I drove with my car and we have been staying at Fenerbahce (Asian side)
    The experience was awesome. Since me and my crew are huge F1 fans, we have been at circuit on all 3 days (missed thursday due to our trip). I must say that only time I have experienced “long drive” was on the way back on race day. Friday and Saturday it took only 25 minutes to drive there. Ofcourse, I was there in the morning and got back after all programme was finished.
    We’ve been on “open area” and was perfect (apart from the fact that we didn’t have TV screens on which we could keep up with the race).
    We’ve been on different places during practice, qualifying and race and all parts have their advantages but we decided to watch the race from longest straight (between 8 and 9 curve).
    Probably will do the same this year :)..
    c u there

  21. Unomaha1980
    16th May 2010, 18:53

    I recommend you to book your hotel from the Asian side. Atatürk Airport is on the European side and far away from Bosphorus. And the track is on the Asian side and far away from Bosphorus. It will be exhausting for you to travel back and forth for three days and it will be hot.
    On the Anatolian side there are not many hotel choices in comparison to the European side but here are few:
    These two hotels are in Pendik (If you search you can find more hotels). There are direct shuttles from Pendik to the track and the trip takes less than a hour.

  22. Hi Unomaha1980,

    Thanks for all your advice. Do you know where in Kadikoy the bus leaves from?

    We are staying near Carrefour in İçerenköy. We have booked a taxi for our transfers to the circuit, but would be good to have a back up plan (not getting much response when we e-mail taxi company to finalise details!)

    Assuming our taxi does turn up, how long to you think it would take to get to the circuit from İçerenköy?

  23. unomaha1980
    17th May 2010, 12:01

    Hello Growler,
    Actually Alt Bostancı is closer to İçerenköy than Kadıköy. You can take a bus from İçerenköy to Alt Bostancı (20 minutes ride) and then catch the shuttle. Last year the shuttles departed from the bus terminal next to the sea bus terminal (İstanbul Deniz Otobüsleri – IDO). In this link you can find last year’s schedule
    This schedule is same in the last 4 years.
    Clever that you booked your hotel on the Asian side:)

  24. well
    i’m going to turkish GP this year and i can’t wait. i got the tickets a few weeks ago. i picked silver stand T1 at the first bend and i hope that will be a plenty of actions in this spot. going with 5 other lads, staying in europe side, just wonder how do we get in to the circut?
    i thin that the best way to get there is hire a car (looks cheepest way)
    if someone knows the time table of the busses please contact on
    thx and see u all on the track

  25. Darren from UK
    21st May 2010, 12:23

    I emailed the circuit again (had no previous response) so did a google translate for Turkish.

    I got sent this back in return, and have uploaded it

    The first table is the friday and saturday, the 2nd is sunday, with first and last bus service. Pist Ici Ring is the internal bus in the circuit (at least that’s free)

    Unlike what the Istanbul park circuit suggests, there appears to be no bus from Ataturk airport. I am staying very near the airport (holiday inn at ataturk), but have now booked a rental car to be on the safe side.

    hope this is of help

  26. The istanbulpark website details that shuttle buses will be running from various points across the city, with the first buses running from 7.00. The site says that the bus will cost 4.5ytl from sultanahmet(where im staying), which I believe is roughly the equilvalent of £2, is this correct? Any other people planning on catching these buses?

  27. Hello, I’m currently in Istanbul and trying to find the best way to circuit from Sultanahmet. I did bus -> ferry -> tram on the way from the airport, which was ok, although took a liitle over 1.5 hours (but this may have been down to me not having a clue where I was going and carrying heavy bags). If the traffic getting from the Old Town to the Asian side is as bad as legend has it, then I’d expect this route be quckier, but if that is a bit of an urban myth then the F1 shuttle from Sultanahmet will no doubt be quicker/easier, if only due to the lack of connections.

    Can anyone comment of the quality of Istanbul traffic/ the F1 shuttle buses?

    Does anyone know where the F1 shuttle departs from Sultanahmet?

    If anyone would like to share this journey with me and my girlfriend, please get in touch at Doing tram -> ferry -> taxi may be the best option.

    Finally, does anyone know if there is a Thursday pitlane walk?

  28. Plese see what I found! How to get F1 trace!
    I will be on Silver 1.

  29. Hi,
    Does anybody know What is or When can I find the “Racing program and all event information” for this weekend.

  30. As far as I understand the bus from sultanahmet departs from the car park opposite the blue mosque, im not 100% sure of this though so if anyone knows otherwise please say.

  31. Just found out that there is no pitlane walk today, but there is a “signing session on Saturday at the vending area”.

    1. Do you know what time the signing session on Saturday is at?

      1. Unomaha1980
        28th May 2010, 11:18

        Last year it started around 16:30 on Saturday.

  32. Since I´ve been active in this thread with alot of questions I figure I could share some facts now that I´ve been to the Istanbul race.

    The race and track is just awsome. I had seats in curve 8 (silver 8) and that was where most of the action was. That was where the Vettel / Webber incident was. From this stand you see the cars slow down from the backstraight and then make 3 turns. The first turn is a great passing opportunity. You then see the cars accelerate on the straight towards the finishline. From certain parts of the stand you see into the pitstraight although it is far away and you are going to need binoculars to really appreciate what is going on in the pits. Also the big screen in this stand is acctually not so big. You need binoculars to see names and times. Not seeing this was especially frustrating during qualifying session. Bring binoculars if you are going to buy tickets for silver 8.

    The F1 village was really boring. You buy your uberexpensive teamwear there and that is pretty much all. They had some simulaters there but you are way better of buying xbox 360 with a forcefeedback steering wheel and forza motorsport 3 (or the new f1 game due this year).

    The tranportation to and from the track worked well. there are busses going all friday, saturday and sunday from taksim square. Just be there in the morning and there will be busses there. The cost is 5 turkis lira with is appx 2,5 EUR one way. You pay the busdriver, bring exact change for both trips, they might try to rip you off otherwise. In a way they rip you off even if you have 5 TL. The charge is acctually 4,5tl but the driver wont let you on board the bus if you dont round off the 5 TL. I tried to pay exactly 9 TL but he refused to let me on…

    The most of the busses are airconditioned and the drive is about an hour and a half from taksim square to Istanbul park.

    On the way home you just go back to the place you got dropped off outside the arena and there will be lots of busses waiting to take you and the other spectators back to Istanbul. Just make sure you get on the right bus as there are several destinations served by these busses back to Istanbul.

    When waiting in line for the bus there will be alot of taxidrivers approaching you to try to convince you to go with them instead of bus. There is really no good reason to take a taxi unless you really dont want to wait in line for appx half an hour. If you take a taxi you shouldn´t pay more than 10 TL per person or 40 TL for the trip (one way of course, I dunno how it works to take a taxi back to istanbul)

    There are alot of taxidrivers

  33. I have just returned from the race (my first ever) and here are some of my experiences.
    Transportation is very well organized with shuttles leaving as they are full from various spots around town (Attaturk Airport, Sultanahmet, Taksim square, Asian side). Buses don’t stop at each of this spots but rather go directly to the track which speeds up the journey.
    We heard horror stories about 3-hour rides to the track so we went to the buses around 9:30 am but the ride was really fast and it took us only hour and a half to get to Istanbul Park and there were no traffic jams at all. We were situated at Sultanahmet and the buses were leaving right next to Sultanahmet tram station in front of the tourist information office. On website it said one-way fare costs 4,5 turkish lira (payable in cash or with Akbil) but they rounded it up to 5 lira on Sunday.
    We had booked tickets in advance and there were separate ticket collection points so we managed to skip the lines.
    Merchandise stands were horrible – Ferrari and McLaren had their own stands and there were 5 or 6 official Formula 1 store stands which were supposed to carry merchandise from teams. I say supposed to since all they had were Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull and Renault merchandise. I was hoping to buy a Williams cap but there weren’t any, in fact from Williams I found (and I went through all merchandise stands) a mousepad from 2 seasons ago, last years Rosberg’s car model and a last years team shirt which costed 70€ which I couldn’t afford. Other teams were also badly represented, for example I saw only a few Mercedes t-shirts and nothing at all from Torro Rosso,Lotus,Virgin,Sauber (there were stuff with BMW badge).

    There were free buses which rode around the circuit and stopped at each grandstand so getting around circuit was easy. Food and drink were seriously overpriced and there could have been more stands, toilet facilities were good,big and clean – much better then I expected.
    We had general admission tickets and we chose to sit at turn 9 where there was a view of the bigscreen. There is no run-off area there so we were really close to the track and cars and we could see them decelerate after turn 8, going into the tight left-hander and then accelerating over the hill to back straight. It was also a decent overtaking opportunity and we saw several overtakes which weren’t on TV (only Hulkenberg on Trulli and Barrichello on Hulkenberg were shown).
    The race was amazing – until I saw it taped I wasn’t sure was it because I was seeing it live but it seems it was good even on TV.
    It seems we have good races when I go to the track so if you want to watch interesting races I’m accepting donations since this trip exhausted me financially :D

    The return trip took a bit more since everybody was trying to leave the track at the same time.There were plenty of buses which were leaving to various destinations (including airport, I saw somebody asked about that). At first a lot of people were cutting lines so things were a bit hectic but police established a single file line really soon so things went smoothly from there. It took around 2 hours to get back to our starting point at Sultanahmet but that was because of the traffic jam between the track and the highway.

    On this link you can find my pictures from Istanbul including some from the race. Cars were too fast for my slow camera so I only managed to catch a few of the cars in action.

  34. I went to the Turkish Grand Prix as well, and I will echo everything Gabal has said.

    The track is fantastic and the transportation to and from the circuit is one of the easiest I have come across, very well organised, all had signs showing where they were going and plenty of buses. Cheap too!

    We stayed in Kadikoy which was a bit rubbish, we didnt see any other fans during the whole weekend and being 2 women on our own with did get a bit of unwelcome hassle that I’ve never had at a race before.

    We had the Gold grandstands which I was glad of because of the heat (they were covered) but in terms of viewing werent fantastic. Platinum had lots of empty spots but they werent letting anyone through (although there was a bit of a gap that could be squeezed through, I saw a few people doing that ;-). Apparently there was a signing session as well behind this grandstand but we missed it because it wasn’t publicised.

    I did have a nasty experience though, on the Sunday I had nipped out to get a drink and left my bag in the Grandstand. The day before they had tagged you with a wristband and let you in and out on that without having to show your ticket again. Sunday was different. The security guard refused to let me back in because I just had the wristband but not my ticket (which was in my bag!) They wouldnt let me in to go and get it either. I was panicking and it took 15 minutes of arguing with the only person who spoke English (and I speak a little turkish as well because I’ve been to Turkey so often) so I could get back in. Just a warning, always carry your ticket because it very neatly spoilt my whole weekend.

    All in all, cracking circuit but as people have said before, a bit lacking in atmosphere compared to others.

  35. Hi there,

    I’m looking to buy tickets for the Turkish Gp 2011 and was wondering if anyone knew where was best to sit? I was thinking either Silver 8 or Bronze 2, any help on both these areas would be very helpful!

    Thanks a lot!

  36. I highly recommend silver 8 grandstand. You see the deceleration from the back straight and then a left, right left combo, it finishes off with the acceleration out on the main straight.

    If you have seats high up on the southern part of the grandstand you will be able to see into the pit lane. Although you will need binoculars to really follow the action, also you need it to be able to see the graphics on the big screen. The qualifying was really dull when we weren´t able to see the graphics on the screen. Bring binoculars !!

    It was in this section the Vettel / Webber incident happened and we had front row seats for that :)

    All in all it was a great experience to see the race but that was pretty much all the entertainment we had this weekend, in Istanbul you dont notice there is a F1 weekend going on which takes away some of the experience. I have already booked flight, hotel and tickets for the Hungaroring race 2011.

    Let me know if you have any further questions and I will be happy to answer as best as I can.

    Cant wait til the season starts again… arghhh..

  37. Darren from UK
    8th December 2010, 12:50

    I was at Bronze 5 for the race last year (turns 9 and 10). Was a good spot as you could see who was close enough to overtake before the final corners (where Silver 8 is) so I would recommend that. Had the Red bull action and also the Mclaren fight there.

    We sat at Bronze 2 for one of the sessions but personally did not think much of it.

    The closer you are to the car park / bus parks the better. The buses that transport spectators around the circuit had disappeared by the end of the race and were being used to transport people back to Istanbul. Was a long walk from the other side of the circuit in 30 degrees heat.

    Definitely take your own drink. Nearly £4 for a bottle of coke. Food seemed reasonably priced in comparison to other races I have been to though (around £6 for a burger king burger and chips).

    My girlfriend found it a bit daunting as this was her first race (security wise with police etc) not only at the race also hotel and airport, but I would definitely go again if it is still on the calendar in a few years time.

    I hired a car and stayed at holiday inn by Istanbul airport (actually 15 mins drive away!). The hotel was superb, free shuttles to and from hotel and airport as well as the city centre, and a large shopping precinct 5 mins walk away. Worked out to be a very cheap weekend (£230 for flights and 5 nights hotel, £60 for the tickets)

    Traveling to the circuit took around 45-50 minutes on all 3 days and about 1.5 hours way back once in the car. Driving in Turkey is certainly an experience not to forget.

    You would have no idea that there is an F1 race when you go. Apart from seeing a couple of the Teams minubuses at the airport, there were no banners posters at all to remind us why we were there.

    To top an excellent long weekend, we bumped into Nico Rosberg and his girlfriend in the Grand Bazaar!

  38. Hi both,
    Thanks for your feedback!
    If I were to buy tickets for Silver stand 8 would you recommend sitting at the top to the right side of the stand? Is this the best access to view the TV as well?
    Also sitting in this area can you see the rest of the circuit? I was told that because Bronze 2 is on a hill you have a better view of the whole circuit.

    Thanks again for your help!

  39. I went last year and sat in top right of the silver stand 8. Would go for the same spot again. I wrote a report of my trip which you can find here

    The pictures just after the stuff about Istanbul City show the view from our seats. From our seats using binoculars we could also see the exit of turn 2, and the famous turn 8 in the distance, with a view part-way down the start finish straight and of the finish line itself.

    You can see the TV just in front of the blue pit building – it is a bit off to the other side of the stand but close enough to see – although again you would need binoculars to read positions / timings etc (I used the F1 Application on my phone for this though).

    There is also a big gate right in front of the stand which they open at the end of the race and it is a short run around to the podium.

  40. Listen to Growler, his report is spot on!

    I would also recommend a seat high up on the right (southern) part of silver 8. Don´t have too high expectations regarding the big screen, the screen seem to be a little too far away from the entire Silver 8 grandstand. You can clearly see the action on the screen but you will not see the graphics as mentioned before. Problem solved with binoculars! you can see some parts of the rest of the track but it is far far away.

  41. Hi everyone,

    I was looking at the biletix website that deals with ticketing for the Turkish Grand Prix and thanks to all the advice here have decided on getting silver 8 grandstand tickets. I would prefer to sit at the very back so the fencing doesn’t get in the way and I would also like to sit at the southern part of the grandstand so that I can take in some of the action on the pit lane.

    The website however only lets me pick the block I would like to sit in and automatically selects both the seat and the row so instead of row 16 I always get placed on row 1. I emailed the circuit but got no response so I was wondering whether anyone had a workaround to this issue?


  42. We are looking to get tickets for the race this year and sit in the Silver 8. Does anyone know what Block is the SouthEast side of the seating.

  43. Bowsie, we’re in the same situation as you. Don’t want to sit in Row 1.

    Can anyone help us out with the Biletix website?


  44. Had the same issue when I booked – here is the solution. Select the block that you want, order 9 seats but don’t go through to checkout. Open a new window, order another 9 and you will get the next 9 sequential seats. Keep doing this until you are close to where you want to be, then order the correct number of seats you need. You’ll need to work fairly quickly as the seats get released after around 5 minutes of not being checked out. Having a friend do the same on another PC/ laptop will help. I managed to get onto the back row using this method.

    1. Thank you for your response. Great solution to the problem! I booked my tickets a few days ago but didnt even think to do something like that. In the end I just tried my luck ringing the biletix ticket line in the hope there would be an English speaker on the other end.

      It turns out I was in luck and managed to book the back row without any trouble at all! Its a little bit more hassle when compared to booking online as you have to send a signed fax to them in order to confirm your booking but its worth it because it got me exactly where I wanted to be.

      Hope this is of some help to you too f00tsie!

      1. Hi Bowsie,

        Im wanting to book tickets using the istanbul park website too.. How long do the tickets take to arrive, Im worried I may not recieve them in time. Booking from the F1 website is significantly more expensive. Any help would be appreciated.

        1. Hi Haris,

          At the time of booking the tickets with biletix I was told I would have them around 4 weeks before the race. I got an email from UPS yesterday telling me they had left Istanbul so they were quite accurate with the timing. I will let you know when they arrive but I assume I wont be waiting too long now. If I can help you with anything else just let me know.

  45. last year i got my tickets from – no problems at all. tickets arrived around 6 weeks b4 event with ups.

  46. delivery icket delivery was fine (they use DHL if i recall correctly), but my only word of warning would be to get the full price before concluding that they are much cheaper. I forget how much, but I remember there being quite a few additional charges on top of the base price of the ticket.

  47. Is thr a pit walk on the Thursday I found a time table online saying 10-12.30 and 4-7 but no reference to what

  48. Is thr a pit walk on the Thursday I found a time table online saying 10-12.30 and 4-7 but no reference to what year

  49. What year sorry

  50. If I buy tickets at the circuit do they accept cards or only cash? I am too late to order online as I catch my flight on Tuesday at 06.30.

    Also does anyone know how long the bus takes from Istanbul to the circuit and how much it costs. The timetable says the cost is 3 tickets but that doesn’t help much

  51. @jon

    the bus goes from several points in Istanbul, one of them being Taksim square. The busses departs all the time all weekend and cost 5 turkish lira one way. You will be approached by taxidrivers offering to take you there for everything between 20-100 USD – don´t fall for it!! The bus takes about an hour and a half to two hours depending on traffic. There are busses with a/c. Also, as you stand in line try to position yourself so you dont have to stand all the way. they fill up the buss totally and the last ones on wont get any seats. Its a good idea to be the first one on the bus.

    Dunno anything about buying tickets at the race though. Have a nice racing weekend!

  52. there are some! busses with a/c – not all of them!!

  53. Thanks for the info about the buses. Does anyone know about the tickets?

  54. Tickets are available at trackside from 70 turkish lira upwards depending on where u wanna sit…

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