F1 could be looking at its best ‘Tilkedrome’ being dropped from the F1 calendar, with rumours persisting that this weekend’s Grand Prix will be the last in the Eurasian nation.
The Hermann Tilke designed circuit has received popular acclaim among drivers and fans for its challenging layout that has proven very conducive to good racing.
But spectator numbers were again noticeably low, with plenty of pictures showing that photographers seemed to outnumber the spectators on the opening day’s running at Istanbul Park! At last year’s race, event organisers took to covering vast expanses of unsold grandstand seating with black material, but it didn’t fool many people into realising that no one was coming…
With the event now managed directly by F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone – bucking the trend of other events that are usually run by local organisers – the British billionaire has said: "It’s an enormous market in Turkey. Eventually they will get themselves sorted out.”
As is typical of events with little in the way of motorsport culture and scarcely a local open-wheeler driver worthy of the name, this is perhaps hardly surprising that the Turkish crowds do not flock in droves to their local event.
However, Germany’s Die Welt newspaper is reporting that the track’s location and distance from the city is creating huge traffic snarls for motorsport figures and fans trying to commute from their hotels to the circuit.
“The rumours are getting louder that the fastest circus in the world will no longer make the journey to Istanbul,” it reads.
Indeed, of the 24 drivers on the grid this weekend, only Nico Rosberg brought his personal motorhome to the circuit in a bid to avoid the bumper-to-bumper congestion to and from the circuit.
[Original image via Sutton Images]