Turkish Grand Prix braces for jubilant fans in the stands as the Formula 1 motor racing returns to Istanbul after a nine-year hiatus.
The organisers of the November 15 event at the Istanbul Park has sold 40,000 tickets in six hours after opening the sales. Turkey has been added to the F1 calendar after nine years as the COVID-19 pandemic had disrupted the motor racing season just like all sports in the world.
After announcing that the spectators will be allowed for the Formula 1 events in Turkey, the organisers had priced limited tickets for the Istanbul GP at 30 Turkish Lira (TL) (£3) per day. There has been a massive demand for the tickets, which will offer access to the arena for a limited time.
Intercity has announced that it managed to sell 10,000 campaign tickets within the first hour, and added another 30,000 tickets on sale over the next five hours for a total of 40,000 tickets. The organisers are optimistic to reach the target of 100,000 tickets.
“We were planning to fill the full capacity, 220,000 seats, under normal circumstances but it’s not possible with COVID-19,” said Vural Ak, the chairman of promoter Intercity. “Before us, this organisation was without [an] owner. We are passionate and enthusiastic about this sport and we can organise it successfully. But, as you know, there is COVID-19. That’s why we hope to bring about 100,000 people.
“We have to be prepared for anything. If the disease becomes worse than today, then the race can be done without spectators. However, we know the capacity of this track. Around 220,000 spectators can watch the race in the grandstands and in the open areas.
“At the moment for safety reasons, if we close some sections, about 100,000 spectators will be able to watch the race by following social distancing rules.”