- Turkish Grand Prix
Turkey could be priced out the F1 market
It is being reported in Istanbul that Bernie Ecclestone has demanded a doubling of the annual charge to US$26 million if the Turkish Grand Prix is to remain on the calendar after the current deal expires in 2011
Local newspapers state Ecclestone spoke with State Minister for Sports Faruk Nafiz Özak and Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek during last weekend's İstanbul Grand Prix. The parties ended discussions with nothing resolved.
"Turkey is definitely fond of hosting these races, and all this haggling is taking place for this," said Youth and Sports Director Yunus Akgül, who was present at the meeting. "After these talks, both sides understand the positions of all involved, and the process will be concluded within two months. However, paying US$26 million for this organisation every year is a big burden. The figure is very high.
"We've approached the deal from a different angle. Our last offer was that he relinquish the operating rights to İstanbul Park, and we guaranteed that the track would be reserved for the organisation for three weeks before and during the races. In return, we wanted him to come up with a new offer."
However, he was adamant unless Ecclestone was prepared to be flexible they would reluctantly allow the race to go elsewhere. If that were to happen, the future of Istanbul Park, which is little used outside the grand prix, would be in doubt as well.