- Turkish Grand Prix
Ecclestone insists Turkish Grand Prix will remain
Bernie Ecclestone has insisted the Turkish Grand Prix will remain on the Formula One calendar despite a history of poor attendances
Reacting to suggestions the circuit would be ditched, he said talks were underway to secure a ten-year contract extension with the Istanbul Park Circuit. The current deal expires after this year's race. "We'll be here again next year," he said ahainst a backdrop of empty stands.
With few fans in the grandstands for Friday's opening practice, Ecclestone pleaded for patience and insisted ticket sales were up this year. "It's not good, but it takes a long time to build a fan base in a country without a history of F1," he said. "Let's wait till Saturday or Sunday. It'll be better than last year."
"It's an enormous market in Turkey. Eventually they will get themselves sorted out."
Ecclestone again maintained there was room in the current calendar for more grands prix following the announcement earlier this week of plans for a US Grand Prix in 2012.
"Not being in America is wrong for a global sport," Williams chief executive officer Adam Parr said. "So, well done to Bernie because just when you think he's given up the case, he comes up with a fantastic deal."
"For Red Bull it's very important, it's a major market," Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost said. "I always said we would need two Grand Prix in America … next on the East side."