• Turkish Grand Prix

Turkey closer to extending contract

ESPNF1 Staff
May 10, 2011 « Buemi 'a driver with a future' - Toro Rosso | »
Turkey is closing on a deal to remain on the calendar in 2012 © Getty Images
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Istanbul Park moved closer to reaching a deal for a 2012 Turkish Grand Prix following a meeting with Bernie Ecclestone.

Earlier, officials ruled out paying a doubled race sanctioning fee for a new contract, leaving the F1 chief executive Ecclestone saying in Turkey: "We don't want to leave here".

"Both sides are trying to solve this issue. Comparing before the race and the current situation, there is a 50% difference," Turkey's automobile federation chairman Mumtaz Tahincioglu told local media after the meeting.

The first deadline is June 3, when the World Motor Sport Council will discuss the provisional grand prix calendar for 2012.

"Even if the issue is not resolved by that date, we must get into the draft," said youth and sport general director Yunus Akgul.

Ecclestone said that will only happen if Turkey agrees to pay a representative annual fee.

"We will be happy to race here for exactly the same fees that we get from other European races, like Hungary does," he said. "Other countries seem to believe that Formula One is good for their country. If Turkey believes it doesn't need any good public relations, that's fine. It's up to them to make up their mind. I cannot do it for them."