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Formula 1 Grand Prix May Return to Turkey

By Timucin Turksoy April 12, 2017

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Istanbul Park played host to F1 races in 2005-2001

Turkey may once again host Formula 1 Grand Prix racecar competitions after a meeting between the competition’s CEO Chase Carey and Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on Tuesday.

Vural Ak, the operator of Intercity Istanbul Park, also known as Istanbul Racing Circuit and where previous Grand Prix races have been held, was in attendance at the meeting and confirmed the discussions.

“All I can say at this point is that the meetings went really well and we agreed in principle, although the contract hasn't been signed yet. Hopefully, our country will again host F1 in Istanbul,” Ak said Tuesday at the Automotive Journalists Association dinner.

Istanbul’s circuit is one of 15 tracks licensed to hold Formula 1 races. The last time the circuit played host to an F1 competition was in 2011. Since then, no F1 competitions have been held in Turkey due to poor attendance records and as a result of a financial dispute that led the Turkish government to not approve future events.

Formula 1 Grand Prix competitions were first held in Turkey in 2005. Its racetrack quickly gained notoriety for its quad-apex Turn 8 left-hander, considered one of the most challenging racetrack corners amongst F1 circuits. Notable drivers that have raced on the track include Kimi Räikkönen from the McLaren-Mercedes team, who raced in 2005. Ferrari’s Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton, McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, and Honda’s Jenson Button have all participated in competitions on the track in Istanbul as well.