Talks about 2021 Turkish GP ongoing

Finley Crebolder

According to the CEO of track manager Intercity, talks are ongoing between Istanbul Park and Formula 1 about future races at the track.

The first Turkish Grand Prix in nine years is to take place in 2020 after it was selected as a replacement race as many had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the time of writing, it looks to be a one-off return, with a race at Istanbul Park not featuring on a rumoured calendar for next season.

However, Intercity CEO Vural Ak, who has previously stated a desire for a long-term deal, says talks are ongoing and almost finalised with Formula 1 regarding a 2021 Turkish Grand Prix.

“I am trying to retain it. We are in talks to hold the Turkish Grand Prix next year as well,” he told the Anadolu Agency.

“It will likely be finalized very soon. My goal is to make this race a regular feature. As Intercity, we have brought Formula 1 back to Turkey without imposing any financial burden on the state. I think this is the ideal formula.

“Hosting it under the auspices of the Turkish state and president has given us a lot of advantages in the operational aspect, but it was right not to pass on the financial burden during such times of economic hardships. Unlike other races or sports, this was not organized on the Turkish state’s expense.”

A Turkish Grand Prix took place every year from 2005 to 2011 and proved to be popular, with the track considered by many to be one of the best built in recent times.

Therefore, many fans have been wanting a return ever since it was absent from the 2012 season, and Ak says that bringing it back has been in the works for four years.

“We have been closely following this project ever since President Recep Tayyip Erdogan assigned it to us four years ago. Eventually, this year, Formula 1 has come back to Turkey,” he added.

“All preparations are done. Decorations are underway. Billboards have been placed. Some minor cleaning and landscaping have been done. We have already finished all the major work.

“In recent years, Formula 1 has been one of the most-watched motorsports and, generally, it has become a sport loved even more than football. I am very happy that we have done it. Now we are counting down the days. Only one week to go.”

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