CEO of F1 Chase Carey met with the Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan at his presidential palace in Ankara on Monday to discuss the return of the Turkish GP to the Formula 1 calendar.
In attendance were the chief of Turkish motorsport Serkan Yazici, Turkish GP track operator Vural Ak, Minister of Youth and Sports Akif Cagatay Kilic, and spokesperson of the presidency ambassador Ibrahim Kalin.
After the discussions, Vural Ak spoke at the Automotive Journalists Association dinner where he announced that although a deal wasn’t signed, it was “agreed in principle”.
Photo : motorsport.com
“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”, he said.
We haven’t had a Turkish GP since 2011 when Istanbul Park where Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel took pole and the race win. A financial dispute with the government not approving future events was stated to be the reason for termination.
I think I speak for most of the F1 fan community when I say that the Turkish GP was an exciting race to watch. The track has an incredible flow to it, the standout being the quad-apex turn 8 left hander. Turkey being back on the F1 calendar would be welcomed by the fans and the drivers, I reckon.
However, when you look at it from an organiser’s standpoint, historically filling the stands has been an issue. The turkish public were naturally excited about F1 when it was first brought to the country, but interest faded over time.
Talking about Turkey’s possible return to F1, ex F1 driver Karun Chandhok said on Twitter, “It’s a great track to drive, although I remember being on the grid in 2007 for the GP2 race and counting 7 people – yes 7 – in the main grandstand!”
Yeah, it was a GP2 race, but still you’ve got to worry about fan engagement if you’re the organiser.
For the fans, however, these new fast 2017 cars going round turn 8 in Turkey? Yes please.
– Aditya Bhat.