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Is the Turkish Grand Prix set to return? New F1 deal “agreed in principle”

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Is the Turkish Grand Prix set to return? New F1 deal “agreed in principle”
Apr 12, 2017, 11:13 AM

The Turkish Grand Prix is in line for a possible return to the Formula 1 calendar, six years after the last race was held at the Istanbul Park venu...

The Turkish Grand Prix is in line for a possible return to the Formula 1 calendar, six years after the last race was held at the Istanbul Park venue.

F1’s new CEO Chase Carey met with Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan to discuss the possibility of the race returning to the calendar along with several members of the country’s government. The Istanbul circuit’s owner, Vural Ak, was also present at the meeting.

Speaking at an Automotive Journalists Association dinner after the talks, Ak, who bought the 5.338-km track for $250 million in 2012, said: "We had a meeting in Ankara with the President and Chase Carey from Liberty Media, whom I previously invited to Turkey personally before.

Turkish Grand Prix

“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."

Turkey hosted seven F1 races between 2005 and 2011 before a financial dispute led to its contract being cancelled and the government refusing to give its approval to any more races on the grounds that they were too expensive.

Felipe Massa is the most successful driver at the Istanbul circuit with three wins, which he scored in succession between 2006 and 2008 while driving for Ferrari. Sebastian Vettel won the last Turkish Grand Prix for Red Bull in 2011, one year after his famous collision with his then team-mate Mark Webber at the same event.

The Istanbul track has 14 corners – including its triple-apex Turn 8 that was popular with drivers and fans alike – and has hosted Moto GP, DTM and various sportscar races in the past.

Turkish Grand Prix

The meeting between Carey and the Turkish president comes soon after it was announced that the 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix would be the last F1 race to be held at the Sepang circuit.

Liberty Media confirmed at the time that the returning French and German races would replace Malaysia, but if the Turkish Grand Prix was also added to the calendar for 2018 that would leave F1 with a total of 22 races for that season – va new record. The current record is the 21 that took place in 2016.

What do you make of the news that the Turkish Grand Prix may be about to return to the F1 calendar? Are there any other races that you would like to see return? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JA on F1 Facebook page for more discussion.
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