F1 »

Future of Turkish Grand Prix again in doubt

The Turkish Grand Prix again finds itself under threat from the chop from the annual F1 calendar - as the sport's commercial rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone vows to almost double the race-hosting fee from 2011
The future of the Turkish Grand Prix is again looking precarious – after F1 commercial rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone reportedly told organisers that the race promotion fee will be nigh-on doubled for the 2011 edition.

The Istanbul Park Circuit's present contract with Formula One Management (FOM) expires at the end of 2010, and the race has been beset by criticism, not only for the exorbitant $214 million cost of the track – somewhat higher than the predicted $25 million – but also for poor attendances, with a scant 30,000 tickets sold for race day in 2009, the nadir of a spectacular fall from 200,000 for the inaugural grand prix four years earlier. The spectator capacity is as high as half a million.

Such disappointing figures – allied to Ecclestone's demands for $26 million a year rather than the current $13.5 million to retain a spot on the annual calendar from 2011 onwards – have led to fears the Turkish Grand Prix will soon be no more, and Ecclestone has given the country's government until the end of the year to respond.

The British billionaire's argument is that countries like India are willing and able to afford as much as $30 million for the honour and prestige of welcoming the world's most glamorous and high-octane sport – but countering that, Turkish officials have insisted that other nations get away with paying far, far less.

“In countries such as France and Germany, the Formula 1 CEO is requesting something between $1.5 million and $4 million,” an official told the Hurriyet Daily News.

Turkish Sports Minister Faruk Nafiz Özak is due to present a dossier to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoðan before a final decision is made, whilst former World Supersport Champion Kenan Sofuoðlu and the Turkish Motorcycle Federation (TMF) have been pushing for Istanbul Park to be allowed to hold MotoGP and World Superbike Championship meetings – with the TMP reasoning that not only is motorcycling more popular in the country, but it would also be considerably cheaper to stage.

The only sticking point with that is the fact that the circuit was rented to Ecclestone in 2007 for 14 years, after just 80,000 tickets were sold for that year's grand prix.

Red Bull Racing star Mark Webber lamented that there was 'no atmosphere' to the 2009 Turkish Grand Prix, whilst Ferrari rival Felipe Massa opined that the lack of spectators was down to overly-expensive entrance prices – a direct knock-on effect of Ecclestone's race fees.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Istanbul action
Who will replace Nico Rosberg at Mercedes?
Who will replace Nico Rosberg at Mercedes?
French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard
Lando Norris, McLaren Autosport BRDC Awards [Credit: Martyn Pass PR]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Daniel Ricciardo tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


tom - Unregistered

December 20, 2009 6:26 PM

have any of the above commentators actually watched the Turkish Grand Prix??? - they seem to be sl*gging Tilke just for the sake of it. All the drivers agree its one of the best new tracks in years - and it would be a great loss to the calender.

Shrieker

December 19, 2009 11:43 PM

Doubling the race fee. Greedy b***rd. As a local biker, I must also add that this poison dwarf requests 30,000 euros (you read that right) for a track day. If the dwarf is out and if we'll have our track days at a reasonable price, I won't mind not seeing Istanbul Park on the F1 calendar.



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.