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Arrival of Bulgaria to edge Turkey and Hungary off calendar?

Should Bulgaria be added to the F1 calendar from 2012 as is being suggested, then it could mean Turkey and Hungary disappear, warns grand prix organiser Bogdan Nikolov ...
There have been many murmurings of late about the likelihood or otherwise of Bulgaria joining the annual F1 calendar in the not-too-distant future – but if it does so, it appears it may be at the expense of current races in Turkey and Hungary.

The circuit in Bulgaria – one that it is hoped will be of a standard to be able to accommodate both F1 and MotoGP, and that it is claimed will benefit from a unique artificial heating system to ensure a stable track temperature [see separate story – click here] – is tipped to feature on the top flight's schedule from as early as 2012, with a contract waiting to be signed with the sport's commercial rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone.

Despite a scandal erupting just under two months ago regarding alleged funding from Arabian investors – funding that was swiftly and angrily denied by the Emirates Associated Business Group [see separate story – click here] – Bulgarian motor racing official and grand prix organiser Bogdan Nikolov maintains that the EABG is still keen to be involved in the project. An F1 race in the country would, however, come at a price.

“If there is a grand prix in Sofia, there won't be races in Istanbul and at the Hungaroring,” he told Sofia-based news agency Novinite. “We will be the only grand prix in eastern Europe.”

The Hungarian Grand Prix has been an F1 regular every year since 1986, whilst Turkey joined the fray in 2005. Although the challenging Istanbul Park Circuit has proven to be popular amongst drivers and television viewers, it has had difficulty in attracting decent crowd numbers, ostensibly due to high ticket prices – casting doubt over its future in the sport.

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FooAtari .

November 01, 2010 6:51 PM

The track for Turkish GP is pretty good, certainly the best of the recent new tracks added to the calender. To loose that over something like Valencia or Singapore would be a shame. Although as with many of the new tracks, it always seems to look fairly empty. Hungary has always been a bit to tight for F1, Monaco without walls as they say. But question is would, what im assuming will be a new track in Bulgeria (apparantly F1 doesn't add old tracks to the calender any more) be any better than Turkey or Hungary.

Martin - Unregistered

November 01, 2010 8:44 PM

Turkey has a great track layout, but the attendances and resultant atmosphere have been poor. I'd rather lose Valencia or China's circuit, but I wouldn't be that saddened to lose it. I'm amazed that the Hungarian circuit has lasted this long. It's not just Monaco without walls, it's also Monaco without character, action, challenge or reputation, and comfortably the worst circuit in F1. What does this mean for the plans for a Russian Grand Prix though?

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