Turkish officials say they are 'optimistic' about the chances of the nations F1 event continuining following meetings with Bernie Ecclestone during the Istanbul weekend.

The future of the event has been called into question due to the rising costs involved, with the head of the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce Murat Yalcintas saying that it was likely that the 2011 race would be the last.

Ecclestone however has said he is keen to Turkey to stay on the calendar as, despite failing to bring in large crowds, the circuit has proved to be a popular one with drivers and served up an exciting fourth round of the season this past weekend.

Speaking following a meeting with the commercial rights holder during the weekend, Turkish youth and sport general director Yunus Akgul said the country was hopeful a deal could be struck to remain part of the F1 schedule.

"We will do everything we can - we will talk with Ecclestone," he was quoted by the Guardian. "We want this race to stay but it is not the be-all and end-all. We will keep this track alive in every way. There are other races, we will go to them. We definitely want Formula [One] to stay here and we will do everything we can.

"The draft calendar will be discussed on 3 June. Even if the issue is not resolved by that date, we must get into the draft."

Official figures suggested a crowd of 42,000 attended the 2011 race, up on the figures from twelve months before.



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