Some surprising news comes from Turkey which shows a big possibility of Turkish GP return into F1 calendar by 2013.
On mid-October, the tender for Istanbulpark rent was won by İstanbul MC Racing for 5 M $ per year till 2023. However, the company did not bring the necessary tender guarantee and the tender went to second best Intercity Auto Rental company which is the biggest car rental company with over 30.000 car fillet. Now, Intercity boss Vural Ak gives their first and biggest news, return of Istanbulpark into F1 calendar.
Ak says, “I personally know Bernie Ecclestone for many years. We presented our projects for Istanbulpark to him and he was impressed. He promised to decrease his 26 M $ demand, Turkish state will pay 13.5 M $ and I will pay 5 M $ from my personal budget, so we will finish deal nearly 20 M $ per year. Bernie’s biggest problem was lack of audience, we guaranteed 50.000 spectators. We want to make a 7-years-deal for Turkish GP”
As I understood, circuit owner tries to take potential French GP’s slot June, 22-23 or on summer holiday either right after Hungarian GP August 3-4 or right before Belgium GP August 17-18. But all three dates are hard practically. June, 22-23 is after Canadian GP and Britain GP is scheduled 1 week after potential Turkish GP. It is hard in terms of logistics. The remaining two dates are logistically easier but they harm summer break. For me, the week before Spanish GP (May 3-4) is better for Turkish GP, in other words putting Turkey as European season opener. It is two weeks after Bahrain GP which is the closest Asian circuit to Europe.
It seems the owners plan to make money by having a name sponsor for Turkish GP, some circuit activities, concerts, test drives and so on.
Circuit owners aim to announce final Turkish GP decision and date during FIA 2012 General Annual Assembly (will be held in Istanbul) and FIA prize giving gala.