Formula 1

Istanbul Park Aiming for Long-Term Agreement to Remain on Formula 1 Schedule Beyond 2020

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Credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Vural Ak, who is the boss of Istanbul Park’s operator Intercity, hopes to see the Turkish Grand Prix make a long-term return to the Formula 1 calendar as the venue prepares for its first race since 2011 this November.

The coronavirus pandemic forced Formula 1 bosses to make widespread changes to its calendar for 2020, with Istanbul Park one of a number of circuits to join the schedule in place of races that were ultimately forced to cancel their events.

The event take place on the weekend of 13-15 November, and after the race, Ak hopes to sit down with those in control of the schedule to try and get the race back on the calendar on a regular basis once more.

“Our goal is to sign a long-term agreement next year and join the calendar permanently,” Ak is quoted as saying by Wheels24.co.za to Turkish publication Daily Sabah“It needs obviously to be done with a sustainable economic model.

“If we complete this year’s race very successfully, we will have the opportunity to sit down immediately after the race and talk about 2021 and beyond.

“We do not know which countries in the Americas and Asia will be able to return, but at the moment America, Mexico and Brazil are in very bad shape with the disease.”

Initially, Ak was hoping to see packed grandstands for Istanbul Park’s return to the calendar, but the coronavirus pandemic put paid to those hopes, with the race now being held behind closed doors.

“Of course we were upset,” Ak added.  “We had planned a very good event environment and the audience would have made a great contribution to the atmosphere.

“We had record ticket sales in a very short period of time, and the drivers like the difficulty of our circuit. That’s why they wanted us on the calendar, also because of Turkey’s performance during the pandemic.”

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