Formula 1

Turkish Grand Prix Poised for F1 Return: FIA and Turkish Officials Discuss Revival

The FIA President and Turkey’s President recently discussed the potential revival of the Turkish Grand Prix in Formula 1. Their meeting in Marmaris signaled significant developments for the return of this iconic race.

Key Takeaways:

  • FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem and Turkey’s President Erdogan engaged in pivotal discussions about reintroducing F1’s Turkish Grand Prix and the World Rally Championship (WRC) to Turkey.
  • The renowned Istanbul Park, previously hosting F1 races from 2005 to 2011 and again in 2020 and 2021, is at the center of negotiations, with efforts by the park’s owners to renew the racing contract.
  • Following the expiry of the current leaseholder’s contract, there’s a new tender involving a $117 million rental fee, guaranteeing a spot on the F1 calendar from 2026. President Erdogan highlights the motorsport’s positive influence in Turkey.

In a landmark meeting, FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem sat down with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the scenic town of Marmaris, sparking enthusiasm among motorsport fans. The focal point of their discussions was the re-establishment of the Turkish Grand Prix within the F1 schedule and the inclusion of Turkey in the World Rally Championship.

Istanbul Park, known for its challenging turns and unique racing experiences, has been a fan and driver favorite in the past. It witnessed F1 action from 2005 until 2011 and made a comeback during the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021. The circuit’s return is tied closely to the ambitions of its proprietors who are eager to re-enter the F1 racing scene.

The situation gained complexity with the expiry of Intercity’s lease. A new call for tenders has been issued by the General Directorate of Foundations. This call includes a significant rental fee of $117 million and the assurance of a place on the F1 calendar starting 2026. This aligns with the Formula One Management’s (FOM) goal to finalize the deal shortly after the takeover.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem, expressing his optimism, stated, “It was a pleasure to meet with President Erdogan. Our talks centred on a range of topics. We discussed the possibility of a return of Formula 1 and WRC to Turkey. Istanbul Park is a modern circuit which is popular with drivers while the city of Istanbul is a thriving metropolis which would welcome a return of Formula 1 with open arms. President Erdogan also recognises the importance of the economic and cultural impact which world-class motorsport – Formula 1 and WRC – brings to the country. TOSFED, our Member Club in Turkey, have a wealth of experience in organising and managing major motorsport events. If the stars align, we could see a return of both world-class events to Turkey.”

This development is not just a win for the sport but also for Turkey’s cultural and economic landscape. Motorsports have a significant impact, and the Turkish GP’s return could herald a new era for Turkish motorsport. The meeting, hosted by TOSFED President Eren Uclertopragi and notable FIA member Serkan Yazici, emphasizes the collaborative efforts of various stakeholders in bringing back this prestigious event to the F1 calendar. With all eyes on Turkey, the racing community eagerly anticipates the finalization of this exciting development.

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