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Turkey to 'finalize return to F1 calendar'

'I can say that the only thing we need is the final signature to enter the official calendar,' Vural Ak, chairman of Intercity, says

09.09.2015
Turkey to 'finalize return to F1 calendar'

ISTANBUL

Turkey has completed talks to return to the Formula 1 calendar in 2016, the chair of the organization that operates the F1 track in Istanbul has said.

Vural Ak, chairman of Intercity, which operates Istanbul Park, said Wednesday that he met Bernie Ecclestone, Formula One chief executive, in London and that Ecclestone also wanted to see the F1 return to Turkey.

Ak said, however, that there was one final step before the race could return.

"The Turkish government should approve the race because it’s an international activity,” he said. “For this reason, we are waiting for the election.”

Turkey is going to hold snap elections on November 1.

The F1 organization had given Istanbul Park until December to decide, the month when the official calendar gets finalized.

“I can say that the only thing we need is the final signature to enter the official calendar," Ak said at a press conference in Istanbul.

Ak also touched on the hosting fee. "We paid $13.5 million a year throughout the seven-year period, and it was the lowest wage throughout,” he said.

Ak added that his organization would not expect anything more from the Turkish government and would cover the rest of the fee in case of an increase.

He said that Istanbul Park was ready to host the F1 race and underlined that they would bring two more international racing events to the venue.

The first Grand Prix of Turkey took place in 2005 and the last Turkish Grand Prix took place in 2011 due to financial disagreement.

Felipe Massa has an affinity with this circuit, with the Brazilian winning three of the seven Grand Prix held at Istanbul Park.

Sebastian Vettel won the event for Red Bull Racing in 2011.

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