Turkish GP under threat for 2012
|By Jonathan Noble||Friday, April 22nd 2011, 09:33 GMT|
The Turkish Grand Prix's future appears to be in doubt with local officials said to be baulking at a doubling of the fees demanded to keep the race for 2012.
The current contract at Istanbul Park runs until this year, and discussions are ongoing between organisers and Formula 1 commercial chiefs about an extension.
However, Murat Yalçintas, head of the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, revealed on his private Twitter account on Thursday that the situation did not look promising - with the race-hosting fee jumping from $13 million (USD) this year to $26 million for 2012.
"It looks like the Formula One race will not be held in Istanbul next year," wrote Yalcintas, following a board meeting about the Istanbul Grand Prix. "Because it found this figure very high it looks like it [finance ministry] will not make the payment. That is why the race will not happen."
Although there has been no official statement from the organisers that the race will be dropped, the financial situation does not bode well - with the event having not been a huge success in terms of spectator numbers in recent years.
Should the grand prix be lost from the calendar, it will cause few problems to Bernie Ecclestone who was likely going to need to drop at least one current event from the 2012 schedule because of the return of the United States Grand Prix.