Ecclestone: Turkish GP Looking Good

Turkey is on course to host its first Formula One Grand Prix in August as scheduled, the sport's commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone said on Friday

Ecclestone: Turkish GP Looking Good

"We have seen what's been done, and we are very happy with things exactly the way they are. I don't see any problems at all," Ecclestone told reporters on Friday in response to speculation about delays.

The new $70 million Istanbul Speedpark, designed by German circuit architect Herman Tilke and located some 40 kilometres south of Turkey's largest city on the Asian side, makes its Championship debut on August 21.

Ecclestone countered local criticism about mounting costs for hosting the elite event, saying Turkey had got a good deal and the Grand Prix would boost the EU-candidate country's standing in Europe.

"If you're worried at all about the expenditure or the way things are being carried out financially ... you've got the best deal in Formula One," he told a news conference.

"The reason for that is we didn't come here for the money. Quite the opposite, we came here to embrace Turkey into Europe. And I think we can do that as well as anybody."

Turkey considers the event a showcase for tourism, as well as other efforts to bring major international sporting events to the city.

The Muslim country is due to start European Union membership talks in October, but opinion polls show that most Europeans oppose the entry of such a populous, poor nation straddling Europe and Asia. 

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