Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe

FIA discusses F1 Turkish GP return with president Erdogan

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has discussed a potential return of Formula 1’s Turkish Grand Prix with the country’s president during talks this week.

The drivers pull away for the start of the race

Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

Ben Sulayem held a meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the resort town of Marmaris on Sunday, where the pair discussed the possibility of a return of both F1 and the World Rally Championship.

The gathering was hosted by former Turkish rally champion and FIA World Motor Sport Council member Serkan Yazici and Eren Uciertopragi, the President of TOSFED, the Turkish Automobile Sports Federation.

Speaking about the talks, Ben Sulayem said: “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.”

Turkey held an F1 race at the Istanbul Park circuit from 2005 until 2011, and it also returned to the scheduled during the COVID-impacted years of 2020 and 2021.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem, FIA President, Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish President

Mohammed Ben Sulayem, FIA President, Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish President

Photo by: Uncredited

The country has hosted 10 WRC events, with a run from 2003 to 2010 (with the exception of 2007), and then 2018 to 2020.

The FIA’s eagerness to get Turkey back on the F1 calendar comes following a push by the Istanbul Park owners to secure a new race contract.

The contract of current leaseholders Intercity has expired and a new call for tenders has been put out by the General Directorate of Foundations.

Its demands include a rental fee of $117 million for its duration, plus an extra call that the new owners will have to guarantee an entry on the F1 calendar from 2026 – with an FOM deal signed within a month of taking over the venue.

Read Also:

The tender contract states: "The Contractor guarantees that Formula 1 races will be held on the immovable property, and the protocol to be signed by reaching an agreement on the holding of Formula 1 races on our immovable property within one month after the signing of the contract.

“In case of failure to do so, the contract will be terminated, and the deposited guarantees will be recorded as revenue to the Administration."

The winning bidder, due to be announced this April, will also be responsible for investing in the development of the Istanbul Park circuit and its surrounding areas.

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Mercedes won't rush F1 driver decision amid Verstappen rumours
Next article Why star-struck Alpine F1 drivers aren't the biggest beneficiary of Zidane's wisdom

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe