Turkish Grand Prix pushing for return to Formula 1 calendar in 2018

The Turkish Grand Prix could return to the Formula 1 calendar in 2018, according to the businessman who operates the Istanbul Park circuit

Turkish Grand Prix pushing for return to Formula 1 calendar in 2018

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan hosted F1 Group CEO Chase Casey, representing the championship's new owner Liberty Media, at his presidential palace in Ankara on Tuesday.

Also present were track operator Vural Ak, the chief of country's motorsport governing body Serkan Yazici, minister of youth and sports Akif Cagatay Kilic and deputy secretary general and spokesperson of the presidency ambassador Ibrahim Kalin.

At an Automotive Journalists Association dinner afterwards, Ak told reporters a deal was "agreed in principle" but not yet completed.

"All I can say at this point is that the meetings went really well and we agreed in principle, although the contract hasn't been signed yet," he said.

Five years ago Istanbul businessman Ak, who owns the Intercity rental car company, purchased an 11-year lease on Istanbul Park - which cost $250million to build in 2004.

He tried to do a deal for 2013 with Bernie Ecclestone, who Ak claimed wanted $26million in the first year alone.

Turkey first joined the F1 calendar in 2005, with Istanbul Park's quad-apex Turn 8 left-hander quickly gaining acclaim as one of the best corners on the schedule.

It last hosted a grand prix in 2011 after a financial dispute ended its contract, as the government refused to approve any future events on cost grounds.

Next year's F1 calendar has lost its Malaysian round, and Liberty Media has committed to France and Germany returning to the roster - which would mean 22 events if a Turkish GP was to be held next season.

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