Turkey could return to F1 calendar in 2020 (Update)
|The last F1 race in Turkey was in 2011, won by Vettel. What condition is the track surface in?|
UPDATE (GMM) Operators of the former F1 circuit in Turkey have admitted they are in a "confidentiality agreement" regarding talks about a 2020 race at Istanbul Park.
We reported this week that the Turkish government has announced that the venue "continues to work for inclusion on the Formula 1 race calendar for 2020".
With a popular Hermann Tilke-penned layout, Istanbul Park hosted grands prix between 2005 and 2011, and was thereafter taken over by a company called Intercity.
"We have been carrying out the work of bringing Formula 1 back to our country with great desire and care since 2013," Intercity confirmed on Wednesday.
The circuit operator said those efforts stepped up from 2017, when the project was personally endorsed "by the presidency" of Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
"Our negotiations with the Formula 1 management continue uninterrupted, so that we can host Formula 1 races again," Intercity added.
"We would like to state that we are at a stage where we cannot share the details due to our confidentiality agreement with Formula One Management."
Istanbul Park does not currently hold either a Grade 1 or Grade 2 FIA license.
07/28/20 (GMM) The Turkish government has admitted Istanbul could be yet another venue to be added to the 2020 'corona calendar'.
The latest confirmed additions to the schedule are the Nurburgring, Portimao and Imola, taking the calendar up to 13 races and counting.
"We are pleased that we continue to make strong progress in finalizing our plans for the 2020 season," said F1 CEO Chase Carey.
While Formula 1 will not travel to the American continents in 2020, F1's Middle Eastern venues are expected to be added to the end of the current schedule.
And Turkey, having last staged a race at the popular Istanbul Park venue in 2011, could become yet another 2020 host.
The country's government has announced that under the "presidential auspices of the Republic of Turkey, the Istanbul Park race circuit continues to work for inclusion on the Formula 1 race calendar for 2020".
F1 is hoping its eventual calendar adds up to 18 races, even though the sport admits that traveling to the US, Brazil and Mexico is not possible "due to the fluid nature of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic".
"The cancellation was not surprising for us, but we cannot accept the reasons for it," Brazilian GP promoter Tamas Rohonyi is quoted by Salzburger Nachrichten newspaper.
Even the forthcoming Spanish GP is under a cloud, with the population in nearby Barcelona currently suffering through a resurgence of the virus.
Italy, though, will host no fewer than three grands prix - at Monza as usual, but also at Ferrari-owned Mugello and the former San Marino GP venue Imola.
"It is a great satisfaction," said Angelo Sticchi Damiani, president of Italy's national motorsport authority Aci.
"The world is now realizing that Italy is the only country in the world with three circuits approved for Formula 1, thanks to years of great passion for this sport," he told Rai radio.