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Istanbul Park eyes new F1 deal after 2020 return

The operator of Istanbul Park says he wants Formula 1 to return to the circuit in the coming years off the back of last weekend’s one-off Turkish Grand Prix.

Formula 1 returned to Istanbul Park after a nine-year absence as part of the calendar that was heavily overhauled in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Turkey was not listed on the provisional 23-round 2021 calendar though the event currently planned for April 25 is TBD amid the absence of the Vietnam Grand Prix.

Istanbul Park recently received a three-year Grade 1 licence from the FIA and the circuit’s officials are hopeful of securing a permanent place on the schedule.

“We welcomed Chairman Chase Carey to Istanbul this week,” said Vural Ak, CEO of the Intercity organisation that operates Istanbul Park.

“He was surprised at the attention and enthusiasm that came along with the Formula 1 race in Turkey.

“Our talks are ongoing to reach an agreement that would bring the race back to Turkey for multiple years.

“The three-year licence the FIA has granted us is proof that we are ready for any update at any given moment.”

Ak expressed satisfaction over how the event was handled after a lengthy absence.

“As a result of the pandemic, sports events were delayed throughout the world,” he said.

“Euro 2020 and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics were not held. A lot of people turned their attention to the Formula 1 races.

“We organised this event in a very short time following a nine-year gap, and I genuinely think that it was a massive success.”

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