Years of just little success lead to the result of staying away from Turkish Istanbul Park for some years. Now discussions started again to bring back the yearly event to Turkey, hopefully for 2013 already.
Some years ago German architect Hermann Tilke designed Istanbul Park, but after first five years of medium publicity, it financially started creating red numbers due to the fact, that there has not been any huge event anymore. From this point of view it is quite clear that Turkish Automobile Association TOSFED is very much interested in bringing back Formula 1 to Turkey quickly.
Demir Berberoglu, head of TOSFED, explained during a meeting, that: ”We at TOSFED really try hard, whatever is possible and seems to open a way, to bring back Formula 1 Races to Turkey onto our race track at Istanbul Park for the following years”. There have been couples of meetings and discussions between the manager of Istanbul Park, Vural Ak, and Formula 1 Boss Bernie Ecclestone already to solve all problems. Indeed there is still one big point which needs to be solved: the guaranty for the budget from Turkish Government. Vural Ak states: Everybody knows, that there must be a guaranty for the budget for 2013 and the following years done by the Turkish Government as there has been done before.
These statements forced Turkish Minister of Sports, Suat Kilic, for some answers and he has a quite clear view on Formula 1 Racing: It is a matter of private investments. There is no reason for financial help to bring back Formula 1 to Turkey, he answered on the statements published so far: “If the private sectors wants, they can bring back Formula 1. But there should not be any discussion that the Turkish Government should be responsible for any kind of guaranty which is at the private entrepreneur to organize the championship.”
These are really opposite points of view between the governments, the Automobile Association and the organization of Formula 1. The question will be, if there is any agreement between them possible so that future races on Istanbul Park as world championship races are possible.
Vural Ak as the responsible manager of Istanbul Park recognizes the contracts between Formula 1 and their partners as a matter of the government, so this includes the financial involvement of the government. Minister for Sports, Suat Kilic, answers on this statement, that the government has helped with 13,5 million Dollar yearly during the last years. By this help the organization has got all the rights for five years. After balancing, the benefit stayed at the organization, nothing for the government. Because of that, there is no interest from government to continue with Formula 1 races anymore.
Political responsibility and a view for the future cannot be found in these statements. Even this kind of sport does not have too many followers and the sport itself can be discussed, there should not be just the commercial point of view for politics to help this event. But this is not just a question at Formula 1.