Tag Archives: Istanbul Park

Turkey dropped from 2012 calendar

The calendar for the 2012 Formula 1 season has been reduced to 20 races, as the Turkish Grand Prix was formally dropped from the listings today.

The Istanbul Park track was finished in 2005, but has suffered poor attendance due to being located in the middle of nowhere.

Negotiations have been ongoing for months between the circuit organisers and Bernie Ecclestone, but financial difficulties forced the track into pulling out of F1.

The revised calndar was yesterday unanimously approved by the FIA World Motor Sport Council via fax vote.

In other changes to the calendar, there will now be 6 back-to-back races. The Australian Grand Prix keeps the season opener slot, but is still in doubt after 2015. The Bahrain Grand Prix will be the fourth race of the year, in mid-April.

The new United States Grand Prix is the penultimate round, with Interlagos in Brazil hosting the finale.

Also, on a slightly related note, the 2012 season now begins on my 18th birthday!

18/03  Australia
25/03  Malaysia
15/04  China
22/04  Bahrain
13/05  Spain
27/05  Monaco
10/06  Canada
24/06  Europe
08/07  Great Britain
22/07  Germany
29/07  Hungary
02/09  Belgium
09/09  Italy
23/09  Singapore
07/10  Japan
14/10  Korea
28/10  India
04/11  Abu Dhabi
18/11  United States
25/11  Brazil

Ecclestone working on new 10-year deal for Turkish GP

The Istanbul Park circuit is working on a new 10-year contract for the Turkish GPa

The Istanbul Park circuit is working on a new 10-year contract for the Turkish GPa

Bernie Ecclestone has said that Istanbul Park will continue to hold the Turkish Grand Prix, despite having a very poor attendance rate since it started in 2005. Ecclestone also revealed that talks are underway to renew the Turkish venue’s contract, which expired after last week’s race.

Despite poor attendance to the venue in the last few years, Ecclestone was adamant that the situation had improved this year, and was certain that Formula 1 would return next year, saying: “We’ll be here again next year”.

This is excellent news, as the Turkish Grand prix is my favourite of the new circuits, and can certainly throw up an exciting race, as we’ve just seen. Having said that, the attendance is still a big problem, as we have seen. For example, at the Turn 1 grandstand, the crowd for Friday Practice 1 increased this year by 250% – from 4 to 10 people.

However, Turkey still needs to learn how to host an F1 race properly. There are constant complaints from visitors, such as bus drivers and taxi drivers not knowing the way to the circuit, or exorbitant prices for even the cheapest of food. Also, everything that isn’t bolted down after the race is stolen and sold, apparently, even the safety car signs from the marshal’s posts.

Still, if they can provide great racing, then I’m sure problems like that can be sorted easily. The main problem is that most of Istanbul isn’t even aware there’s a Grand Prix on, so it’s just a matter of advertising it around the country.

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