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.