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Istanbul Park, the venue for the Turkish Grand Prix, now has new owners.

BlogIstanbul Park, the venue for the Turkish Grand Prix, now has new owners.

The Istanbul Park circuit, former home to the Turkish Grand Prix, might see the return of Formula 1 to the country after a gap of three long years. President Tayyip Erdogan met with the president of FIA, Mohammed Ben Sulayem to discuss the return of F1 to the country. The Turkish Grand Prix first took place in the year 2005 but was removed from the F1 calendar after 2011. The Grand prix returned during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021 but due to financial constraints, the race hasn’t featured thereafter. But with a new management at the helm, can the Turkish Grand Prix make a grand comeback? Rupha Ramani brings you the details.

Istanbul Park, the venue for the Turkish Grand Prix, now has new owners – and Formula 1 could be set to return.

Having been off the calendar for the past three seasons, Istanbul is where Lewis Hamilton made history by winning his record-equalling seventh world championship. That victory came in 2020, with Hamilton beating Sergio Perez by a huge 31 seconds to go level with F1 legend Michael Schumacher in the all-time rankings.

Turkey initially joined the F1 calendar in 2005 but only for the next six years before falling away. The Covid-19-impacted seasons gave the track an opportunity to return, though, with 2020 and 2021 allowing Istanbul to have a temporary place in the schedule.

FIA chief Mohammed Ben Sulayem is claimed to have recently met with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan for talks, and now the tender to operate the circuit for the next 30 years has been awarded to Can Bilim Egitim Kurumlari AS, a company which is part-owned by Lale Cander, the chairman of Pirelli’s Turkish branch.

Turkish Grand Prix venue Istanbul Park has been the subject of a takeover, with the new owners keen to bring Formula 1 back full-time from as early as 2026.

Turkey joined the F1 calendar in 2005, but fell away after the 2011 race, although it made a return between 2020-2021 during the COVID-19 hit seasons, but was unable to find a slot on the calendar as other races were able to pay more to secure a slot on the schedule.

FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem recently met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, with talks including the potential return of F1 and the World Rally Championship, but the final decision over a return would be at the behest of F1 itself.

The tender to operate the circuit for the next 30 years has been awarded to Can Bilim Egitim Kurumlari A.S, a company part-owned by Lale Cander.

Cander is the chairman of Pirelli’s Turkish branch, with the contract to operate the circuit worth $117.8 million, as reported by Turkish broadcaster Habertunk, with the company the only interested party in the process.

Turkish tourism minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy had previously stated that the tender to run Istanbul Park would be awarded to a bidder who could ensure F1’s return to Turkey by the 2026 season.

“Istanbul Park track will be a centre of attraction. Formula 1 is extremely prestigious, and it increases the prestige of the country,” Cander told Habertunk.

“There will be countries that will be removed from the calendar in 2026, so races can be held again in Turkey.

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