Turkey’s Istanbul Park is poised to return to the Formula 1 World Championship calendar as early as 2018 after a six-year absence.
New Formula One CEO Chase Carey met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Tuesday, raising prospects of a race as soon as next year at the purpose-built circuit.
A statement and photos on the presidential website confirmed the meeting at the president’s Ankara palace which was also attended by Turkish Sports Minister Akif Çağatay Kılıç and Ali Vural Ak, managing director of Intercity Istanbul Park which previously hosted the Turkish Grand Prix from 2005 to 2011.
Speaking at the Automotive Journalists Association dinner on Tuesday evening, Ak confirmed discussions with the sport’s new owner.
“We had a meeting in Ankara earlier today with the President and Chase Carey from Liberty Media, whom I previously invited to Turkey personally before,” he said.
“All I can say at this point is that the meetings went really well and we agreed in principle. Although the contract hasn’t been signed yet.”
Istanbul Park has a required FIA Grade 1 licence to hold F1 races, along with 14 other tracks that currently do not host rounds of the world championship.
The Herman Tilke designed circuit has been absent from the calendar since 2011 when a financial dispute ended its contract. Subsequent talks for a return in 2013 with former F1 commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone failed to resurrect the event.
Last weekend it was announced the Malaysian Grand Prix had been dropped from the 2018 calendar, which will see the return of France and Germany to the schedule. Liberty Media is seeking to expand the current roster, which could see 22 races next season if the Turkish Grand Prix is added.
Image via F1 Fansite