The Turkish Grand Prix could lose its place on the F1 calendar in 2011 following F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone doubling the price of hosting the event, according to a local newspaper.
A report in The Hurriyet Daily News said Ecclestone upped his asking price from $13.5M to $26M for the 2011 race. If so, the news adds to the organisers’ woes as the circuit has struggled to attract spectators in the last two years, seeing its attendance drop from 200,000 at the inaugural event in 2005 to just 36,000 this year (above). The report said they have been given until the end of the year to make a decision.
In response to the new deal a Turkish official claimed the amount being asked was disproportionate. "In countries such as France and Germany, the Formula One CEO is requesting something between $1.5M and $4M."
The British Grand Prix recently came under threat, and again the sticking point between the organisers and Ecclestone was money. To put the Turkish offer into context, it is understood Silverstone settled on a deal to pay Ecclestone $19.5 million to hold the British round in 2010, with the fee escalating by 5% year-on-year.
Who said there’s a global financial crisis?