Article

Turkish gov declines to fund GP

6 December 2012 18:49

Turkish Grand Prix organisers will have to rely on solely on private funding to stage a race in Istanbul, according to a government official.

An unidentified European race has been scheduled for July 21 next year, subject to the agreement of national parties, to bring the Formula One calendar up to 20 races.

While motorsport officials insist state backing is needed to bring Formula One back to Turkey, the country's sports minister Suat Kilic told reporters the money would not be forthcoming.

"If it wants to, the private sector can bring Formula One," he said on Thursday.

"But there is no question of us paying the cost of the rights which have been proposed to a private company to bring Formula One."

Kilic said the government had previously provided financial assistance to Turkish race organisers without any reward.

"Our government paid 13.5 million (US) dollars a year to the organisers for five years for the rights," he said.

"In exchange for that, all the income went to the organisers, so the state did not get any benefit from it."

Earlier on Thursday, Turkish Automobile Sports Federation (TOSFED) chairman Demire Berberoglu told Reuters that government assistance was required following a meeting with Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone.

"We in TOSFED are making every effort so that Formula One races, which have been held seven times in our country until now, can be held at our Istanbul Park track (in 2013) and in future years," he said.

"Everybody knows that what is needed for its presence in the Formula One race calendar for 2013 and following years is a guarantee and approval of the required budget at the government level.

"This will develop according to the prime minister's decision."

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