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Formula 1

Turkish GP venue in takeover as 2026 F1 return lined up

Istanbul Park is keen to make a full-time return to the F1 calendar, as soon as 2026.

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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.

"Apart from Formula 1, we will bring other races to Istanbul Park."

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