The chairman of the company that operates Istanbul Park says its return to the Formula 1 calendar has been seven years in the making, following Tuesday’s announcement of its 2020 grand prix.
Formula 1’s schedule has been heavily revised in the aftermath of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with over half of the original events cancelled, and several unexpected venues added to the calendar.
On Tuesday it was confirmed that Formula 1 will return to Istanbul Park this November, joining Mugello, Portimao, Nurburgring and Imola on the list of new or returning venues.
Istanbul Park held grands prix between 2005 and 2011 but has not featured on the calendar since.
The management of the venue was taken over by the Intercity group in 2013, since when top-level motorsport events have been infrequent, with a focus on track days and other programmes.
“We are both delighted and proud to announce that we are bringing Formula 1, the world’s biggest motorsport events, back to Turkey,” said Intercity Chairman Vural Ak.
“Ever since 2013, when we took over management of Intercity Istanbul Park, one of the most extraordinary tracks in the world, we have been striving to reintroduce Formula 1 to Turkey.
“We are overjoyed for our country that our efforts have been successful.
“During that time, we have been taking meticulous care of Intercity Istanbul Park and we are extremely excited by the prospect of preparing the venue for Formula 1.”
Ak also stressed that “in signing the contract, we as Intercity pledged to undertake all obligations ourselves.
“Given the great challenges currently facing the world and Turkey, it was crucial that, while endeavouring to bring Formula 1 back to Turkey, we did not place any burden on our state.
“Throughout the project, however, we felt the constant support of our state, and for this we would like to express our gratitude to everyone who has assisted.”