sport

Turkish GP looks likely

The Turkish Grand Prix looks set to be included on next season's calendar provided that government backing for the race can be found

According to Reuters, the Turkish Automobile Sports Federation (TOSFED) said that the grand prix had been discussed at a meeting between F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone and Vural Ak, the businessman who recently took over management of the Istanbul Park circuit.

"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," Chairman Demire Berberoglu was quoted as saying.

Berberoglu added, however, that any race will require state backing estimated in the region of $13.5million.

"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," Berberoglu said.

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

On Wednesday, a meeting of the governing body's World Motor Sport Council decided to bring forward the date of the German Grand Prix by a week to July 7 and also created a space in the calendar on July 21 for an as-yet un-named European race.

Ecclestone, who is in Istanbul for the FIA's gala prize-giving ceremony on Friday, had previously suggested that the French Grand Prix, which was last held in 2008, might return in place of the proposed race in New Jersey.

The latter event was named on the provisional 2013 calendar in September but has since been postponed by a year.

Turkey hosted its first grand prix in 2005, but was dropped after the 2011 race following a disagreement with Ecclestone over the race fee.