ISTANBUL, Dec 6 (Reuters) - The Turkish Grand Prix’s return to the Formula One calendar next season depends on the government making funds available, organisers said on Thursday.
The sport’s governing body announced on Wednesday that an unidentified European race had been pencilled in for July 21, subject to the agreement of national bodies, to bring the calendar up to 20 races.
The Turkish Automobile Sports Federation (TOSFED) said on its website (www.tosfed.org) that the grand prix - last held in 2011 before being dropped after a disagreement over hosting fees - had been discussed at a meeting of the International Automobile Federation (FIA) in Istanbul.
“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 said in a statement.
Berberoglu said an agreement had been reached between circuit operator Vural Ak and Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone, but the government also had to play a part.
“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,” said Berberoglu.
“This will develop according to the prime minister’s decision.”
The Istanbul Circuit, on the Asian side of the city, was highly regarded by teams and drivers for its challenging layout but the race failed to attract much local interest.
Its reinstatement next season would plug a gap left by the postponement to 2014 of a Grand Prix of America that was due to be held in New Jersey. (Reporting by Daren Butler, writing by Alan Baldwin; Editing by Robert Woodward)