Start, Istanbul Park, 2021

New Istanbul Park operator targets F1 return from 2026

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In the round-up: New managers at Turkey’s Istanbul Park are looking to bring Formula 1 back to the circuit.

In brief

New Istanbul Park

Can Bilim Egitim Kurumlari AS has been appointed as the new operator of the Istanbul Park track which held nine grands prix between 2005 and 2021. It is part owned by Lale Cander, who is also chairman of Pirelli’s tyre operation in the country.

Haberturk reports that under the terms of its tender to operator the track, the company must agree a deal Formula One Management to bring a race back to the venue from 2026. The company bought a 30-year lease for $117.8 million (£93.6m).

Two drivers for Cadillac at Imola

Cadillac will not field a third driver in its V-Series R in the next round of the World Endurance Championship at Imola. Sebastien Bourdais is unavailable as he is racing in the IMSA series at Long Beach.

Alex Lynn and Earl Bamber will therefore share the car for the six-hour race at the Italian track as the team strives to score its first points of the season following its disqualification from the opening round. Their rivals’ line-ups are unchanged.

F1 Esports returns

After more than four months of radio silence since its first round, F1 Esports has announced the resumptions of its championship with six races packed into three days beginning one week from today. The final five races will then be held from May 7th to 9th.

Getty acquires Motorsport Images

Getty Images has acquired Motorsport Network’s Motorsport Images, which includes the extensive LAT, Sutton and Schlegelmilch archives. Formula 1 appointed Getty as its official photographic agency in 2021, though other publications and agencies are still allowed to take pictures at grands prix.

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Social media

Notable posts from X (formerly Twitter), TikTok and more:

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Comment of the day

This weekend’s debate asked how long Red Bull should keep the faith in Daniel Ricciardo after his indifferent start to the season. While many argued for Red Bull to replace him swiftly, a few others made the opposing case:

I want him to stay the whole year. First of all he is not bad, Yuki is just preforming better.

I expect Yuki to beat and have advantage over Ricciardo overall but Ricciardo will also have some good races. Moreover, Ricciardo’s communication skills and experience will help the team overall. I think these were also the reason they wanted him in the team.

Yuki had lot of trouble when he came to F1, he has improved over the years for sure but I am not sure that is his strongest skills set.
Honda

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Jt19, Shreyas Mohanty, William and William Olive!

On this day in motorsport

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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23 comments on “New Istanbul Park operator targets F1 return from 2026”

  1. It’d be great to have the Istanbul track back on the calendar. Such a great track.

    1. Turn 8 is definitely the works, the rest of the circuit is not so memorable. Maybe the new circuit in Madrid will have a similar turn, we’ll see

  2. 500 year out predictions always come true! Garbage-in, garbage-out, just like most computer modeling and predictions.

    “Yoshida conceded that his projections were based on several assumptions”
    and
    “Sato already tops the list of Japanese surnames, accounting for 1.5% of the total population”

    In other words, 98.5% of surnames in Japan are NOT Sato currently. It’s easy to dupe people with numbers but this is hyperbole on a whole other level.

    1. notagrumpyfan
      3rd April 2024, 8:25

      It’s easy to dupe people with numbers but this is hyperbole on a whole other level.

      Indeed! Yoshida’s (apparently a university professor) research should be the first example in Huff’s book ‘How to Lie with Statistics’.

      According to the article he calculated that ¨the proportion of Japanese named Sato increased 1.0083 times from 2022 to 2023¨ and then he simply extrapolated that. A trend based on 1 measurement over 1 year!!!

      Based on this quality of research Sainz will be 2025 WDC!
      Sainz won 1/22 races in 2023 and 1/3 in 2024. So his ‘proportion’ of race wins increased 8 times from 2023 to 2024. If we extrapolate this then he will win all races in 2025.

      PS It actually calculates as more than all the races, so I guess he will win the Spint events as well ;)

    2. Considering that its widely predicted that in the future (If where still here) that the World will be speaking 3 languages, Chinese Mandarin, Spanish and English, which will eventually merge like in Bladerunner, I think they should be more worried about anyone even speaking Japanese. Much more likely that in the future we will be a number and bar code lol
      And don’t get me started on such an abuse of extrapolating Data to fit the answer your looking for, bit like Clima….. second thoughts, lets not go there… :)

      1. PlosslF1 The language is even more unlikely to die in the long-term despite effectively being a single-country language, although overall far more spoken than, for example, Dutch or Scandinavian & Baltic ones.

  3. Another race? 25 is a lot of grands prix. I mean they could replace Istanbul with another grand prix like Miami which would be great

    1. …. I hope you meant they could replace Miami with Istanbul, which even as a Floridian, I would have no regrets over.

      1. That’s what I meant sorry

    2. @lorengzte Of course, Istanbul Park would replace another location (mainly because 24 is intended as the long-term stable figure), if it ever returned in the first place, which is doubtful.

      1. And if the track returns to the calendar, you’ll say “as expected” – as usual

        This page bookmarked for reference.

      2. We’ve heard talk of “limits” a million times, and we always get more races. The teams have signed a contract that agrees to 25 races max, so 25 is what we will get! I expect this!

  4. Despite the operator change, I doubt Istanbul Park would return on an annual basis anymore.
    If FOM truly wanted, I’m sure that would’ve already happened.

    Well, Satō happens to be the most common surname, which shows not only in motorsports (although I’m also aware of quite a few Yamamoto’s within the industry), but also in entertainment & even one Manga-Anime franchise (probably also others).

    On a Japanese GP-related note, I was in the Roppongi ward & also walked in the Arena section beside the TV Asahi building in late December, so a familiar sight.

    1. F1 needs a lot of money to function. Hence the huge hosting fees. Selling the track off is not usually a sign that there is a lot of money there. But who knows! It’s a fun track, so if they can make it work it’ll be a good addition.

      1. notagrumpyfan
        3rd April 2024, 9:37

        F1 needs a lot of money to function. Hence the huge hosting fees.

        Probably all F1 races are to some extend sponsored by the local government/authority/business club. It would be interesting to see a list of what the (rumoured) amounts are for each race.

        Any example of a race which is promoted purely by a commercial party without support from the local government/authority/business club?

        1. The Dutch GP gets no government support. Although one might sy the traffic management is support ‘in kind’. They’ve had to be quite clever about attracting sponsorship compliant with FOM rules (i.e. it must not be visible on any of the TV coverage).

      2. MichaelN True, but that isn’t dependent on one particular circuit, especially as the location isn’t even a lucrative one a la Middle East ones, China, or even Azerbaijan to a lesser extent.

  5. notagrumpyfan
    3rd April 2024, 8:30

    I typically don’t open links to tabloid stories, but this time I was duped as it linked to a BBC page and was awarded the top spot in the links (Keith previously claimed to put the most relevant links on top).

    Benson didn’t disappoint; he was able to extract all the juicy stuff exclusivelyfrom a friend of the PA of a team boss :P

    1. Maybe open your eyes before you click and you’ll have one less thing to be grumpy about.

      1. notagrumpyfan
        3rd April 2024, 12:38

        If you read my comment you know why I clicked on this specific link :P

        And I won’t stop sharing my views on poor editorial choices (and good ones) only because Tristan doesn’t agree.
        An open minded reader will see it as constructive feedback (with a bit of sarcasm on top).

  6. I don’t agree with the COTD. With Lawson waiting, they should try him instead. They know Yuki is not the future of Red Bull, so why not put someone that can potentially be just that in the car instead of a guy that’s underperforming massively. As much as I love Daniel, something happened within him and he’s not going to reach those 2016-2018 highs again.

  7. Really sad, I hope the tribunal applies some urgency to the case. It would be good to see the matter concluded properly, regardless of the outcome. A quick flick through the UK’s employment tribunal portal shows decisions which aren’t struck out mostly being a year or two old. I guess that’s the timeframe to expect, assuming it doesn’t settle.

    1. Oh, and the free 12 months iRacing sub is surprisingly legit! Great initiative. It can only be used on a new account though. Highly recommend for anyone with a wheel that hasn’t tried it.

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