F1 track becomes used car dealership

Turkey’s Istanbul Park circuit was the home of the Turkish Grand Prix from 2005-2011

Turkey’s Istanbul Park circuit, which first hosted the Turkish Grand Prix in 2005, fell into disrepair after the event was scrapped from the Formula One racing calendar in 2011. 

Organisers at the track famously fell out with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone in 2011, with Ecclestone looking to double the hosting fees for the race. That year was the last for the race, won by now 4-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, who was then with Red Bull.

When the track was first built, it had cost a whopping $300 million to make, but low ticket sales and the increasing financial burden took its toll.

There were plans to revive the race at the venue in 2013, and a $20million deal had then been in the works. Of this, $13million was proposed state funding, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, who was then the Prime Minister, rejected the deal outright. 

The track has seen its share of scandal as well, when a ‘world leader’ of a country recognised only by Turkey gave away the winner's trophy at the race. 

The venue was a very succesful one for Brazilian Formula One driver Felipe Massa, who won three races there on the trot, all of them with Scuderia Ferrari.

Turkish daily Sozcu reports that a car rental company has signed a 10-year lease for the venue, and intends to rename it the Istanbul Park Auto Market.
Edited by Staff Editor
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