Ecclestone: No problems in Turkey


With just over two months to go before the inaugural Turkish Grand Prix, F1 supremo, Bernie Ecclestone, has said that he is delighted with the progress that has been made and has no fears that the 40m ($70m) will not be ready on time.

"We have seen what's been done, and we are very happy with things exactly the way they are," he told reporters during a visit to the Istanbul Speedpark, which (as ever) has been designed by Herman Tilke.

"I don't see any problems at all," he added.

The Grand Prix is seen as the latest move to integrate Turkey into Europe, indeed it is believed that hosting a round of the Formula One World Championship could help Turkey's bid to join the European Union, a bid that is causing some concern amongst existing members of the United States of Europe.

Others however, will wonder what is exactly is in it for Turkey. Although there is talk of a tourist boom, F1 hasn't been the 'golden egg' that China, Malaysia and Bahrain had hoped for.

Despite the vast expenditure, not merely on the cost of building the circuit but also the infrastructure that goes with it - roads, hotels, etc - there is the money paid to Ecclestone and FOM to host an F1 race. Indeed, there are many that believe Ecclestone and F1 are the only real winners in such deals.

In what might be seen as the equivalent of getting a turkey to look forward to Christmas/Thanksgiving, Ecclestone says that the Grand Prix will be a major boost for Turkey, both financially and politically.

"If you're worried at all about the expenditure or the way things are being carried out financially," he said, "you've got the best deal in Formula One.

"The reason for that is we didn't come here for the money," he continued. "Quite the opposite, we came here to embrace Turkey into Europe. And I think we can do that as well as anybody."

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Published: 05/06/2005
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