As Turkey's hopes fade, it looks increasingly possible that Austria will return to the F1 calendar in 2013. This week, at Bernie Ecclestone's request, the FIA reserved a date for an unidentified additional European race next year. Istanbul Park's new operator Vural Ak then announced he had reached an agreement "in principle" with the F1 chief executive, pending the Turkish government's support.
Turkey, however, has said no. "There is nothing on the government's agenda about the return of formula one to Turkey," sports minister Suat Kilic told the Anatolia news agency. "This is an issue that entirely concerns the private sector."
Earlier, Austria was suggested as a possible alternative to Turkey for the extra 2013 race date. The A1-Ring, owned and recently refurbished and re-launched by the energy drinks company, is now called the Red Bull Ring. And writing in Eurosport, leading F1 business journalist Christian Sylt said Formula One Licensing in 2012 registered a trademark to the name Austrian Grand Prix. (GMM)