AUGUST 29, 2003
Turkey reveals financial details of its Grand Prix!
Turkey has revealed that it will pay Formula One Management $13.5m a year for seven years for the rights to stage the Turkish Grand Prix between 2005 and 2011. The government has also revealed that if the track is not finished on schedule in March 2005 it will have to pay a penalty of $25m.
There is some controversy in Turkey because the government is currently running a tight ship because of a deal with the International Monetary Fund.
But the deal looks likely to go ahead with the signature due today in London.
The track will be built on the Asian side of Istanbul and will be funded by a consortium including the city's chamber of commerce, which is pressing for the area to be declared a "tourism zone" to qualify for tax breaks. The planned Turkish Grand Prix is being marketed as a major tourist draw for the country. The organizers say that the race could produce up to $100m revenue a year for the city.
The project has been opposed by Turkey's anti-smoking lobby and environmentalists who are arguing that the circuit will destroy the habitat of rare plants and butterflies.
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