Ankara: Turkey may not host a Grand Prix next season due to an increase in the fee to stage the race, according to the head of Istanbul's Chamber of Commerce.
Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has doubled the asking fee from US$13 million to US$26 million, Murat Yalcintas said on his Twitter account on Thursday.
Turkey's Ministry of Finance considers the amount too high, added Yalcintas, who represents the backers of the race.
"It looks like F1 will not take place in Istanbul next year," Yalcintas said.
On Friday, however, Milliyet newspaper quoted Yalcintas as saying organizers would discuss the issue with Ecclestone during next month's Istanbul Grand Prix.
"If Ecclestone displays a rigid attitude then there will be no agreement," Yalcintas said. "In the end, it is the public's money."
"Nothing is certain yet. Besides, if there is no agreement for next year, this does not mean that there will no longer be a F1 in Istanbul. There could be agreements in the future."
There was no immediate comment from the sport's governing body, the FIA.
Turkey joined the F1 calendar in 2005 but the race has suffered poor attendances due to high ticket prices and difficulty of access to the venue on Istanbul's Asian side. The contract is due to expire this year.
In 2006, the FIA ordered Turkey to pay a US$5 million fine for compromising the race's political neutrality, after Mehmet Ali Talat — the leader of the breakaway northern Turkish Cypriot state, which only Turkey recognizes — was allowed to present the winner's prize at the Grand Prix that year.