Ankara: Turkey will not release any funds for the return of the Turkish Grand Prix to the Formula One schedule next year, the sports minister was quoted as saying on Thursday.
"There is nothing on the government's agenda about the return of Formula One to Turkey. This is an issue that entirely concerns the private sector," Suat Kilic was quoted as saying by the Anatolia news agency.
The Turkish Automobile Federation (Tosfed) announced that the Turkish Grand Prix could return to the Formula One schedule next year provided that organisers can reach agreement with the sport's paymaster Bernie Ecclestone over money.
Ecclestone and the new manager of the circuit, businessman Vural Ak, reached agreement on all matters relating to the race, according to the Tosfed statement.
And it remained for the Turkish government to give the green light to releasing the requisite funds -- which according to Ak amount to 13.5 million dollars.
But Kilic told reporters that the private sector must deal with the race.
"If it wishes, the private sector can and will bring Formula One," he said.
"But it is out of the question for us to pay the cost of the rights which has been proposed to a private company to bring Formula One," Kilic added.
Turkey hosted a Grand Prix in Istanbul from 2005 to 2011 and it proved extremely popular with the drivers but it came to an abrupt end when Ecclestone and the then race promoters failed to reach agreement over holding the 2012 race.
Turkey have become increasingly ambitious in competing to host major sporting events. Istanbul are considered a strong candidate to host the 2020 Summer Olympic Games - they are up against Tokyo and Madrid and will learn their fate when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) vote on September 6 next year.
Story first published on: Thursday, 06 December 2012 23:55 IST