The gong at Turkey’s stock exchange of Borsa Istanbul rang for Formula 1 on Thursday opening.

The Turkish Grand Prix will be held on Sunday at the Intercity Istanbul Park in Tuzla on the city’s Asian side. Turkey is hosting a Grand Prix race for the first time since 2011.

Speaking at the gong ceremony, Formula 1 Sporting Director Steve Nielsen said: “It’s a great circuit, it’s a great city, and it’s been too long since we came back, so it’s a pleasure to be back.”

Praising the government’s efforts to make the event possible amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Nielsen said: “Formula 1 events would normally take between 12 and 18 months to organize. But this year all those rules have gone out the window like so many others. And so, we’ve done in probably three or four months.”

Goksel Asan, head of the Finance Office of the Turkish Presidency, expressed his appreciation for hosting the event in Istanbul.

“We will have completed the Istanbul Finance Center project by 2022. Let’s do the 2022 Formula 1 Grand Prix promotion tours in the Istanbul Finance Center [rather than an Istanbul bridge],” Asan said.

In his speech, Vural Ak, chairman of circuit operator Intercity, said the great race will be held in Istanbul Park and this is a great opportunity for promoting both Istanbul and Turkey.

“Formula 1 is watched by billions of people all around the world,” he said, adding this will boost foreign investors’ interest in Turkey.

“Turkey is a center of attraction for foreign investors and investments.”

“Formula 1 is a race where speed, performance, and competition are pivotal. Likewise, Borsa Istanbul does improve itself in terms of both speed and performance,” said Hakan Atilla, the head of Istanbul Stock Exchange.

Commenting on the latest developments in the markets, Atilla said Turkey’s benchmark stock index hit an all-time high, breaking record after record recently.

“When we look at Borsa Istanbul’s daily trading volume and indices, the stock market performs much better than the past.

“It gives positive signals about the future.”

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