- Aug 30, 2006
International incident takes place on Turkish F1 podium
The FIA is incensed after a game of political subterfuge played out on the podium last Sunday at the Turkish Grand Prix in Instanbul. Felipe Massa, the winner of the race, was presented his trophy by Mehmet Ali Talat, introduced by announcers as the President of the Northern Turkish Republic of Cyprus. Problem is, no such country exists except in the eyes of Turkey. The geographic area to which the the man's title refers is a part of Cyprus, the Mediterranean island nation over which Greece and Turkey have been fighting for decades.
Murat Yalicintas, head of the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, admits that his organization delayed telling the FIA who the podium presenter would be in order to sneak their guy on the stand. For their efforts, the FIA is considering dropping the Turkish GP from next year's schedule, as well as canceling Turkey's round of the World Rally Championship. Lesson learned: it doesn't pay to mess with the FIA.
Thanks for the tip, Noah!