2010 Korean Grand Prix

2010 Korean Grand Prix, photo by Waegook Cook

Korean Grand Prix Organisers and the the South Jeolla province government  have announced they have come to a new deal with Bernie Ecclestone and the Formula One Management to continue hosting the race but with cheaper fees.

 

The race hasn’t yet been a success though many hope that this will come with time once more Koreans have watched the races on TV and made the decision to visit the rural south west of South Korea to attend the race at the Yeongam circuit. This is however also what the Turkish Grand Prix organisers had hoped but after years of poor attendance that race has dropped off of the calendar and the Istanbul Park circuit did at last have the advantage of being popular with TV viewers and the drivers: Korea’s Yeongam circuit in contrast has been a little disappointing.

 

The Korean Grand Prix is seen as important for the South Jeolla Province it is in though and for the economy of the nation as a whole. A new high rise city is planned to be built around the Yeongam circuit to totally change the feel and focus of the area: attracting in more industry and technology companies.

 

The Grand Prix then is important to bring focus to the region and to give it a high tech image but the race is understood to have been losing so much money that it was simply not sustainable. Savings of US$20.5 million will hopefully make the race sustainable for the rest of its contract that ends in 2016; the savings will start from this year and include a US$17.6million saving on a TV license to FOM.

 

It is understood that the total to be paid will now be around US$53 million though receipts last year were only around US$23 million leaving a US$30 million shortfall for the local government to find, it is hoped new sponsorship deals may help to bridge the gap but this again depends on interest within the country.