Date: 19th October 2011 at 11:52am
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The Formula One circus may have just left Yeongam, who host the Korean Grand Prix, for the last time.

The Korean Grand Prix’s current deal with Formula One Management runs until 2016, however financial problems have threatened that current agreement.

The cost of hosting last weekends race according to Korean media, was estimated at around £52million.

Income from ticket sales for Friday practice, Saturday practice and qualifying and Sunday’s race reached just £16million, totalling a massive loss of £36million.

The race fee for hosting the event and the television rights from FOM is estimated at £35million, so the race promoters are hoping to renegotiate their race contract terms in a bid to ease their financial issues.

‘We are trying hard, but we need the co-operation of Mr. Bernie Ecclestone. We certainly want to continue with this event because it is a big event, even though we have losses. Yeongam race promoter Won-Hwa Park told Autosport Magazine.

‘He knows perfectly well our current situation, and I hope he is more co-operative.’

As well as negotiating a better contract with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, the Korean Grand Prix could try to receive additional financial support from the national government, which is what other Grand Prix tracks do in other countries that host Formula One.

However in the countries where the race gains support the event is usually popular amongst the people of that country, or has an important economical factor, but that is not the case in Korea.

Park added: ‘Some local people in this region are against the race because of a big financial loss in hosting the race and organising this event.

‘Those citizens, who have a background as farmers and are normally poor, want to have the funds distributed for other purposes rather than be used for this so-far unpopular event.


But despite its unpopularity, Park remains adamant that Korea can continue to host the event and that the increased awareness of motor sport is a good thing for Korea.

He concluded: ‘I must increase the awareness of motor sport so that people and citizens understand what we are doing. This would be an indirect way to convince the national government. Motor racing is not known here as much as it is in other developed countries.’