2010 Korean GP could be called off UPDATE #2 (GMM) Fears are growing that the inaugural Korean grand prix this October may have to be called off. Although Bernie Ecclestone recently dismissed rumors that construction of the new Yeongam circuit might not be finished on time, political tensions between South Korea and the rogue North have been ramping up.
South Korea pointedly blamed the North for the recent sinking of a naval vessel that killed 46 sailors, and the North retaliated by threatening all-out war.
"If there is (war), we won't be there obviously," F1 chief executive Ecclestone told reporters in Turkey.
Finland's Turun Sanomat newspaper cites sources as saying the political situation may already have further slowed down construction of the 5.62 kilometer circuit.
Amid the uncertainty, it is believed that the F1 teams association FOTA is not currently prepared to charter some of its equipment to Korea ahead of time if there is no guarantee of a race.
Moreover, it emerges that most teams have not yet booked airline tickets and hotel rooms for their staff, even though plans for the subsequent Brazilian and Abu Dhabi events are well advanced.
"This is a clear sign of how seriously they are worried about the possibility of cancellation," said well-known Portuguese journalist Luis Vasconcelos.
If Korea is cancelled, there will be an extremely rare four-week break between the Japanese and Brazilian grands prix.04/12/10 (GMM) Organizers of October's inaugural Korean grand prix have denied reports the race could be called off.
The German news magazine Focus has claimed that the circuit under construction in Yeongam may not be completed in time.
F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone was reported to have travelled straight from Malaysia to South Korea and was poised to make a decision about the cancellation within days.
Focus quoted the track's German designer and advisor Hermann Tilke as saying he was "concerned" the venue "is not going to be finished on time".
But on Monday, the BBC quoted Chung Yung-Cho, of local promoters Korea Auto Valley Operation (KAVO), as saying: "The construction progress is well ahead of its schedule and we have absolutely no issues with completion."
He added: "I understand that Mr. Ecclestone is quite happy with not only the progress of the track but the direction the Korean F1 race is headed and he has raised no questions and concerns."04/11/10 (GMM) The inaugural Korean grand prix could be called off, according to a report in the German media.
The news magazine Focus says the circuit under construction in Yeongam, about 400 kilometers south of the capital Seoul, may not be completed by the time of its scheduled debut race this year at the end of October.
Amid rumors of serious problems with the construction, the report said F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone travel led directly to South Korea after last Sunday's Malaysian grand prix.
The report said the 79-year-old will decide in the coming days whether or not to cancel the race, which would reduce the 2010 schedule from a record-equaling 19 events to 18.
F1 regular Hermann Tilke's company was responsible for the design of the circuit, but unlike most of his other projects, the German architect is only an advisor for the actual construction in Korea.
"For the first time I am concerned that a (Tilke) circuit is not going to be finished on time," he is quoted as saying.
Focus said a possible outcome for South Korea, despite tickets for the October 24 race already being on sale, is a postponement for one year.