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Korean GP racks up big losses

ESPN Staff
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Workers only just finished the circuit in time for the inaugural race in 2010 © Getty Images

The future of the Korean Grand Prix is under threat after race organisers revealed that operating costs finished in the red for the third year running.

Race organisers revealed on Wednesday that the scale of the losses from this year's event totalled 39.4 billion won (£23 million).

"It's hard to say what kind of impact the loss has on next year," South Korean race organisers told Reuters. "Although there are many concerns regarding the operating loss, the loss for a third straight year is only a short-term effect.

"In the long-term the F1 event will bring more benefits to the country. It will not only pave the way for South Korean car industries in the future but also help foster new industries."

The South Korean Grand Prix, hosted 400km south of Seoul at the Yeongam circuit, was first run in 2010 with an initial contract of seven years with an extra five-year option. But the circuit was only just completed in time and organisers have expressed dissatisfaction at the terms of their contract, particularly regarding the cost of race-sanctioning fees.

Sebastian Vettel won the last two runnings of the Korean Grand Prix, with current title rival Fernando Alonso winning the inaugural race in 2010.