• Korean Grand Prix

Korean GP responds to doubts

ESPNF1 Staff
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The grandstand at the Korean International Circuit at sunset in March © Sutton Images

The organisers of the Korean Grand Prix have responded to a report that the inaugural race could be called off.

An article in German news magazine Focus claimed the circuit in Yeongam, about 400 kilometres south of the capital Seoul, now may not be completed by the time of its race debut this year which is scheduled for October 24.

Amid rumours of serious problems with the construction, the report said F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone travelled directly to South Korea after last Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix. It is believed he will decide in the coming days whether or not to cancel the race, which would reduce the 2010 schedule from a record-equalling 19 events to 18.

However, Korea Auto Valley Operation CEO Chung Yung-Cho said: "The construction progress is well ahead of its schedule and we have absolutely no issues with completion. 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."

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 said.

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.