S.Korea to push for F1 return, says organiser

05 Dec 2013 10:02

The chief of the South Korean Grand Prix said Thursday he would work to bring back the race after it was dropped from the Formula One calendar for 2014.

"Formula One is the future of our province," said Park Joon-Yung, governor of the southern province of South Jeolla where the race has been held since 2010.

He told reporters the provincial government would try and find ways to have the event reinstated on the annual Grand Prix calendar.

"We will make steady efforts to achieve our goal, even though the race will not be held there next year," Park said.

South Korea was one of three Grands Prix dropped from next year's provisional Formula One calendar at a meeting of the International Automobile Federation (FIA) on Wednesday.

With a new fixture in Sochi for the Russian Grand Prix next year, the race at the Yeongam track in South Jeolla was forced to make way.

Park was instrumental in building the Yeongam circuit, which he saw as a way of promoting tourism.

But the annual event has haemorrhaged money from the outset, losing 72.5 billion won ($68.3 million) in 2010, 61 billion won in 2011 and 38.6 billion won last year.

The loss at this year's race in October has been estimated at around 18 billion won.

Although the event receives some central funding, the bill is largely borne by the taxpayers of South Jeolla province.

The organisers' original agreement with Formula One was to have run until 2016 with an option to extend for five more years.

Park had sought to negotiate changes in the contract to reduce the cost burden, but only managed to secure minor concessions.