Oct.12 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Bernie Ecclestone agreed to reduce the race fee as he extended Korea’s grand prix contract through 2016, the AFP news agency reports.
F1’s annual trip since 2010 to Mokpo is among the most controversial and least popular on the calendar, but promoter Park Won-Hwa said on Friday a new contract has been signed.
“We had to renegotiate with Mr Ecclestone and brought a few ideas and persuaded him that Korea cannot continue the event with such a big financial loss,” he said.
“It took a long time, and in the end Mr Ecclestone agreed to make another contract,” Park added.
The Times correspondent Kevin Eason said this week he cannot understand why F1 chief executive Ecclestone wants the poorly attended and questionably organised event to survive.
Park explained: “Mr Ecclestone thinks that it is important to have F1 in Korea as the country is a fast-growing country and benefits from a booming economy and fast-growing economy.
“It would be a huge strategic mistake to withdraw from this part of the world.”
Still, F1’s travellers dislike the remote location of the event and the so-called ‘love motels’ – usually occupied by prostitutes and their clients – they have to stay in.
“Seoul is a centre of activity,” said Park.
“But Korea needed to highlight this rural and industrial area. We live in peace here with clean air, no pollution and a good environment.
“But we are trying to boost the area and build its image at the same time. This is the idea of the government behind the race.”