Korean F1 in doubt

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The most significant change to the 2010 Formula One season sees the introduction of South Korea as a venue circuit on 17 October, subject to the circuit being approved by Formula One management.

The country passed the 'F1 Act' in support of the construction and management of the Korean International Circuit in Yongam, South Jeolla province. The deal is for seven years with a five–year option that would ensure the race to be held until 2021. German designer Hermann Tilke has been given the responsibility of the design of the track. Planned completion was originally set for July 2010 and it will be part permanent, part temporary. The temporary part will race along the harbour side of the province where spectators from the promenade, hotels and yachts can view the race. Part of the city with possible exhibition facilities, shops, restaurants and cafes will be utilised to be the pit lane during the F1 Grand Prix weekend. The capacity of the venue will be 135, 000 spectators. However, at the time of writing, the inaugural Korean Grand Prix was in danger of being called off following delays in the construction of the circuit. Back in February 2010 there were already rumours that the race could be delayed until 2011, but those were denied by promoter Korea Auto Valley Operation, who said the circuit would be ready for "June or July". A report in German magazine Focus, however, said the work has been delayed because of major problems with the construction. Track designer Tilke told the magazine that he was concerned the work would not be finished in time. " For the first time I believe that a [Tilke] circuit is not going to be ready in time, " he was quoted as saying by the magazine. The report also claimed Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone is likely to make a decision on the race sooner rather than later.

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