Report: Korea aiming for 2016 F1 return with night street race in Seoul

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Borrowing a page from the Singapore Grand Prix’s playbook, Korean promoters want to bring Formula One back to their country in 2016 with a night-time street race in Seoul.

Ian de Cotta of Singapore’s Today publication writes that a Korean delegation have apparently gotten F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone to warm up to their proposal after meetings with him during last weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix.

de Cotta also reports that said delegation is led by a former chief executive of the Korea Auto Valley Operation, the organizers of the ill-fated Korean Grand Prix that raced at Yeongam from 2010-2013. However, the delegation apparently has no connection to KOVA.

Bad attendance plagued Formula One’s stay at Yeongam, as the purpose-built Korean International Circuit was situated several hours away from the Seoul metropolitan area. In addition, the race lost substantial amounts of money for organizers as well.

But said former executive, Chung Yung-cho, is confident that a Seoul race would cost far less to organize and stand a better chance of getting people in the grandstands.

de Cotta relays word from a source close to Yung-cho: “The business model for the Singapore Grand Prix is attractive, and if we can do the same in [Seoul], it makes more sense for people to buy tickets to watch the race. I think it will work for Korea this time if Bernie and Chung can reach a deal.”

Said source also noted that Singapore was able to create its pit building for the Marina Bay Street Circuit in less than a year’s time, and that Yung-cho thinks his group can create one for a Seoul race in the same timeframe.