F1 Supremo Bernie Ecclestone says that a Grand Prix in Azerbaijan will replace the Korean Grand Prix, and added that Formula One will not return to South Korea.
In an interview with Christian Sylt, Ecclestone explained that although the organisers of the Korean race had done a good job, they had not lived up to their promise of building a Monaco-style marina around the complex, which held its début race in 2010.
“They did a good job with the track but what they forgot to do was build all the things they wanted to build,” Ecclestone said.
The Korean Grand Prix grew unpopular with fans due to its stalemate racing, and the organisers also struggled with ticket sales. When the 2014 calendar was announced, speculation arose that Korea would not host a race this season as the FIA failed to confirm it for definite, and was then finally removed from the schedule.
Azerbaijan has now stepped up as the odds-on favourite to replace the race, with Ecclestone saying “Baku has been signed. It will start in 2015 and will replace Korea.”
German media reported earlier this week that the Azerbaijani round would replace the Russian race, which is due to hold its first race at the Sochi olympic park this November, after an international outcry over the Russian annexation of Crimea, Ukraine. There has been no announcement to confirm whether the race will definitely go ahead or not, but Azerbaijan will not be replacing it. A planned Mexican Grand Prix also looks unstable for 2015, while the New Jersey Grand Prix, due to begin last June, looks to have died away.
Image courtesy Mercedes AMG F1 Team.