Korean Grand Prix organisers have moved to deflect speculation that the new circuit at Yeongnam will not be ready to play host to its first Formula One event in late October.
Rumours that the construction programme had fallen behind schedule began top do the rounds over the weekend, with circuit designer Hermann Tilke being quoted as saying that he feared that, for the first time, one of his layouts would not be ready to make its debut on time. F1 commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone was also reported to be flying to Korea to check on progress, and prepared to make a final decision on its viability within days.
Should the race be cancelled, and most likely postponed for twelve months, the 2010 calendar would shrink back to 18 rounds, but Korea Auto Valley Operation chief executive Chung Yung-Cho insists that there should be no concern about the viability of the 135,000-seater facility, which is being built as part of a wider sports park.
"The construction progress is well ahead of its schedule and we have absolutely no issues with completion," he is reported as saying by the BBC
, "I understand that Mr Ecclestone is quite happy with not only the progress of the track but the direction the Korean F1 race is headed and he has raised no questions and concerns."