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Ecclestone: Korea included on F1 2015 calendar for legal reasons

Bernie Ecclestone says the surprise inclusion of the Korean GP on the 2015 F1 calendar was done only for legal reasons
Bernie Ecclestone has revealed the Korean Grand Prix was only included on the 2015 F1 calendar for legal reasons and that the organisers do not want it to happen.

The FIA revealed a 21-race schedule at the start of this month with the event in Yeongam a surprise addition, added as the first race of a double-header with the Spanish Grand Prix in May, albeit listed as 'TBC'.

“They [the local organisers in Korea] would rather it not happen,” Ecclestone told reporters this week.

“We have a contract with Korea... we have to put it on the calendar. If we had not done they could have sued us. We let them off for a year on the understanding they would be back.”

Promoters in Korea have a contract through to 2016, but the event near Mokpo never really gained the support of the Korean public and was run at a loss ever since it first appeared in 2010. It did not take place this year.

Meanwhile, Ecclestone also said that a race in Qatar in the future is unlikely as Bahrain has the power to veto any new events in the region.

“It was an idea I thought would work,” he continued. “But I have got a bit of a problem which nobody knows about really but I am sure they soon will.

"I made a deal with the people in Bahrain [ahead of the inaugural race there in 2004] and they said, 'If we are going to be something new in this area, which we are, will you give us a guarantee you won't put another race on in the area, in the Gulf?'. I said yes. Typical Ecclestone handshake deal with the Crown Prince.”

Ecclestone also added the promoters of the Abu Dhabi GP had to get the “okay” from Bahrain before that event could be confirmed back in 2009.

“I explained to them [the promoters in Abu Dhabi] the position that I was in and said you had better ask the people in Bahrain if they are happy. If they are happy, I am happy. If not, we won't. So they got together and that is what happened. Then this other race in Qatar has been proposed now and I put the people together and said 'Can you sort this out between you?' and they have not managed to do it.”

Qatar already hosts a MotoGP race and will be the venue for the FIFA World Cup in 2022. It also hosted the FIA Prize-Giving Gala last week.

Related Pictures

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06.04.2014- Race, Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of Formula One Management
23.11.2014- Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of FOM
09.11.2014 - Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of FOM

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December 13, 2014 5:49 PM

So we get a race that the Korean organisers don't really want to host, the Korean people don't really watch, FOM don't really want to have it and F1 fans don't really give a toss about, but we get it because the people who don't really want to host it will sue the people who don't really want to have it if it doesn't go ahead? It's almost funny.

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