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Korea surprise choice as best of year

13 December 2010

The FIA, fresh from revealing a series of forthcoming rule changes, sprang another surprise on the audience at its annual awards ceremony by naming the Korean Grand Prix as winner of the 'best grand prix' category.

The latest addition to the F1 calendar will be remembered, primarily, for the on-track events that appeared to hand Ferrari's Fernando Alonso the championship initiative, but almost never happened after, initially, interminable delays in the construction programme and then the onset of heavy rain that forced an hour-long suspension of action and led to the race ending in near darkness. Alonso won the race, but only after Red Bull Racing posted its first double DNF after Mark Webber crashed out and Sebastian Vettel grenaded his Renault engine.

"The [Race Promoters' Trophy] recognises the state-of-the-art Korean International Circuit which hosted its inaugural grand prix this year," an official statement from the governing body explained.

Whilst the circuit, while not perfect, at least attracted positive reviews, the F1 fraternity was out of its comfort zone with some of the accommodation laid on - reportedly including the enchantingly nicknamed 'love hotels' - and travel problems that made getting too and from the purpose-built venue difficult.

“It is a great honour to receive this award on behalf of all of those involved in the first Korean Grand Prix," Yung Cho Chung of the Korea Automobile Racing Association admitted, "I sincerely thank all of the people who helped to make the event such a success, leading to us receiving this wonderful trophy this evening.”

The Race Broadcaster's Trophy was presented jointly to Abu Dhabi Media Company and FOM for coverage of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where the twilight race time and magnificent backdrop again proved popular with television viewers.


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