Formula 1 News

South Korea F1-ready after 2010 errors

Last year race was plagued by complaints by teams, media and those who dared to travel to face the many inconveniences.
Thursday, September 15, 2011

SEOUL, Sept 15, 2011 (AFP) - South Korea's Formula One Grand Prix will be a more enjoyable experience this year, organisers promised, after last year's inaugural race sparked widespread spectator complaints.

The Korea Auto Valley Operation (KAVO) said this year's race weekend from October 14-16 would be "far more entertaining... and more satisfactory".

"Many of our managerial shortcomings were exposed regarding issues in parking, transportation and accommodation," it said in a statement. 

KAVO, a joint venture between private firm M-Bridge Holdings and the South Jeolla provincial government, came under fire for delayed work and sloppy marketing and operations after the inaugural event.

The track in the southwestern county of Yeongam was completed only two weeks before the race and organisers were forced to give away thousands of
free tickets and to discount others to help fill seats. Apart from in the grandstands, organisers were unable to finish construction of permanent seating areas on time.

The controversy led to a state probe and the dismissal of the KAVO head and several other executives in January.

KAVO said it had worked especially hard to tackle the lack of upscale accommodation and crippling traffic gridlock during the event -- which sparked complaints from many of last year's 170,000 visitors.

It said it had secured 20 percent more accommodation than the forecast number of visitors -- 69,000 a day -- and all information on accommodation and transport would be available in four languages on its website. 

Roads in the area had been upgraded to ease gridlock and additional trains and flights would operate. "We have wrapped up all preparations for a successful event," Park Joon-Young, the KAVO chief executive, said in the statement. 

KAVO has won a deal to host the race for seven years with an option to extend for five more.

Teams and drivers getting ready to start the Korean GP (2010)

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