You don't need me to tell you that F1 has been chasing the Asian brass in recent times. That the itinerary has incrementally shifted eastwards to the point that today no fewer than eight of the rounds are in Asia (rewind to 1998 and there was only one), including the run of five in a row which we're currently in, tells us this. The story of the new countries joining the calendar usually goes something like this: a government decides it wants to stage a Grand Prix, and is prepared to pay a lot of money for the privilege. Yes, the event will likely make a financial loss, but you can write the loss off either as helping a national or regional branding exercise as a 'place to do business' or else against your tourism budget (or both). Got any motorsport heritage? Or a motorsport infrastructure? Or even much local interest? No? No matter. That will come later. Perhaps.
|Impressive new city not pictured. |
Yeongam races have an eerie atmosphere.
Credit: LG전자 / CC
Korea and F1's road to hell was paved with good intentions, and no little ambition, at least in its days of inception. The talk then was of a street circuit in reverse, with the circuit built and then to be surrounded by a new city complete with a new marina wherein the beautiful people could pose on their boats, as well as the whole range of leisure facilities, hotels etc etc. A Monaco for the new generation if you will. Or perhaps a new Singapore, as a night race was talked about too. It sounded impressive whatever was the case, and presumably that it was in a remote location - some 400km from Seoul on reclaimed swampland near a shipping port - would stop to matter once everything was in place.