Start, Korean Grand Prix, 2012

Korean Grand Prix loses over ??100m in three years

F1 Fanatic round-up

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Start, Korean Grand Prix, 2012In the round-up: The Korean Grand Prix continues to lose money, though the size of its loss fell in 2012.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

South Korea Grand Prix stuck in the red (The Star Online)

“The only positive sign for organisers was that the 2012 version of the Formula One race haemorrhaged less cash – 39.4 billion won [??22.8m] – than the previous two. The first race in 2010 ran an operating loss of 72.6 billion won [??42.1m], while last year’s event showed a 61 billion won [??35.3m] deficit.”

Q&A with Force India?s Vijay Mallya (F1)

“We are thinking about [a replacement for Nico Hulkenberg], but we are in no immediate hurry because there does not seem to be the kind of quality we need to replace Nico available, either in the current grid or in GP2. We have to think a little bit beyond that, which we are doing now.”

No need for night grand prix: Jones (The Age)

Alan Jones: “As Australians, we’ve been getting up in the middle of the night to watch European grands prix for the last 25 years. They [European viewers] can get up to watch one.”

AGP 60th (YouTube)

F1 ‘must capitalise’ on Austin impetus (Autosport)

“There is a lot to learn from what went right. We have some ideas about how to make this work in the United States – where it has struggled in the past.”

Come and race it (Jamey Price Photo)

I am thrilled to see Jamey achieve his ambition of photographic and F1 race weekend. His work has appeared on F1 Fanatic before and is absolutely from the top drawer. Check out his brilliant photographs here.

Notes from the Circuit of the Americas (Peter Windsor)

“The Austin circuit was built for the bargain-basement price of $300m [??188m] (compared with the $1.2bn [??753m] spent on Abu Dhabi) and that meant fewer luxuries and more essentials ?ǣ an ethos perfectly in tune with these economic times. And still they didn?t skimp on the real necessities ?ǣ by which I mean the design of typeface for the building titles; the use of local limestone on some of the paddock structures; decent, free, Wi-Fi; and the track itself, of course.”

Austin GP A Smashing Success (Speed)

Mercedes F1 team CEO Nick Fry: “I think the difference [compared to Indianapolis] is that Austin is a very significant technological town, it?s got a lot of very high tech businesses. There?s a lot of technology in this area, there?s clearly also a lot of wealth in this area, and obviously it?s a huge college town. On top of that, it?s well known for its music scene. The combination of the technological side, the educational side, the entertainment side means that it?s an appealing place for people to come and visit.”

Amazing Austin (ESPN)

“We… met the three English guys that had been painting the stars on the run-off areas and had been there since September. Obviously they were gutted to have to paint them out, it was a lot of work on their behalf but the lines did create really nice pictures at the end of the day.”

UT football, F1 on collision course in 2013 (Austin-American Statesman)

“The two mega-events are now on a collision course for the weekend of Nov. 15-17, 2013. Texas? schedule, which was released Tuesday by the Big 12, has the Longhorns hosting Oklahoma State on Nov. 16 at Royal-Memorial Stadium. That conference showdown should draw more than 100,000 fans.”

Fans? Forum Austin, Texas – Thursday 15th of November, 2012 (FOTA)


Comment of the day

@Slr on where the Sauber drivers will end up next year:

As I?m a big fan of Kobayashi, I?m praying that he doesn?t lose his seat, especially to Gutierrez of all people.

Perez has been the better driver at Sauber this year, but the gap between them isn?t that much. It certainly isn?t big enough to merit Perez going to McLaren and Kobayashi dropping out of Formula One altogether.

I think that Sauber kind of don?t want to give Gutierrez a drive if they can help it, because I think they would have signed him up already if they really did. He?s certainly not ready for Formula One, and Kobayashi is a better option every day of the week.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Clare MSJ, Dane, Rachel and Richard!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Ten years ago today Max Mosley warned teams they would be excluded from races if they broke the ban on team orders which he introduced after the 2002 season, following the controversial use of them by Ferrari, then run by Jean Todt, on the last lap of the Austrian Grand Prix.

No such ban was ever enforced. When Ferrari imposed team orders in a similar way eight years later the FIA, now headed by Todt, declined to impose a meaningful punishment. Todt scrapped the ban at the end of 2010.

Image ?? Korean GP/Sutton

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  • 62 comments on “Korean Grand Prix loses over ??100m in three years”

    1. I love getting up for the early morning Melbourne Grand Prix – there can be no better start to an F1 season!

      1. +1. It makes the start of the season far more of an event when you’re up at 5am for it. Less hardcore fans can watch the re-run/highlights, so I don’t see the issue.

        1. If it came down to it, I would not mind if Australia lost its opening-round status so that the race could run at a sensible hour.

          1. Do you mean because now it runs as a close to twilight race and it would be better to have it a bit earlier @prisoner-monkeys?

            1. @bosyber – No, I mean that if Bernie makes it clear that Albert Park will lose its place as the championship-opening round if the organisers do not make it a night race, then I say bite the bullet. Keep the race starting at its present time (or sooner), and hold it later in the season. Maybe in April after China, or September before Singapore.

              I just feel that a night race is impractical for Albert Park, because of the wide spaces between the circuit and the walls. It would also be very unpopular with the locals, especially if it is going to go on until 11pm local time on a Sunday night. It would be likely to keep people awake, which is never a good thing when they have to go to work and school the very next day.

            2. Ah, right, yes I do agree that makes sense to me as well, they way the track is positioned, I agree it would not likely work as a night race, certainly not for the local audience even if it does for tv.

              It has been a tradition for a while now to have Australia as the first race, and like others I like the fact that I have to get up early for it, it really works with the excitement of the season finally starting. But I’d rather have it later in the year than losing it (and if it is a night race, getting up early doesn’t work any more either anyway).

          2. Back to 3pm local time would be nice. Running it until near 7 pm just shy of daylight savings change has never felt right. The late finish sucks the atmosphere of the race dry.

            But it seems to be a trend in Australia lately, moving important sporting events to some “compromise time” between what fans want and what TV money wants. In the end the compromise is usually worse than either alternative.

          3. I love Melbourne as season-opener and I’m prefectly fine with its timing. It’s worth getting up early to see the first race of the season on a beautiful track, whilst if it came later on the interest could be less (although I’d still watch it).

        2. A night race would be for the “benefit” of only a handful of people – more and more Europeans will be watching highlights later (or not at all) if F1 keeps doing pay-TV deals like in Britain and Italy.

          Nothing wrong with having the season opener at night anyway. Those Adelaide races were great too, but an American time zone is way better for the decider.

      2. Besides, it’s a compromise. Other parts of the world get it worse. Australia for example… America with the Asian races too.

        And there’s no better race to stay up / wake up early than Melbourne. It’s always worth the effort !

        1. I’ve always thought we had it pretty good here in Australia. Asian races are fine, European races start at 9-10 pm, the North American races are a bit of an inconvenience but there’s only 3 of them currently. And besides waking up early or staying up for those american races is part of the fun.

      3. Honestly how can people complain about 1 race? Australians have it so much worse, Brazil this weekend will be at 3AM and i’ll still wake up and watch that

        1. I’ve given up watching the 3 am asian races, at lap 10 I don’t remember how the race started. Obviously no time will ever work for everyone, and if you move a race one way for someone, someone else will be inconvenienced. I liked staying up for melbourne when it was at midnightish US central time, I’d be jumpy and excitable all day, but then they moved it later so Europe could watch it over breakfast.

      4. Yeah, I’ll see Australians’ inconvenience and raise them – races almost always start at midnight in NZ & the American ones are worse. Now I live in France so following F1 is vastly easier, but yeah it’s not a great hardship for me to get up early once in a while.

        1. Really? The Texas GP started at 8am Monday morning, thats not too bad really. But yes, apart from Japan/Korea/Australia no race is really at a suitable time here. Interesting to note though that despite having SKY TV, (NZ Version obviously) we get the BBC broadcast feed not the SKY one. Which is really rather annoying in all honesty,

          1. It is if you normally leave for work after 8am.

            That’s the problem with the Americas GPs here, it’s not making you tired on a Sunday morning, it’s making you tired on a work day. But that’s the price we’ve always paid, even moreso when our local TV station used to delay races so they ran much later than they do live.

            1. I didn’t realise what time the US GP was this year in NZ – it was the middle of the night the last time it was run, IIRC. But yeah, most people have things to do on Monday mornings anyway!

              What happens if the BBC coverage is delayed highlights? You would prefer the SKY feed even if BBC is live? I think both have their good points, one advantage of either is the build-up and post-race. Maybe things have changed since I left NZ, but SKY always used to pick it up about 5 mins before the start and cut it as soon as they said “and now a few words in your own language” at the post-race press conference.

      5. I agree, there was no need to move the start of the race three hours forward as they did, there is even less need for another night race and there is absolutely no need for a night race at Albert Park, which is a beautiful place in daylight.

      6. So true!

    2. As an Australian, I’m inclined to agree with Alan Jones. I had to get up at 5.00am to watch the USGP, and will have to get up at 2.00am to watch the decider in Interlagos. I don’t regret that, as I feel it’s part of being an F1 fan.

      That said, I wouldn’t want to have to do it for my home race!

      And the reality is that Melbourne does not have the same sort of “ooh-ahh!” factor in terms of city nightscape that Singapore achieves, or even Abu-dahbi does with its weird hotel lights.

      I personally think that if the Victorian government can’t handle the cost in these tough economic times, then why not do an alternate-year-scheme race with Adelaide?

      Those fortunate enough to have attended the Adelaide races in the 80’s and 90’s will recall some outstanding races and drama, as well as some truly epic level crowds. I believe Joe Saward wrote about this recently, and noted that for the final race in ’95, some 500,000 people turned up.

      I’d be happy to trade the V8 supercars for the F1.

      1. For F1 to come back to Adelaide would be a dream come true! Sadly, it will never happen. And even if it did, we will never have the true screaming F1 engines :(
        In 2014 we will be watching thinking, “what the hell are these cars!?”
        Back in the early 1990’s I lived 10min drive outside the city, and on a still morning, I could easily hear the scream of the F1 engines, was almost a magical feeling.

        1. I was just a little tyke at the time, but I was lucky enough to go to the 1992 and 1994 Adelaide GPs.

          I was 5 and 7 years old respectively at the time, and I don’t remember much about it.

          However, I will never, ever EVER forget the noise of those engines tearing past. Best. Noise. Ever.

    3. Silverstone felt they had a special case but in the end bowed to the demands of Bernie – Australia will probably end up doing the same – unless the lawyers have caught up with the elusive Mr. E. by 2015.

    4. It certainly isn’t big enough to merit Perez going to McLaren and Kobayashi dropping out of Formula One altogether.


      1. Perez has done enough to merit his Mclaren seat for next year, Kobi 100% deserves at least to keep his Sauber seat.

        1. And being Mexican doesn’t exactly hurt him :)

          Though, I do think he’s best available option for McLaren, sponsorwise and quality wise. Hope it works out for them :)

      2. I agree with @slr here: although I’m a fan of Gutierrez’s, I too think he might not be ready and surely Sauber are keeping other options open. Kobayashi and Sauber have done so much together that I wouldn’t mind if he became the team’s longest-serving driver by staying with them for some more years.

    5. Of all the glittering asian cities he could have chosen, why did Ecclestone think Mokpo, South Korea was the future of F1? Was there ever anything there besides rice paddies and a local politician’s daydream? Expanding to new markets is all well and good, but expanding where there’s no hope of growing a market (see also: the Phoenix Coyotes hockey team, the Qatar world cup) for the sake of a payday is foolish mismanagement.

      1. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III in china
        22nd November 2012, 11:52

        “Was there ever anything there besides rice paddies and a local politician’s daydream?”


      2. @pelican
        I’m going from memory here (which is unreliable at the best of times) but I seem to remember that when they announced the plans for the Korean GP they included major plans for the surrounding area to be developed too – housing, schools, industrial units, hotels, bars, an arena and other sports and entertainment venues and all that sort of stuff. I think the GP was supposed to be the big money project that the Korean government hoped would attract a lot of inward investment into the area.

        I can’t say if this has happened or not as I’ve never been there – maybe someone with some local knowledge could let us know if any of the other projects have got off the ground or if they’re still just plans.

    6. I think South Korea GP organizer will have to wait until “the city” that was suppose to be build in and around the circuit is complete before they can have any sort of financial profit; otherwise they must find ways to survive with loses in revenue year after year.

    7. I can understand Monica Ks belief that it is up to the track organisers in Austin to promote F1 considering all the money Sauber and the other teams spend but I think if the teams put themselves in the circuit owners shoes they might see it differently.
      The circuit owners also spent a lot of money building the track, then they have to pay 20-50 million dollars appearance money and they share in no revenue other than ticket sales, not even trackside advertising. From the promoters point of view they get nothing from increased TV viewership except increased demands from FOM when their contract is re-negotiated. The big winners from increased interest in F1 in the USA if it happens will be FOM/CVC as they will be able to sell the TV coverage and trackside advertising for a higher price and the teams should benefit from being better able to attract US sponsors. The various Govt. agencies involved spend their money in the hope that visitors to Austin will spend enough money locally to re-coup their investment. It is time FOM put some serious money and effort into marketing F1 in the US to ensure that we do not have another failure due to a short term profits driven agenda. F1 needs the USA more than the USA needs F1, why, you ask, the answer is evident in every mention of the need to cut costs in F1.

      1. The same is true for all the new races-china, malaysia, singapore, the upcomming race in Russia… Unfortunately, the show is run by an 80-something year old (bleep) and a private equity firm, neither of whom have any interest in or reason for planning for the sport’s future.

        1. The Malaysian Grand Prix has been pretty successful since it joined the calendar. The Chinese Grand Prix has seen strong crowds and excellent racing for the past three years. The Singapore Grand Prix regularly attracts large crowds, even if the racing is nothing stellar. And Russia has a large fanbase to draw on.

    8. One more question; Do you think Lewis will be allowed to keep his Stetson or will it too end up in McLarens trophy cabinet, if Lewis gets to keep it do you think Ron D will commission a copy?

      1. I imagine it goes to McLaren. Crazy policy, but no tears for Hamilton… he’s well-compensated.

        1. Yeah they’re putting hats in the tropy cabinet now to try to compensate for the dearth of Champion Trophies over the last 21 seasons.

        2. I hope they let him keep it. He’ll need something to wear when he rides off into the sunset next week.

          1. And Lewis needs a good hat to hide his comb-over ;)

    9. i’m sure american fans of international sports wholeheartedly agree with alan jones. in fact, i and many others enjoy watching events live as well as the ritual it involves. i also enjoy events when they are held at a “reasonable” time for me locally. there’s plenty to go around, and if f1 truly wants an event in australia they (bernie) should stop rocking the boat.

      1. @F1yankee, and if you can’t afford a PVR to time shift those early AM races you probably don’t live in Europe.
        I love waking up grabbing a cup of coffee and watching the race before I do anything else.

    10. We had 150,000 people here – and in five years’ time we have to be bigger and we need a bigger television audience.

      they’re already heading in the right direction with nbc sports. the availability is nearly universal (among cable/satellite subscribers), as is high definition service – these were not true of the nearly dead speed channel. also, nbc is making f1 1 of 2 (indy) prime features headlining solid content, although i think it will be a bit less substantial than sky’s effort. contrast this with speed’s doctrine of 49% nascar, 49% ads, 2% something else almost by accident. for example, after 2 hours from le mans, speed cut to junior-league nascar practice complete with a very lengthy pre-practice build up show. inexcusable.

      newscorp/fox’s intention with speed was always quick bucks with minimal investment, which always amounted to extremely heavy advertising, shoddy shows and shoddy coverage of good events. adios, you will not be missed.

    11. Happy birthday to all of you today!

    12. Kobayashi should go to IndyCar and team up with Sato as Team BANZAI. That’s worth the ticket price alone.

    13. He’s certainly not ready for Formula One, and Kobayashi is a better option every day of the week.

      People need to remember the likes of Raikkonen and even Kamui did not have much experience when they entered F1 and in the end performed quiet well. I don’t want Kobayashi to leave the sport but people are giving Gutierrez a lot of hate without even seeing how he can do. If he does get signed, I’m sure after a few weeks of winter testing he’ll be fine.

      1. In GP2 I was very disappointed with Gutierrez. I expected him to at least come close to the championship, but instead he wasn’t close at all. With the standard of drivers in GP2 this year, he should have done better really. It’s not lack of experience I’m worried about (though Gutierrez has the experience needed I believe), he didn’t really prove himself in GP2 to be as good as many hoped. He also wasn’t that impressive when he drove in FP1 in India and at the Young Driver Test.

        1. Kobayashi deserves to keep his place….but barely. I don’t understand why people think he is such a must-have if his races have been average at best (with the exception of Japan) in the present and in the past. Gutierrez is not ready for F1, thats for sure, but if I was Peter Sauber I will take the risk with a young ok driver with sponsors that might develop rather than a 26-year-old peak-of-his-career driver with no sponsors. If Kobayashi keeps his seat, which once again, I hope he does, it will be his last season.

    14. Thanks for the Comment of the Day Keith, and thanks for making my comment a bit more readable. :)

    15. “The only positive sign for organisers was that the 2012 version of the Formula One race haemorrhaged less cash – 39.4 billion won [£22.8m] – than the previous two. The first race in 2010 ran an operating loss of 72.6 billion won [£42.1m], while last year’s event showed a 61 billion won [£35.3m] deficit.”

      That’s a bit like saying “Good news – the doctors told me that my third heart attack wasn’t as bad as my first two!”. On a certain level, that is good news. But it’s also completely ignoring the underlying issue: namely, that you’ve had three heart attacks. Evidently, something is very, very wrong.

      What is it going to take for everyone involved in this whole sorry misadventure to admit that the Korean Grand Prix has been a giant waste of time, effort and money for all involved? At this point, I’m beginning to suspect that everyone is ignoring the proverbial elephant in the room out of sheer stubbornness.

      1. @prisoner-monkeys Yeah I don’t think any organization in the world can choose to ignore the fact that in all 100 million GBP losses have been incurred. I think it was poorly thought out, maybe with a “If you build it … ” policy. How long will it be before they eventually start wanting to negotiate race fees and Bernie threatens to shut it down. I mean 3 years down the “proposed” city is yet to be built, and with figures like those, there is no way they ever will.

        1. @mahavirshah

          How long will it be before they eventually start wanting to negotiate race fees and Bernie threatens to shut it down.

          They already have – they got a new deal for this year, one that sees a lot less go to FOM than other circutis are paying. Evidenty, Bernie really wants the race to stick around; I’ve never known him to renegotiate on such favourable terms for a circuit before. I suspect he’s trying to lure Hyundai into the sport, but they’re not biting.

          1. @prisoner-monkeys Something will have to give then. I can’t see anyone going on ahead with such losses for long. Did Bernie try to make it a night race at any point, To bring in the viewership audience ?

            1. @mahavirshah

              Did Bernie try to make it a night race at any point, To bring in the viewership audience ?

              Not that I’m aware of. All I know is that the race sanctioning fee was reduced, and the addition charges – like the yearly 7% rider – were also lessened, if not reduced entirely. Any other conditions have not been made public.

            2. @mahavishar, you don’t understand how the revenue is divided, FOM keep everything but the ticket sales proceeds. The Korean GP did not lose money it made millions, only the Korean organisers lost money because they couldn’t sell enough tickets at a price high enough to cover the fee FOM charge them to have a race and the cost of maintaining the track. Korean F1 fans apparently prefer to watch on TV, FOM keep the money they get selling the race coverage to Korean TV.

    16. Apparently Coca Cola has just announced they are entering F1 as a title sponsor! Although which team is not yet known, it IS a team which has won a race this year.

      I think Red BUll and Ferrari are out. WHich leaves Mercedes, Williams, Mclaren and Lotus.

      If Williams, then maybe that explains why pastor is yet to be confirmed…..

      1. @melkurion

        It’s Lotus and it’s using the Coca-Cola-owned Burn brand:

        1. @ Keithcollantine

          Damn, thought I might have outscooped you there for a second, should have known better ;)

    17. I honestly fear Austin could have been Hamilton’s last win – unless he wins in Interlagos – as I don’t think Mercedes will be competitive enough in the next seasons. I could well be wrong, and I hope so for Hamilton, but unless he then returns to another, stronger team I think he’ll never win again – if the Mercedes is as bad as this year’s.

    18. I hope they work something out with the scheduling regarding the UT v. OK game…. The organisers will know that in Austin no matter how devoted the support for F1, it can never win in a head to head against the football!

    19. It’s 2012 – I don’t watch ANY programme when it’s actually shown and I can’t think of anyone I know who does. We either download them or record them. Who the hell has the time or opportunity or perverse desire to run their lives around something as obsolete as TV schedules? Early afternoon is a lousy viewing time anyway – stuck right in the middle of the day, putting paid to any kind of family event or day out (or in my case normal working day) – too early to enjoy a drink, too late to watch over breakfast and then go out.

      They should run the races at the best time for the spectators who have paid the money to see the race in person. The number of fans at the event is the most important factor for keeping races on the calendar. TV audiences need to get with the 21st century and watch the race as and when it’s convenient via the technology options easily available to them.

    20. The local Korean organisers of the GP were just arrogant and had no business plan actually in place, it was all their own personal fantasy.
      From what i heard alot of staff have abandon ship becaue of his arrogance.
      Anyway there is another track being developed right 130km from Seoul called Inje Autopia, designed by MCS from Texas, they started in August and the track was already layed.
      Motor enthusiast have already taken to the recently layed track in their Ferrar’s, Porsche’s, BMW M cars and what not even in the shitty weather. Makes a big difference with the location.

    21. Rubbish seeing the COTD with what’s happened with Kobayashi today :(

    Comments are closed.