Korean Grand Prix In Trouble: Should the FIA Act Before It's Too Late?
Amid rumours of constructional delays and national war concerns the Korean Grand Prix is under a massive amount of scrutiny. Many have suggested that the track will not be complete by race day in October.
And even if the track reaches a satisfactory standard recent tensions between South Korea, who will host the Grand Prix, and their neighbours North Korea have worried those who can see a war coming into fruition.
Sport is very rarely threatened by such an occurrence. It is not something you would expect to interfere. Yet sadly it can sometimes be a realistic possibility of concern.
So let's be honest, the Grand Prix should be cancelled here and now.
The constructional issues may be unfounded but the rising tensions are not. The two countries have been in conflict for too long and recent occurrences of sinking ships and blame games are doing nothing to reduce the abundance of hatred.
The FIA must look at the current situation and decide as a result what is best for the sport. Are they willing to put the spectators and the drivers under unnecessary risks just for the sake of a new track, and a new spotlight?
Maybe they should just delay the opening for the Korean International Circuit to a point in time when it is realistic to hold the event with security and safety at an acceptable level.
A downside to cancelling the Grand Prix would be the four week gap left between two of the final races in Japan and Brazil.
This could leave an unwarranted anti-climax, considering the closeness in dates for the rest of the remaining Grand Prix.
Four weeks is long enough for spectators to either lose interest or lack a grip on the understanding of the season as it would stand. Many could drift away from the conclusion of the season in search of more exhilarating sporting events.
There should be nothing to stop the FIA acting swiftly now in an attempt to replace the Korean Grand Prix in time.
Various tracks are available and could be considered.
Despite the last Grand Prix of France portraying a depressing bore fest, the track at Magny Cours could be a choice. The drivers know it well and it garners enough attention.
Many were also grateful to see the back of San Marino following the black weekend of '94, but no one can deny that track's promising credentials. It certainly did not form one of the least entertaining tracks on the calender.
Similarly Indianapolis had a certain charm to itself that offered the spectators satisfactory events. If it had not been for the fallout in its last years it may have still provided a focal point in the current season.
Sadly New York could not be an option. I was thoroughly gutted when Texas instead was revealed as a new US Grand Prix location. But could a makeshift track be created to provide a stop-gap for a ridiculous four week deficit in the calender?
A final option would be the impending Indian circuit, originally only intended for the 2011 season, but due for completion as early as February of next year.
This is geographically a more promising alternative as it lies close enough to Japan to make late season travelling all the more comfortable.
Obviously this would put a great deal of stress on the creators, builders, and organisers of the circuit. Five months would probably not be enough time to bring the circuit up to scratch.
Failure to search for possible replacements is to be expected through the FIA. I do not expect an alternative to be sought after—so the most likely outcome will be that a four week gap will emerge.
If this is the case then maybe the FIA should just move the race weekends at Brazil and Abu Dhabi forward to keep the momentum of the season in full swing.
What is evident amongst all of the turmoil in Korea is the undeniable fact that in its current state it should not be made available to host the Grand Prix. It is overshadowed by too much controversy and uncertainty to gift it a place.
As its slated inception draws closer the tensions will need to heavily subside for it to be rightfully considered in the way that it was originally intended.
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