Formula One: Korean Grand Prix axed from 2015 calendar

Formula One: Korean Grand Prix axed from 2015 calendar
Red Bull-Renault driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany steers his car during the Formula One Korean Grand Prix at the Korean Circuit in Yeongam on October 14, 2012. Vettel went on to win the race.

SEOUL - The Korean Grand Prix, dogged by years of financial problems, has been dropped from the 2015 Formula One calendar, organisers confirmed Wednesday.

The sports governing body, the FIA, dropped the Yeongam race from the final version of this year's schedule published on its website late on Tuesday, reducing the season to 20 races.

"We have repeatedly conveyed our position to F1 organisers that we are unable to return to the race this year," a Korean Grand Prix official told AFP.

The Korean event in the southern county of Yeongam made its debut in 2010 under a deal intended to last until 2016 with a five-year renewal option.

But it haemorrhaged money heavily from the outset and having accumulated losses of 190 billion won (S$230 million) over four years, it was dropped from the 2014 schedule.

"Due to lack of financial support from either the central government or the provincial government, we have no option but to abandon this year's event as well," said the official, who insisted on anonymity.

"South Korea has still a very thin fan base and local businesses are not so eager to sponsor auto races", he added.

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