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Korea organisers report further losses

NEWS STORY
21/11/2012

Despite Bernie Ecclestone's insistence that the east is the future of Formula One, organisers of the Korean Grand prix have reported their third successive loss.

Reuters reports that the event, which made its debut on the 2010 calendar, has returned an operating loss of $36.4m (£22.8m) this year, the event having lost an estimated $50m (£31.4m) in its first year alone.

Nonetheless, organisers remain hopeful that in time the investment will pay off.

"It's hard to say what kind of impact the loss has on next year," organisers told Reuters. "Although there are many concerns regarding the operating loss, the loss for a third straight year is only a short-term effect.

"In the long-term the F1 event will bring more benefits to the country. It will not only pave the way for South Korean car industries in the future but also help foster new industries."

While China continues to fail to attract the locals, despite the country's booming economy, India too has witnessed a downturn in terms of attendance figures following its debut on the calendar in 2011, the race day attendance at the Buddh International Circuit dropping by 30,000 this year.

At a time Ecclestone is talking of three races in the USA, the sport having made a sensational return to America last week, Asia has hosted nine of this year's twenty rounds.

Yet, while the F1 Dream isn't living up to expectations in some Asian countries, it continues to flourish in Japan.

"Compared to the boom years, things have become a little harder," Suzuka press manager Yoshihisa Ueno told Reuters, "but we had 103,000 for race day this year. "Last year with the tsunami and nuclear disaster, numbers were down but this year, operation-wise was a successful year."

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