FIA gives Koreans more time


The FIA looks set to break its own rules in order that the Korean Grand Prix can go ahead next month.

According to Appendix O of the International Sporting Code, which states that "for permanent circuits, the final inspection should be made not later than 60 days (or 90 days for FIA Formula One World Championship events) before the first international event to be held, at which inspection of all work relating to the track surface, permanent features and safety installations should be completed to the FIA's satisfaction".

This means that the final inspection should have taken place on July 26, almost 6 weeks ago. However, while admitting that "a lot of work still remains to be completed" the FIA has now postponed its final inspection until September 21, just 30 days before the inaugural race is due to take place.

There has long been speculation that the Korean track wouldn't be ready in time however, this has been repeatedly denied by both Bernie Ecclestone and the organizers, who earlier this week claimed that the circuit is "90% complete".

If the race was unable to go ahead, under the FIA's rules - which state that any event which is cancelled "with less than three months written notice to the FIA will not be considered for inclusion in the following year's Championship unless the FIA judges the cancellation to have been due to force majeure" - Korea would miss out in 2011 also.

However, of more importance at this particular time is how losing one of the six remaining races would affect the world championship battle.

Hispania driver Karun Chandhok is due to complete a demonstration run on the circuit this weekend at the wheel of a Red Bull car. Last weekend's Asian Festival of Speed had to be cancelled leading to further fears of the track's state of readiness.

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Published: 03/09/2010
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