F1 RACE WOES: Bernie Ecclestone remains sceptical of the Korean and Qatar races on the 2015 calendar. Image: AFP / Christof Stache
LONDON, England - Bernie Ecclestone has admitted Korea is unlikely to return to Formula 1 in 2015 despite being listed provisionally as one of 21 races on the 2015 calendar.
Insiders interpreted the appearance of a Korean race with scepticism, as it is a great way to provide drivers an extra engine in 2015 without having to obtain the unlikely agreement of all the teams.
Meeting with a group of reporters in London on Thursday (Dec 11), Ecclestone did not confirm that suspicion but he also agreed that Korea is perhaps unlikely to happen.
'RATHER IT NOT HAPPEN'
He told Forbes' F1 business journalist Christian Sylt: "We have a contract with them."
Asked whether the 2015 Korean GP will be held, Ecclestone replied: "They would rather it not happen."
Korea might serve a dual purpose by triggering the engine rule tweak and extracting money from the organisers for breach of contract.
Ecclestone said: "We wouldn't extract any more than the contract allows us to."
QATAR RACE IN DOUBT, TOO
In other F1 race news, Ecclestone admitted that despite negotiating with a Qatari group recently,a race in the oil-rich Arab state is also unlikely.
That is because he made one of his famous "handshake deals" with Bahrain's crown prince years ago not to host any new races in the Persian Gulf.
Ecclestone said: "Now this other race (Qatar) has been proposed, so I put the people together and said 'Can you sort this out between you?'. They haven't managed to do it."