x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Worries on South Korea race

Next month's inaugural South Korean Grand Prix is at risk because the circuit has yet to pass a final inspection less than a month before the race, Bernie Ecclestone, the Formula One chief admitted yesterday. Cancellation would have a major impact on the title outcome, with five drivers currently separated by just 25 points with a maximum 100 to be won - assuming that the South Korea race remains on schedule.

"It's not good. It should have been inspected maybe six weeks ago," Ecclestone told BBC television at the Singapore Grand Prix. "It was inspected but it was not passed," the Briton added. "We normally have a 90-day check before a race and now we are sort of putting this off. "It's quite dangerous what we've done actually but it's a case of do we cancel the race or not? "They say it's all going to be OK, so we hope they are right," Ecclestone added.

The South Korean race is due to take place on October 24, with the final inspection repeatedly pushed back by the governing International Automobile Federation (FIA). Charlie Whiting, the FIA race director was due to visit the Yeongam Circuit last month, but that was postponed, and then on his way to Singapore. That has now been further delayed with reports suggesting it might not happen until the Japanese Grand Prix, a mere two weeks before the Korean race.

* Peter Rutherford / Reuters