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F1 news

Former F1 host nation takes first step to return with new circuit

Following a brief run between 2010 and 2013, the Korean International Circuit fell from the F1 calendar. However, plans are now underway to bring the series back to South Korea.

Korea
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Following the Korean International Circuit in Yeongam, South Korea, hosting four grands prix between 2010 and 2013, the country could be the next nation to return to the F1 calendar.

With the F1 schedule expanding to the current 24 races for 2024, a number of new hosts have been added to the calendar in recent years, including two additional races in the United States and the Qatar Grand Prix.

Old venues have also made successful returns, such as the Imola Circuit in Italy, which hosts the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, having stepped in as a late replacement during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

The Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit in South Africa had been mooted as the next race to make a comeback, having not run since 1993. However, it now appears that South Korea could pip them to it.

Over the weekend of the Japanese Grand Prix, a letter of intent was submitted to F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali by the Mayor of Incheon - South Korea's third-largest city.

With a population of 2.6 million, Incheon is located close to the capital Seoul and is believed to be proposing a street circuit to debut on the F1 calendar in 2026 or 2027, with a view to run for at least five seasons.

"Incheon is the best place in South Korea to host Formula 1," Incheon's mayor Yoo Jeong-bok said, when speaking to South Korean media outlet Yonhap News.

'The best place in South Korea to host Formula 1'

Under the ownership of Liberty Media, F1 has increasingly sought urban locations to host races, with the number of street circuits on the calendar growing in recent years - a trend that looks set to continue.

Madrid is due to take over the Spanish Grand Prix from the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in 2026, with sustainability and convenience for fans given as driving forces behind that decision, something that Incheon hopes to capitalise on.

"We have a great transportation network with places like Incheon Airport and Incheon Port, as well as many luxury accommodations,” Yoo Jeong-bok added. “We will start large-scale talks to bring F1 to Incheon."

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