Formula 1 commercial rights manager Bernie Ecclestone is convinced that the South Korean Grand Prix will take place this year, despite doubts about the event surfacing earlier this week.
A report in German magazine Focus suggested that track designer Hermann Tilke was unsure if the new circuit would be ready for its inaugural F1 race on Oct. 24. Following release of a statement by track officials stating that construction was on schedule, Ecclestone has also said he is sure the venue will be ready after taking a tour of the track prior to traveling to China.
"I'm absolutely sure," Ecclestone was quoted as saying by the Reuters news agency when asked if he reckoned the track would be ready in time. "No doubt at all."
Ecclestone added that Tilke never said that finishing the venue in time was not guaranteed. "I've spoken to Tilke and he denies saying it," he explained.
Ecclestone also revealed that Russian city Sochi, which hosts the 2014 Winter Olympics, was leading the running to host its country's inaugural grand prix in the next few years.
"We've got two or three places in Russia which we're dealing with at the moment," he said. "There is a big push for us to do something with Sochi."