Korea’s Hyundai ‘not interested’ in F1 – report

Mon, 18 October 2010, 10:01

Oct.18 (GMM) The likelihood of Hyundai entering formula one in the near future has diminished.

Some years ago, the Korean carmaker – currently the fifth largest in the world and comprising Kia – was linked with Minardi when Paul Stoddart was selling the Faenza based team.

And “We are in discussions with Bernie Ecclestone,” an official of the Seoul-based company said in 2006.

Another Korean multinational, Samsung, has also been linked with F1 sponsorship, which now seems timely given the sport’s journey this week to the southwest Jeollanam-do province for the country’s inaugural grand prix.

South Korea’s economy proved robust in the wake of the global financial crisis, and Hyundai vice chairman Chung Eui-sun said recently that the marque’s “utmost priority is to boost brand image in Europe”.

The conglomerate LG is already a prominent F1 sponsor, but Hyundai is reportedly not interested.

“The grand prix could be a gateway to becoming a premium car brand, but Hyundai is simply not interested in formula one,” an anonymous F1 industry official told the Reuters news agency.

“It also requires long-term investment of several years at least and it’s doubtful whether Hyundai has that patience,” the source added.

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