British-Korean driver Jack Aitken, who grew to fame during the 2020 F1 season, was overwhelmed by the response he received from fans in South Korea after his Formula One debut. He hopes to use his newfound support to catch the attention of teams hoping to enter the South Asian side. For those unaware, Aitken made his F1 debut for team Williams at the Sakhir Grand Prix as a replacement for George Russell, who stood in for Hamilton after he tested positive for COVID-19.
Aitken, who was born in London, said he made waves in Korea despite a 16th-place finish in Bahrain. “There was a big response – more than I expected, which was amazing because traditionally Formula One hasn’t been as popular in Korea,” he was heard telling the South China Morning Post.
“Interest in motorsport is still young. We do have a lot of Korean fans getting in touch and many who follow the races because of my heritage. I’ve had a lot of questions asking about how to get involved.” he added.
Formula One has long expanded from its European origins, with Japan added as the first Asian venue in 1976, followed by Malaysia, which later departed. China too joined the list in 2004, Singapore later in 2008, and there are now also races in the Middle East. South Korea hosted four races between 2010 and 2013.
Aitken said his focus would be to help increase motorsport’s popularity in the region. “It’s well documented that motorsport is not cheap and you need to be able to be marketable,” “If they (manufacturers) can utilise me to make themselves more marketable, that’s a real plus.”
What are your thoughts in regards to this update? Do you think the South Asian market will be tapped soon? Let us know in the comments below.