Korean track “90% complete” (Pictures)

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The Korean International Circuit is “90% complete” according to the race promoters.

It will hold its first event on Saturday with Karun Chandhok doing a demonstration run in a Red Bull.

The circuit will host the inaugural Korean Grand Prix on October 24th.

An Asian Festival of Speed event including a round of the Formula BMW Pacific championship was originally planned for last weekend but had to be postponed. A new date for the event has not been set yet.

The Korea Auto Valley Operation released images showing the race control, pits and other buildings around the track:

Read more: 2010 Korean Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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87 comments on “Korean track “90% complete” (Pictures)”

  1. Please, please, please dont be another Bahrain or Yabba Dabba Doo

    1. Legard annoys me but no more than when he goes on about ‘Abba Dabby’

      1. It is worth telling him again that Abu Dhabi is not in Wales. It always sounds like Abberdhabhi

        1. He is Welsh though.

  2. These photos are as reassuring as the ones the North Korean media released when there were questions over Kim Jong Ils health a year or two back.

    I hope it all comes to fruition. I read somewhere they want somewhat of a Monaco feel with boats/yachts being able to dock close to the race track.

    1. I think you need learn more about South Korea. While the world media zeroes in on Kim Jong Il (it’s a nice excuse to make jokes about Asians), South Korea has become a world-beater in electronics, computers, steel and yes, automobiles and construction. Check how Hyundai sales have grown in the U.S. – during a huge recession. Or maybe you’ve noticed who is timing your F1 races: LG of South Korea. What are Britain’s growth industries these days? Unemployment lines?
      When South Koreans set a goal, they stick to it. Trust me, I live here. And I look forward to being at the race. Got my tickets Saturday.

      1. I think youre wrong to prop up Soutth Korea’s image right here, Hamish said nothing to attack/criticize your country. And you know, hes right – these photos dont say much; especially as the frames are fitted to the buildings. Nothing but the buildings can be seen.

        You should first read and understand one’s comment and then go on to meaninglessly defend your country and attack UK. That was uncalled for. If you cant read english, please use google translate. I’m quite positive theyll translate english into korean for you.

        1. From these pictures, i just had the feeling they are showing us those things that are actually finished.
          You can see they did the base layer of asphalt (will be just about dried out enough by next weekend), and will have those most essential buildings ready and the track itself just in time.
          The rest will have to wait for next years GP to be shown in its full glory as it will just not be ready.

      2. Didn’t see that one coming!

      3. Hmm? What provoked this?

  3. Nice quote from Stefano on Korea:

    “I think a cancellation would be a problem for everyone in the championship fight. But right now I am expecting that the race will take place. If there is still a gravel road, then we will have to get Kimi [Raikkonen] back!”

    1. Like it!

    2. I think Bernie’s got aback-up plan to hold it at Aragon if it isn’t completed in time :)


      1. He approached them. They declined.

        1. Maybe Paul Ricard then he owns it doesn’t he ?

          1. No. If, for whatever reason, the Korean Grand Prix does not go ahead – an incomplete circuit, Kim Jong-Il going nuts, a meteor; whatever – there will not be a repalcement race. Bernie wanted Aragon to stand in as a replacement, but they declined. There have since been no plans for any other circuit to fill in. Besides, the race is still fifty-odd days away. There’s plenty of time to finish it.

        2. where did you read that?

  4. Looks like a problem to me, joking ;-)….

    Does the track run past the media centre? You’d need a lawn mower not a F1 car.

    But seriously, they look like cold war buildings at the moment. Maybe just the close angle shots.

  5. I’d have thought after the previous leaked photos of the unlaid tarmac they might actually have released some photos of the TRACK to try and allay everyone’s fears.

    1. Yes, I agree – pictures of buildings don’t reassure when we hear the tarmac isn’t ready yet. I hope Chandok doesn’t have to use a rally car!

    2. Yer the 10% they haven’t completed is the laying the tarmac on the track. Just a minor detail really

      Reminds me of the scene in the West Wing where they’re testing ICBM intercepters, and the military insists the test was a success as they successfully acheived 9 out of 10 of the objectives of the test. But Bartlet points out the 10th target was to intercept the missile and they missed by several miles!

      In Korea they’ve completed 90% of the venue but the whole purpose of the venue is to hold a Grand Prix and they haven’t provided much evidence that the curcuit is anything but a dirt track with nice pit buildings at the moment.

    3. I have asked them for pics of the track, if I can get any I’ll either add them here or do a new story.

      1. In the meantime take a look at the track through the eyes of F1 2010:


    4. Typical Tilke. Do the buildings first, and fit the track in around them.

      1. Actually, the buildings take much longer to complete than the surface. And because a surface that lies dormant for months gets dusty, it’s better to complete it last rather than first.

        1. You’re probably right, but I’m just slightly skeptical about the pace of the whole project. But I do hope they do manage to finish it in time.

    5. you can see a strip of asphalt running in front of the race control building. Not the top finish, just the first layer.

      I suppose they will give us some nice shots after next Saturday when they have Karun driving around on it.

  6. I heard that if South Korea’s political problems with North Korea intensify, then the race won’t happen.

    1. The political situation has been fluctuating for years. Just because the media is reporting on it doesn’t mean its something new.

      The chances of the race being cancelled due to friction with the North – minimal, virtually non existant.

      1. Bernie has said the only thing that will stop the race is either an invasion of the North, or an invasion by the North.

        1. I think he said, that even in that case he would try to let it go through ;-D

        2. Therefore the race will be going ahead.

          1. Knowing Bernie, he could probably convince Kim Jong-Il and Barack Obama to hold off on the invasion until after the Grand Prix …

          2. He is a shrewd business man our Bernie. :D

  7. Those photos are angled suspiciously away from the track,
    Like they don’t want anyone to see it.

    I hope this is a reflection of the build up of suspense before a new circuit is unveiled

    And not a reflection of the quality of the track and the prevailing fear of the organisers that some pundits might say startled as if surprised by their own intelligence, “Wait a minute…. I see what you’ve done here… This is another Tilkedrome isn’t it?!?” To which the organisers may just hang their heads in shame.

    1. I have visited the track in July and they had nothing. Seeing this buildings is really reassuring, don’t worry about the track. It will be there.
      Koreans are a proud nation, they would rather work 24/7 on the project than risk loosing prestige. Also, when they say it will be finished, it will be finished.
      Remember, we are talking about a country that rebuilt itself from zero in 50 years and became one of the leading economies.

      Oh and somebody mentioned North Korea as a possible issue. That is just nonsense!

      1. Peter, will you go? If so what stand? I have tickets in H-a but looking for info to see if there is a better stand. Cheers

        1. I really wish I could, but I won’t be in Korea. Have fun tho!

  8. HounslowBusGarage
    30th August 2010, 10:45

    Yes, these low angle shots just make me more suspicious, to be honest. Why would you crop the base off a shot of the grandstand unless you didn’t want to show what was the the foot of the building?
    Chaos? Mud?

    1. I agree. The exterior of the buildings to this standard should have been finished months ago so they tell us nothing. It’s the interior fit out that takes the time and I see no evidence of that. Look at photos of the buildings and grandstands for the 2012 olympics and most look as finished as this. I hope it happens but these photos in no way reassure. Photos of finished track, building interiors etc that would reassure. But maybe I’m just suspicious.

      1. Yeah I’m with you. I still ultimately think it will happen, simply that, as an exercise in allying everyone’s fear about the event, these at best don’t help and at worst only reinforce further fears.

        But if Keith’s on the case asking for more photos, then we’ll hopefully get a more reassuring pic soon.

      2. For some reason i don’t really care about the fitting of the interior of those buildings. The teams bring everything themselves, as od the TV crews.

        Only thing they need to do now is get the second and top layer of asphalt on it and let it settle to be good for the GP.
        This should take some weeks to do, so it might get as close as Withmarsh said (“finishing it only the night before the teams arrive, but ready it will be”, or something like that).

  9. looks really inspiring (sarcasm)

    1. lol comment off the day! :D

  10. Listening to the 5 Live coverage of Friday practice, David Croft had spoken to Hermann Tilke, who reassured him that it would be ready on time (Although he would say that wouldn’t he?)

    Karun Chandhok said on the same programme that there would certainly be tarmac for him to drive on, so that combined with the pictures of the buildings suggests that it might just be a matter of some unfinished interior building fittings or incomplete road markings or access roads at the moment, nothing that can’t be fixed in the next month.

    That said, I also saw an IGN preview of the F1 2010 game, where they said that having raced on the Korean Cirucit, it was “another Tilke bore-o-drome” so we needn’t get our hopes up.

  11. The pictures may not actually show tarmac, but that’s not a problem. Laying tarmac is always he final step, and it doesn’t actually take that long. You could probably knock five kilometres over in the space of a week. It’s more important to have the site graded and the base laid.

    1. I thought I read/heard somewhere that although you can lay the tarmac quickly, it actually takes a surprisingly long time to “dry” and be ready for racing.

      But I may well have picked that up wrong.

      1. No, not really. The big issues is the weather; if it rains before the surface is set, the water can seem through the cracks and erode the base, and if that happens, you’ve got no choice but to tear it up and start over. If done properly, tarmac doesn’t actually take that long to set. Tarmac is essentially gravel that has been coated in hot tar. As the tar sets, it binds together with all the other tar around it, effectively creating a thick crust. With the right application of pressure, the process can be accelerated, but if you apply too much pressure, you run the risk of destabilising the base. The base is really what the cars are driving on; the tarmac seals it in place to maintain its shape.

  12. Those facilites do indeed look intresting.

    In no way will this be like Bahrain. The city that is proposed in the track will give a Monaco/Adelaide style feel and could make this a jewel in the crown in 10 years time.

  13. To be honest, the less I can see the awful layout, the better!

  14. I’d be too scared to go out to the Korean GP!! It’s next door to S Korea so anything could happen, and becuase it’s such an unpredictable country I fear many foreigners could be put off.
    If i was going to an Asian race I’d much rather go to Suzuka anyway ;)

    1. The race is in South Korea. North Korea are the ‘bad guys’.

    2. I’m sorry but the idea that S Korea is somehow an unsuitable country to host a Grand Prix is utterly ridiculous. Its a peacefull, prosperous democracy which doesn’t let its noisy neighbour to the North impact on its own stability. It proved when it successfully co-hosted the 2002 World Cup that it was a suitable venue for the world’s largest sporting event so why not a Grand Prix?

      True the track might not be ready and when it is finished it might be rubbish but those are the only reasons why F1 fans might be put off visiting. I’m sure S Korea is lovely place to visit and as F1 Fanatic has such an international readership I’m sure someone who’s actually been can back me up on that.

      1. I’ve been to South Korea (there in 2009) and can exclusively reveal I was not nuked by Kim Jong Il.

    3. I mean North Korea, apologies if anyone finds that offensive, it’s just my ignorance to the area. I would be apprehensive on attending the GP because of the neighbouring country’s bad reputation, but as has been said it would probably be fine given South Korea has held Olympics and World Cups. Plus North Korea is quite intravert and secretive.

  15. Why is it so hard to find a mountainous bit of terrain somewhere, lay a track with some long straights, a tight hair-pin, a few slow chicanes and perhaps one fast corner? Slap in a few grandstands, a paddocks, and large access roads?

    You just know what you’re gonna end up with in Korea, a boring track, full of style but no substance.

    1. being a korean myself, i too was extremely surprised at the selection of the location and the design of the circuit, and at the very most, i was somewhat disappointed. south korea is covered with mountains – i think its over 80% mountainous terrain and this is quite evident when travelling long distances as there are countless tunnels to pass under mountains. there is also another (very short) track in korea called “Taebaek Race Park” which is on a mountain and its layout is eerily close to the maze track in japan.

      i would have loved to see a section of mountain being used as a circuit in korea with lots of elevation changes and challenging corners… something like suzuka, fuji or spa! i guess tilke had other things in mind.

  16. Hope the track is more interesting than the buildings. They look like US government buildings from the 1950’s —boring.

  17. There’s a “beta” version of the circuit available for rFactor. Having tested it out, I have to say, the futuristic city atmosphere is really cool. Too bad the circuit feels like another Tilkedrome. Long Straights in to tight corners, and a bunch of medium and slow turns. Very boring IMO. At least the layout for India looks promising.

    1. yeah i’ve played that. shame about the ai racing line. yeah driving in between those buildings is quite cool.

      1. Guys, this was a few days ago! ??

        I have my tickets so just hoping!! Lived in Korea for 4 years, rainy season should be over but a typhoon just went through yesterday, made a right mess everywhere!

  18. I don’t like the comments I read here. The vast majority thinks Korea is going to fail, yet they don’t see the full picture.

    As I said before, I have been to Mokpo, the host of the Korean Grand Prix. The city itself is fully prepared for the race, tourist information is everywhere and even in July, I could see F1 flags and banners everywhere. The new bus lines are already in place and local businessman are preparing as well for the tourists. You can see restaurants already “Welcoming the F1 crowd”.

    As for Korea, the local promoters are doing a great job. Walking trough the entrance of the Coex plaza in Seoul (one of the biggest malls in Asia) you see an ad, constantly on the loop. Even going to the cinema you get to see a Korean GP ad before the movie. Not to mention the TV advertisements.

    Just to get the feel of it:

    One more thing. When Korea held the world cup in 2002 with Japan, the Koreans fell in love with football. It’s western, it’s exciting and that’s what they need. In 2010 the streets were packed with locals going crazy, supporting the Red Devils (the nickname of the korean national team).

    Bernie ain’t stupid for taking the business there, trust me guys.

    1. The negative comments probably have nothing to do with Korea, and everything to do with Bernie and Tilke to be honest.

      1. I’ll second that, Korea has got to be one of the best places in the world for a race, not only do you have a surprisingly enthusiastic crowd, but there is also an incredible amount of cultural value there…

        My negative comments are 50% aimed at Tilke and his horrible repetitive boringness and lack of creativity. And 50% at the rules being so restrictive that Tilke doesn’t stand a chance anyway.

    2. “As for Korea, the local promoters are doing a great job. Walking trough the entrance of the Coex plaza in Seoul (one of the biggest malls in Asia) you see an ad, constantly on the loop. Even going to the cinema you get to see a Korean GP ad before the movie. Not to mention the TV advertisements.”

      And this sentence. I mean, does anyone know how many shopping centres are in the vicinity of Spa for example.

      This outlines the problem and probably explains the negative comments with regards where F1 seems to be racing these days.

  19. they are not showing the main part

  20. The last time I saw the circuit they still didn’t put the asphalt on the track on the which the cars will race so still not sure if they will be 100 % ready by the race start.

  21. Wow! A lot of people here have learned nothing new about South Korea since 1954. Seriously, do the names Hyundai, Samsung, Kia and LG mean anything to y’all? You know, the LG whose name is all over the F1 timers and video screens? Korean company, guys.
    Seriously, Korea is among the top countries world-wide for construction engineering. It is also a country that takes great pride in its achievements and image (do the names Park Ji Sung and Kim Yu Na mean anything to you? Who was the last English Olympic champ, Eddie the Eagle?).
    I got my tickets last weekend for the race and look forward to traveling down from my home in Seoul to see it. If the folks in Europe are frightened off by a funny-looking dictator (it wouldn’t be the first time for that), then so be it. I’ll enjoy having the track to myself.

    1. I personally am really looking forward to S Korea holding a GP but I don’t think Hyundai is the best example to give when talking about engineering success :P Just joking, it was an easy one! :)

      1. Hyundai are making very good cars now. Perhaps you don’t get them in the UK, but I guarantee you will. They are far better than, say, Austin-Rover. Speaking of too easy!

    2. Which stand did you select? im in H-a?

  22. wow. that track is out of sight!!

    heh actually, here is a better view…

    1. Looks flat as a pancake, with long straights and tight corners. Why am I not surprised?

      1. It looks deceptively dull. :/

  23. Anyone know what the tyre compound allocation is?
    I’d imagine it is the Super Soft and Medium, but need some clarification.

  24. Korean track “90% complete”, just missing the 10% you need for a F1 race!

  25. Bay Area F1 Fan
    30th August 2010, 21:12

    I would like to second Harry’s comment about building a track in hilly/mountainous terrain. I find it hard to comprehend why Tilke, Bernie, and other people responsible for track selection and design just keep on churning out flat parking lots instead of a track that ‘goes’ somewhere. I saw a couple of helicopter shots of Spa during Sunday’s race: The run from Eau Rouge, through the Kemmel Straight, and eventually down through Rivage looks breathtaking. Compare that to Bahrain or Singapore (yawn!), and you will see how much more interesting a race gets when you add vertical curves (and vertical g-forces) to the horizontal curves on a race track.

    1. The problem continues to be FIA regs for new circuits which Tilke and Bernie have nothing to do with. They race at Spa because it is an existing F1 circuit, but if was was new it wouldn’t get a licence. The problem also applies to new changes to existing circuits. It’s been said many times before, with the current FIA regs it’s almost impossible to build a great circuit.

  26. Be good to see if karun sets a timed lap in the RB and see how compares to the flap in the race ;) see if he is worth being dropped or not

  27. The problem isn’t necessarily South Korea’s will to finish the track. The problem is that it is the rainy season here and we haven’t had a full rainless day in well over a month. At the university where I teach they have been working on laying tarmac for a running track and it has made little to no progress over the past 60 days. There is still roughly a month left in the rainy season and the race will be soon after that…hopefully.

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      31st August 2010, 17:32

      Are you anywhere near the circuit, Singletrack?

  28. Mokop Citizen
    31st August 2010, 5:22

    Welcome to Korea ^^
    Wow, so many people are interested in South Korea.
    Yeah, It’s pity that still North Korean and S.Korea
    have not good relationship.

    Actually, Here Korea, it is not easy to feel the F1 event is how spectacle and biggest event!

    Hope you can enjoy at S.Korea ! :)

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      31st August 2010, 17:31

      How far are you from the circuit, Mokop Citizen? And are ou still experiencing the rainy season problems that Singletrack is describing?

    2. Hi. I answer the question instead. rainy season in Korea was already over almost a couple of weeks ago. there’s couple of typhoon alert, but in my experience it would not last until late october. I heard that they are ready to grand opeing event which Chandock will participate, and tickets is now on shipping in Korea, so I’m sure it will take place on the time.

  29. Forget about the track the ticket sales aren’t looking good at the moment. Will we have lesser crowd then Turkey 2009?


  30. Nice buildings, now can we see the track?

  31. Guys, this was a few days ago! ??

    I have my tickets so just hoping!! Lived in Korea for 4 years, rainy season should be over but a typhoon just went through yesterday, made a right mess everywhere!

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