Aerial photos of the Korean F1 track

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As we wait to learn the result of the FIA’s inspection of the Korean International Circuit, the race organisers have issued new photographs showing the extent of development at the circuit so far.

It is widely believed next week’s race at the new circuit will go ahead and official word from the FIA is expected to be given tomorrow.

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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58 comments on “Aerial photos of the Korean F1 track”

  1. Looks decent enough to hold a race.

    But the track looks as if it is going to spell the end of Mclaren title hopes. The pit-straight is not long enough for Mclarens to claw back any advantage. And the Ferraris and Red Bulls will leave Mclaren trailing after thanks to their superior low-speed traction in turns 1 and 2 so that, the Mclarens again won’t be able to do anything at Turn 3.

    1. itz the lost straight after u finish the start finish straight n u go left which might be a good run. itz longer than the start finish.

      1. There is no z in it’s.

      2. Ahh the internet doing for spelling, what Schumacher did for sportsman-like behaviour…

  2. Redbull 1-2 written all over that track. It’s going to be odd though, racing on a building site, an that “city” they seem to think is going to get built, apart from adding a needless kink before the last bend, that’ll be a building site for the next few zillion years.

    2 whole grandstands as well, I don’t think this race is going to be the PR triumph Korea was hopping for.

    1. No. Even North Korea wouldn’t have cocked up this badly. Or at least if they did they’d have a humerous excuse for it…

    2. I wouldn’t bet on it. There are lots of corners but also three straights, one of the huge. If Red Bull do what they did in Spa and compromise downforce for straight-line speed (and let’s face it, if they don’t they could start 1-2 on the grid and be 4th by Turn 5) then that will eat into their one-lap advantage. And half of that goes on race day anyway.

      1. You know I hope your right, and it’s McLaren that there to take advantage but I think the second too sectors are too high downforce to be compared with the single high downforce sector in Spa, an in Spa, Redbull had the pace for pole and the win, I think it was more Redbull’s poor starts that did for them that race.

        I have the horrible feeling that if you are right it’s Alonso that’ll be there to pick up the peices, hopefully he wipes out Webber, puncturing Vettles tires thoug eh? While behind the McLaren boys so we can claim the moral victory as well.

        1. Oh an in Spa, the high downforce sector ain’t that high downforce, which I’m sure you know but, no edit feature. :)

          1. Well it is high downforce, but they run less because the rest of the lap isn’t. It’s what makes Spa so challenging, it’s a pity Suzuka allows higher downforce settings because I think it’s a better track otherwise.

          2. I stand by it not being that high downforce, the optimum for the section being say what you would run in Silverstone as opposed to the Hungaroring.

            Thanks to the high speed running, the angle of attack doesn’t need to be terrifically steep thanks to greater air volumes. Now obviously if you could run steep through just the corners you would but 5 long corners and only two truly highdownforce bends doesn’t merit a properly high downforce set up, even if it was the whole track.

            And of course, the rest of the lap is all top speed, bar the chicane and hairpin.

        2. Younger Hamilton
          12th October 2010, 23:00

          Even if Webber didnt have a Bad start at Spa Lewis still would have passed him during the race,Admit McLaren had the faster car at Spa anyway Korea McLaren strongest in sector 1 and Red Bull and Ferrari Sectors 2 and 3

  3. You know, 3 years ago when I was still in school I did a course called Critical Thinking. I won’t pretend I was any good at it, but the one thing I remember from it is: don’t take everything at face value.

    The Koreans are shoiwing of all these pictures of the circuit looking in good shape all of a sudden. But that doesn’t neccessarily mean the entire circuit is ready. Perhaps they are withholding some rather less flattering pictures in order to stem the flow of bad news.

    OK, so this is all sort of common sense, and I suppose we’ll soon get to see for ourselves, but I think it’s safe to predict there’ll be plenty of work still to be done

    1. I don’t think the Koreans have much to hide, they’ve got the tarmac and two stands, that can’t be much more than 30,000 seated.

      1. They’d be doing well to sell even that many tickets given that a) we still aren’t even sure if the race’s going ahead b) the track’s in the middle of nowhere and c) Koreans aren’t really huge F1 fans in the first place

        Scratch this race I say, let’s have a street race in Seoul instead!

        1. I think the pretty massive harbour city in the background of the pictures solves the middle of nowhere problem.

          1. Yeah that kind of damages my argument doesn’t it. But people keep saying it’s in a rural area so I assume that town in the background isn’t as big as it looks

          2. The city is called Mokpo it has a population of 241,679 according to wikipedia. Ted mentioned it’s name at the end of his video blog.

            Seems like the track isn’t going to be no Magny Cour, which to be fair, I always felt the F1 teams should have toughened up about.

        2. Scratch this race I say, let’s have a street race in Seoul instead!

          Someone’s a big Gran Turismo 4 fan! :D

        3. I don’t agree with points b & c.

          The background shows quite a large city.

          And how can Korea have F1 fans in the first place when there is no GP in Korea, no Korean team or no Korean driver on the grid? A start has to be made by F1 first, to show that it is willing to race in countries that have right now nothing to do with F1 and build a legacy from that.

          As an example, India-Pakistan used to play a cricket series in Canada for much of the 1990s, and it is only now that Canadian cricket is improving.

    2. Ha I did Critical Thinking too. God that was boring… you’re right though!

    3. I loved Critical Thinking! Actually I was top of my class in it…

    4. Sorry for getting off topic, but Critical Thinking sounds like an utterly useless course. I mean, what material is there to learn? Everybody knows that you shouldn’t take things only at face value, that’s self-explanatory. There is no need to take a course… what a joke.

      1. Actually the amount of Ferrari/Schumacher/Alonso/Hamilton/McLaren/Red Bull fans that do take everything at face value does suggest that there is a dire need for such a course to be run from Kindergarten…

  4. The track and pit buildings look done, which is really all they need to put on a race. I have a feeling it’ll happen and the spectators will just be standing in rice paddies. Looks like S1 will be very strong for McLaren, Force India, Renault, and the other top speed cars, whereas S2 and S3 are made for Red Bull. The combination of top speed and strength in corners might make Kubica the dark horse after his performance in Suzuka practice and qualifying.

    1. I think Ferrari’s all rounder might well be great here, it depends where McLarens upgrades have put them comparitavley to the Ferrari.

    2. I think only top 3 teams will fight it all between themselves and this will be quite equal. 1st part of the track seems suitable for Ferrari and McLaren, while the other for RBR.
      Sadly, for Renault it’s actually over about this season. They may just take some points from Mercdes but not supposed to threat top 3, and car development is focused only on next season since some time.

  5. it’s looking a bit bare compared to what it’s supposed to

    1. Now don’t speak too soon… there’s still a good few days to build all those skyscrapers yet…

      1. They could use inflatable buildings :D

    2. That’s a master plan. The building of the circuit is the first stage. I think it’ll be great to see the surrounding city pop up around the track in future years. Every year it’ll be interesting to see how much more is finished.

      I also like how there is the smaller permanent circuit, which can be used year around for domestic and club level racing. Much better than seeing a full street circuit which provides minimal benefit to grass roots competitors.

      1. If all pans out the way they’ve planned it, it might end up better than say Istanbul. Long term thinking is becoming a rare feat in the world. If they can find – or have – investors that are interested in making the site more than a circuit, it could become a model for circuit design.

        Let’s hope they’ve really aimed for the long term and that this doesn’t end up being another fluke of a Tilkedrome far away from anything.

      2. So the marina is supposed to go in that silly little corner that looks like a half circle? There isn’t even any water yet!

  6. HounslowBusGarage
    11th October 2010, 20:04

    Do you know when these pics were taken, Keith? They appear to show the top layer of asphalt laid and the circuit edges nicely lined in, so probably over the weekend just gone?
    On the first pic you can see three or four cranes in the foreground apparently errecting temporary grandstands.
    Let’s see what Charlie Whiting has to say after Tuesday.

  7. those walls are very close to the track!

    we could have a brilliant race with 4 Safety car periods :P

  8. Maybe Bernie should think about some changes to the marketing of the Korean GP, like…

    “We are going to have a F1 race at a construction yard. That’s something no one ever has done before. I believe it people will enjoy it more than Monaco!”

    1. Of course, the setting of the circuit doesn’t really matter, as long as the circuit itself is good.
      Sadly, for some reason, I feel this track won’t be a world beater. But I shouldn’t speak too soon, and give it a chance first.

      1. Actually, I had the same thoughts. I looked at the pics and all I’ve seen was just another Tilke track.

  9. OMG! There are cranes everywhere! And I’m not sure the run-off areas look finished…
    After a race in a city, near a volcano, in a harbour, on an island, F1 goes this year in a construction yard!

    1. Near a volcano? Where?

      1. He means Fuji, I think.

        But isn’t Mt. Fuji a dormant volcano?

  10. Stephen Higgins
    11th October 2010, 22:33

    I’m sorry, but regardless of how much money they’re chucking at Bernie there really needs to be an FIA rule that goes something along the lines of;

    “Any new circuit that wishes to tender for the hosting of a round of the FIA Forumula One World Championship must have at least one year’s operational experience before being considered.”

    The marshals and the people that run the track operations, as well the the cirucit itself would be much better off with a year’s worth of doing things under thier belt, even if it’s just some poxy touring/saloon car championship or something.

    Same goes for India and Austin too.

    1. +1
      (my comment is too short, but bothing more to say).

  11. It might be functional as a race track but it’s clearly not finished. Hardly any grandstands, landscaping or buildings. The less said about the marina the better. May turn out to be an embarrassing weekend for the organisers as the cars race on a strip of tarmac through flat fields.

  12. Well at least there’s something there.
    Honestly as long as the race is held then I’ll be semi happy, if the fans can turn up then I’ll be over the moon. I still think it’ll go ahead but it’s not nice all this speculation.

    On a different note, I absolutely love the track layout on F1 2010. It’s not perfect; the straights are very long and there’s a little (unavoidable Tilke trait) squiggle thing but I still love it.

  13. Hello!

    I think it looks quite promising. Corners 1, 3 & 4 should provide good overtaking opportunities. I think going down to turn 3 on the first lap will be absolute pandemonium which should be great. The rest of the circuit looks technical and challenging and has some nice gradient changes (within what the current restrictions will permit), and the cascading turns 11 – 14 look cool. As someone who doesn’t really Tilke circuits I think it looks ok.

  14. If Charlie Whiting ever finishes getting through all those corners, it looks good to go!

  15. The circuit looks bare because there is no grass. I’m sure if they added an enormous amount of instant grass (that roll out stuff) it’d look 1000 times better. I am not sure how much that would cost though, but I am sure it would be not much in the scheme of things. At least then they don’t have to wait for it to grow, and the circuit will look complete.

    On a side note – there is a lot more tarmac run-off than I had hoped for…

    1. Grass really does make all the difference.

      1. Sarcasm or for real? Because whilst grass may not improve the circuit, it sure makes it a lot better to watch. I suppose that is one of the reasons I dislike Bahrain.

  16. I am supposed that they did an inspection yesterday, nay result from the FIA?

    1. There were supposed to be many building around the track but now none of them have grown?

    2. The inspection was yesterday and today (it’s currently 2:45pm in South Korea). Autosport is reporting that Charlie Whiting from the FIA is happy with the standard of the track and is going to issue the circuit with a licence, which mean the race can go ahead.

  17. Worst pit lane exit ever.

    1. Is it true that it has a 90 degree corner in it? If so, I can understand why they were covering it up with a huge black canvas in the opening event…

  18. The track, grandstands and beautification I’m not worried about, those are the obvious things which naturally will be ready. What I’m concerned about is those million details like traffic flow, sanitation and marshaling. It’s hard to get those things nailed when time is scarce, and this is what I’m afraid will cause negative PR for Korea when they go wrong.

  19. Drove on this track in F1 game…Looks great guys..The layout is interesting..Give it a chance in my opinion

  20. Two points,
    1) I never doubted about Koreans being able to do their job in time, as they promised
    2) concerning the race, there is another factor apart from the characteristics of the track and it is the ability of the drivers in new circuits. For this, I think Vettel, Alonso and Hamilton will do a good job and I’m not that sure about Webber (I’m a Webber fan though!)

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