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Video: First F1 onboard lap of new Korea circuit
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Video: First F1 onboard lap of new Korea circuit
Posted By: James Allen  |  06 Sep 2010   |  7:35 pm GMT  |  121 comments

This is the first view of onboard camera footage from Karun Chandhok’s run on the new Korean Grand Prix circuit in a Red Bull Racing F1 car.

There is an out-lap, a hot-lap and an in-lap to watch. The 3.49 mile circuit track has 18 corners and engineers tell me that it will be quite a long lap, something like 1m 40 seconds, similar to Spa.

The circuit features a straight over 1.2 kilometres long, which dominates the first sector of the lap and some interesting corners thereafter. There are quite a few walls lining the track, particularly in the last sequence of corners, so there could well be some incidents there.

Track map: FIA


“It’s a really interesting layout, ” said Chandhok after the demonstration run. “The track has a good mix of corners. From turn seven onwards there’s a fast section of flowing corners all the way back to the start finish line, so the Red Bull guys will be happy in sectors 2 and 3.”

There has been a lot of talk in the last weeks about the readiness of this new Korean circuit, which is due to host its first Grand Prix next month. Judging from this video, shot seven weeks before the race weekend, there is still a lot of work to do, including laying a top layer of tarmac and finishing kerbs. It will be quite a race against time to get it ready to host the F1 circus and they are certainly cutting it fine compared to other new venues.

It looks like the track will be ready, but Bernie Ecclestone joked that the teams may well need to put up some tents if some of the buildings aren’t ready. You can judge for yourself the degree to which he was joking.

The organisers, KAVO, say that they are within their timelines to get the place finished and that ticket sales are strong. There were 4,000 people there on Saturday to see the F1 demonstration. The run was organised by Red Bull’s Korean sponsor LG Electronics.

Here is an updated video with track guide, computer animations and the Chandhok lap.

The FIA’s Race Director Charlie Whiting is due to inspect the facilities after Singapore GP later this month, to give the all clear for the race to go ahead.

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121 Comments
  1. JamesF1 says:

    Slow. Slow. Slow. Slow. Slow. Slow…..

    Like the Hungaroring with a decent straight. I can’t believe that a modern track has walls so close either. I fear another Valencia, but let’s hope not…

    1. SteveH says:

      I agree. What’s with all the concrete walls right at the edge of the track? I hope it’s some sort of temporary construction thing; if not, I don’t understand at all. The walls will block viewing and turn this into a street circuit. I really hate being a spectator at a street circuit (except Oz) because all you see is a bit of the roll hoop or wing. Have track designers ever thought of having a talk with spectators?

      1. Trent says:

        I love the walls up against the circuit, it accentuates the sensation of speed.

        The opposite is the case in Turkey, way too much space between the circuit and the walls, and it really kills the sensation of speed (though I am prioritising TV over live viewing here).

      2. Peter Jones says:

        I agree, that could be really dangerous if there’s an accident. you’d have cars all over the track…

      3. Wayne says:

        Yup, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen an F1 car driven so slowly unless it is making its way back to the pits with one to few tyres. Looks to me like the concrete walls are there to stay as well. What an ugly mud hole. Still, this has Bernie written all over it. The race will go ahead because CVC needs it to go ahead. That’s CVC needs it mind you not F1 which could easily do without it and many of the other empty ghost circuits that neither the teams, sponsors or fans want. But Bernie has this debt to service you see and this comes before all else…. All hail the debt!

      4. Bec says:

        ” F1 which could easily do without it and many of the other empty ghost circuits”

        Like Spa you mean?

        Spa only had 50,000 spectators, if F1 fans really love Spa so much why don’t they turn up there?

        Valencia (a fan’s Bete Noir) gets far more spectators.

      5. mayon says:

        Agree with both – couldn’t be more boring. Too much corners, decent straight, one possible place for overtaking – the well-known formula of building tracks, even the temp track my friends and I attend around our town is more exciting. It’s just an addition to the rest of the boring circuits – Valencia, Bahrain, Sepang, China, Spain, Monaco, Turkey, Hungary, Singapour, Yas Marina … almost 70% ….

    2. James Allen says:

      Very important to remember that these new circuits are asking designers to make them work for bikes as well so that they can increase their chances of making back some of the investment. Silverstone’s upgrade was much about bikes as it was about cars.

      1. iceman says:

        Clearly not the case with this Korean circuit though, unless either those walls are temporary or they’re planning to hold a round of the Irish road racing championship.

      2. Sammy says:

        I want to say something about Spa. There were only 50000 spectators but if you check al the websites and their ticket sales on Spa, everything has been sold out.
        How come there were only 50000 people then? I don’t get that.

      3. Nazdakka says:

        How many seats are there at Spa? Maybe 50,000 is full capacity?

      4. tank says:

        I went to Spa this year and it seemed full. No idea what the final attendance was but I was surprised at how many people actually showed up in such miserable weather.

        I was sitting at the covered stands at Eau Rouge on race day and certainly that stand didn’t have a spare seat. Saturday I walked around a lot and you could not move around Malmedy/Rivage area for all the queues of people there before fp3.

      5. Sammy says:

        It is one of the longuest circuits so 50 000 would rather be poor.

  2. EM says:

    There’s some definite flexing of the front wing on that Red Bull and Karun should have got a penalty for cutting the pit lane. Sorry just keeping up with my usual standard of post!

    It looks like an interesting track, the walled in parts remind me of Melbourne and the possibility of incidents is exciting. However as with most Tilkedromes I’m not seeing massive overtaking opportunities.

    1. aezy says:

      It looks like 3 overtaking points. Corner 1, 3 and 4 look like there could be a possibility. Although, the track does seem quite narrow so perhaps a little too easy to defend the line perhaps.

  3. Steve W says:

    Thanks James, great video. The circuit layout looks quite interesting, the very long straight early in the lap looks like giving a good opportunity for overtaking, particularly with a slow corner at the end of it. There seems to a good mix of corners too, some pretty quick ones by the looks of it, and the walls close to the circuit seem to give it a bit of a street circuit feel too. I think we could get some good racing as a result. Lets just hope it’s ready in time now!

  4. Nick says:

    I rather like the look of that layout! You say in the article that they’re still to finish the kerbs. At the moment, they look like they’re off my street – flat and high – that will change won’t it?

    Also, Karun took that second sector all on part-throttle, even on the flying lap. Was he taking a new and slippery surface carefully, or does the layout demand that sort of drive in an F1 car? It’d be nice to see more drivers have to finesse their throttle control :)

    1. aezy says:

      Something to do with it being a virgin track perhaps? Lots of dust, no rubber down…

    2. Mark V says:

      Dust and dirt on an intermediate surface and likely a high setup with demonstration tires like they gave Heidfeld when he ran the old Nurburgring would limit cornering ability a lot. Not to mention if he went off he’d destroy the car going over those curbs.

    3. Vinnie Nguyen says:

      Might have something to do with the safety of the track, or lack of it. It’s not completed. There was some heavy machinery alongside the track, so I think it’d be pretty reckless to go flat-out in some of these sections.

      1. Jon England says:

        Also, he was on what looked to be full wets… so he needed to keep it down a bit so as not to marble them up.

  5. tharris19 says:

    It may be fun to drive, but, I will reserve judgement on how it will race until October.

  6. Liam Henry says:

    So overtaking opportunities into Turns 1,3 and 4. Rest of the lap looks like its going to be a procession as the straights are too short to get along side unless the car in front messes up big time…shame. Hope I’m proved wrong.

    1. Michael says:

      Turn 3 only, I’d say. You don’t want to compromise your run down to turn 3 by trying something through 1 and 2, and if you haven’t made anything stick in 3, you’re not going to be in a position to do anything about it in 4.

      Crazy track. Looks like a kid put all his straight Scalextric pieces together and then used whatever he had left over to finish the circuit. I’ve done that. :D

  7. Sharp_Saw says:

    Sounds like a V-10 engine to me.

    1. SC-Hammer says:

      yep…how sweet did that sound! god knows what the 1.6 turbo’s will sound like in 2013

  8. d.h. says:

    What is the deal with the tyres? Never seen tread patterns like that on a dry circuit! I thought the Promotional tyres were a very very hard compound slick type.

    The circuit looks another tilke type circuit, nevermind!

    1. Skronk says:

      I think those are sand storm spec tyres.

      That circuit did not look as if it will be ready at all!

    2. aezy says:

      The surface looked like an offroad with all the dust on it – like to see anyone keep it on the road with slicks in those conditions.

  9. Chris D says:

    D.H. I think those are off road tyres :)

    Since the surface is a layer short of being a finished track it probably feels like driving through roadworks on the M6. It certainly looks like roadworks on the M6.

    I am a bit worried about the state of readiness of the place, not so much for the heavy duty stuff like tarmac laying and putting down grass, but for the commissioning of the electronic systems and safety systems to a standard which will satisfy the FIA.

    We’ll see – it’s going to look rough though. Valencia in year 1 looked like a dogs breakfast, at least it’s got a bit of colour now, even if it’s a poor track. It’s a shame they can’t skip a year without risking losing the race, because I’m sure they’ll have a fantastic facility in the end.

  10. F1_Dave says:

    chandhok seemed to really enjoy the circuit & seems fairly confident we will see a good race on it.

    i like the look of the track based on what i have seen so far.

  11. Chris D says:

    James, thanks for posting the video. What do you think? Or is it best left unsaid?

    1. James Allen says:

      Still thinking about it. There are some interesting corners, especially towards the end, love the flick out onto the pit straight. Some fairly meaty corners mid lap too. The Montreal style walls surprised me a bit

      1. Richard Craig says:

        Surely to all those who are suprised at the “street circuit” type walls, it is because when the facility is finished (hopefully for 2011 race) it will be part road course, part street circuit? For example the long straight will go right through skyscrapers and other residential buildings. The kink onto the main straight will have water right on the other side of the debris fencing, as it will part of the “harbour”.

        Shame we won’t have this ready for 2010 race, but I think this track will be amazing once it is totally complete (provided they don’t forfeit this year’s event and thereby kibosh the whole kit and kaboodle, of course).

  12. Andy C says:

    Some of those barriers area bit close. Always difficult to draw conclusions until you see more than one car on track.

    Not sure its that exciting though…

    If there is a circuit designer who could come up with something like Spa or Laguna Seca, please step forward. Whatever happened to building tracks on hills….

    Why we keep seeing these monotonous track types, with not much gradient is beyond me.

    I really hope I’m wrong though. I’ll be delighted to be proved wrong.

    1. larry harlen says:

      completely agree.
      site locators/layout designers take note: more
      portimao’s if you please…

    2. Brett says:

      The Austin track is supposed to have a fair change in elevation. Probably will still end up being a sterile, disappointing track…

      1. Andy c says:

        Heres hoping it comes to fruition.

        Other than the spectacle of how much they cost to build and how grand the facilities are, I don’t see what the new tracks bring to the table (other than for marketing purposes).

        Why dont we just have drag races as at least then sponsors decals are shown at all time ;-)

    3. RichyF says:

      Yeah, the Algarve circuit is amazing. Any update on F1 heading there? Facilities seem great.

  13. David says:

    The circuit does have potential in my eyes, although the decent overtaking spots are in the wrong place.

  14. ginnerchris says:

    Doesn’t look remotely ready. Inspection due after singapore – 20 days!

    Having said that, could be fun to see F1 cars trying to navigate round bollards, and up those chunky kerbs.

  15. Dave says:

    Lets hope that HRT will give Karun a drive there now – also how long is the track – that 1st straight after the first two corners goes on for ever?

  16. Neil says:

    And if anyone is wondering what it SHOULD look like when it’s all finished, check out this video of F1 2010 the video game featuring the Korean circuit:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-MrMlxK2sw

    Seems like the organisers have got a LOT of work to do in the next few weeks.

    1. Red5 says:

      Bernie wasn’t joking about bringing tents.

      At least there is plenty of run-off.

      And plenty of parking for spectators.

      1. Andy c says:

        Plenty of parking… they can park where the buildings were supposed to be ;-)

  17. SeanT says:

    Oh dear! That looks like it’ll be horrible to race on and watch. I appreciate Karun wasn’t exactly pushing to the limit, but it appears that, apart from the two straights, the cars will barely get out of third gear. I’m no expert on track design, (but then, based on this, neither is Herman Tilke) but this is just awful, the death of F1.

    Fortunately, the first draft of the new Austin track looks a tad more exciting. We’ll see – Herman can’t resist putting a pointless corner of five, so it’s one to keep an eye on…

  18. Nick Hipkin says:

    Simple question, who here thinks the race will happen? I for the life of me dont see that track passing the inspection in 2 weeks time

  19. Marcus says:

    I think it looks OK, slightly better than a lot of Tilke-dromes (Dallas I think looks very good).

    Lots and lots of work to do. I do wonder what the buildings are like inside?! Also, lots of crash barriers, fencing, kerbs, marshall’s posts etc to finish, all of which are critical to running a race. Marshall’s posts for example will all need to be wired up and presumably have service roads/fencing in place, so it’s no mean feat. Sure they’ll get it done, but it’s gonna be very very tight.

  20. Robert says:

    lol – Karun was driving like me on my first go on F1 for the Wii—‘breaking half-way down the straight’ – Fair enough though, he is the first person to ever lap it. :-)

  21. Alistair Blevins says:

    The circuit as it stands now looks like a throw back to the 70′s with poor quality asphalt, unfinished buildings, uneven kerbs, temporary barriers and vehicles and spectators lining the track.

    The organisers have 7 weeks to do 30 years worth of modernisation!

    I like it though. Will be interesting to see the finished product and whether those trackside barriers remain. I get the impression that there will be lots of concrete run-off and look slightly more sanitised…

  22. JimmiC says:

    Is every new track going to have a runway leading to a hairpin in a desperate attempt to force overtaking..?

  23. Nick says:

    Yawners. Looks dull and nondescript. I doubt the racing will be very good at this track. Those chunky little kinks at the back part of the lap are, I’m guessing, quite boring to drive through and also boring to watch.

    Hope to be proven wrong!

  24. JonW says:

    IIRC from the artist impressions I’ve seen of the finished circuit, the idea is that it will eventually be surrounded by a built-up area; so it will be a street circuit of sorts, so this is probably the reason for parts of the circuit being lined with walls.

    They do seem to have an awful lot of work to do – especially as it is only 2-3 weeks to Charlie’s inspection. I hope it does go ahead though.

  25. David Ryan says:

    I can see that last corner/kink catching quite a few people out in qualifying – possibly the race as well…

    Considering the doom-mongering I’ve seen about this race, I’m actually quite pleasantly surprised. Most of the barriers and kerbs are in place, the pitlane areas are finished and the aspects which need the most work are not those which take the most time (runoff, electrical infrastructure, temporary facilities). It’s certainly not like China or Abu Dhabi were at similar stages but they had the benefit of near-bottomless pools of money so it’s not really a fair comparison. The layout itself looks okay – I’d imagine the street circuit barriers are because ultimately it will be a street circuit in those stages (they’re building residential & commercial towers around the area) but given the length of the straights and the width of the track they should be okay in terms of overtaking. It’s no worse than Montreal in that regard and definitely not as bad as Valencia.

  26. Trent says:

    Haha – love the pitlane exit! Were they trying to one-up Abu Dhabi…

    Seriously, though, James I hope you enjoy your time in Korea. I lived there for a year and loved the place, but a word of warning is that this is by far the least-touristed place on the F1 calendar (especially the south of the country, where the circuit is) so there will be some challenges with communication and the like – I hope the F1 fraternity can be a little patient and tolerant! Though perhaps most will only see the hotel and the circuit, but if you’re open minded and interested in the world there are some unique and things to experience around this part of the world.

    I hope you enjoy it.

  27. Paul D says:

    I like the last couple of corners, but sadly the rest of the lap is deeply uninspiring. I think the powers that be know that this is going be another Bahrain, hence why Bernie has today given the go ahead for more ‘on the edge’ circuits in the future.

  28. Steve Rogers says:

    Looks like fun, although the section which is supposed to echo Maggots & Becketts doesn’t seem to flow the same way. I like the gradients. Looking forward to it… but a whole top layer of tarmac all over? eek! I wouldn’t like to be in charge of the work at this late stage.

    1. JamesF1 says:

      Isn’t that on the proposed Austin track? Can’t see anything on this to rival anything at Silverstone or Spa.

      Much as I dislike it, I hope it’s sufficiently ready to stage the race!

      1. Steve Rogers says:

        Duh yes, I got confused by trying to pack more than one new track into the limited RAM available in my brain. Anyway, this Is a golden opportunity for me to bang on about how much I miss Magny-C… (continued on page 94)

  29. ManxF1 says:

    Who reckons that Karun’s lap on the tempory surface in the Red Bull will be quicker than the HRT in a month?

    Fingers crossed he gets a proper drive next year – Sutil to Renault and Karun to Force India?

    1. Rafael Lopez says:

      Fingers crossed here as well!

      Although truth be told, Petrov isn’t doing so bad at all for a rookie so it’d be a little unfair for him to lose his drive :(

      Oh dear oh dear, how tough the F1 world is.

  30. Vance says:

    Can’t wait to see a lap run in Austin! Join “Friends of Formula 1 Austin Texas” on Facebook and Linkedin.com . See pics from the new location!

  31. Tom says:

    Second half of the lap, up to the final two corners, is a yawn-fest.

    Keep corners 1, 3, 7, 8, 9, 16, 17, 18. Take all those other second and third-gear corners, and throw them away. This is F1 for Pete’s sake.

  32. michael P says:

    I agree that there are some possibilities for a reason for this track to be watched in qualifying and race trim but will go off and say it stinks bad. Sorry to be negative but it sucks.

  33. Roberto says:

    It´s quite long without the challenge of Spa, so maybe it could be a boring circuit, the sector with the walls looks interesting, but let`s wait and see.

  34. Mark V says:

    How much real estate does that track cover? It’s so long that on the latter half he looked like he was taking a drive out in the country! haha

    But it looks like a good track to me fwiw. 3 straights separated by sharp corners should encourage passing. Can’t pass ‘em on corner 1? Make sure you stay close behind to try again on 3 and again on 4. Those linked S turns should be fairly G force intensive like Silverstone or Suzuka. I’d race it!

  35. BA says:

    Is it just me, or is it really bumpy all over the place?

    1. James Allen says:

      I watched it with some engineers and that’s what they said. But there is another layer of tarmac to go down

      1. BA says:

        Well, I hope it’ll be ready soon, or else it will only bring another problem for teams regarding tyre wear.

        That’s what new tarmac biggest problem, isn’t it?

  36. Mark says:

    Why does Tilke always put too many corners into a circuit? The pit straight, the first corner, the back straight and the last corner look fantastic, but the other sixteen corners are non-descript and completely forgettable. When I first saw the layout I had the same reaction – just too many corners. I do hope FOM pick good tv camera angles otherwise we’re all going to be completely confused as to where the cars are.

    Looking at the facilities, it looks like it will be tight to get that circuit up to scratch for the inspection and even if that happens, it does not seem ready for a race – there was only one grandstand! It is great to hear that the pit facilities are first class but someone seems to have forgotten the spectators and the circuit needed for a great race.

    I know Karun was effusive about the circuit but I would be too if I was press-ganged like he was. I really hope we get a great race in Korea, but based on that video, I suspect the tilke circuit will have let us down again.

  37. John M says:

    My god…that has to be one of the most boring on-board videos of all time. Chandok is clearly not pushing the car at all. I’m sure it was by design, but criminy. How can you get a feel for the track when he’s just cruising around at a ridiculously comfortable speed (on wet tires on a dry track)?

  38. racyboy says:

    While watching this I couldn’t help thinking, I wish it was closer to those hills over there.

    Why is it always a Tilke track? Is he contracted for x number of years?

    I thought these type things would be put up for tender.

    I’d like to see what someone else can come up with.
    ie: Designers,Engineers, Architects
    and Physicists….maybe wider tracks with more elevation and purpose built passing opportunities.

    This looks like a very flat , stop/start type track….but we’ll see when we have 24 fired up cars/drivers out there.

    Here’s a thought for the next track…

    Copy Suzuka and run it backwards.
    (anti-clockwise)

  39. Moose says:

    That circuit looks like half of Sepang circuit

  40. Red5 says:

    Might take a bit of getting used to but as far as I can see it’s not a bad track.

    The walls do look odd standing in isolation – need a few more advertising banners to make the place feel like home.

    Have the locations of the sprinklers been finalised?

  41. Gary Smith says:

    Great, just what F1 needs – another bland, fabricated circuit in the middle of nowhere. This is a pretty big planet, there must be space somewhere for a circuit with a bit of soul and character can be buit?

    Thankfully it’s being broadcast here in the early hours so I’ll be comfortably tucked up in bed when it’s on. I’ll watch it later in the day, probably on x6 speed.

    1. Phil Curry says:

      It really isn’t finished! There’s a harbour there somewhere, and there will also be more buildings, grandstands and hotel developments.

      At the moment however, the organisers are arranging for temp grandstands to house the 135,000 strong crowd, while they build the permenant ones!

  42. Gary Naylor says:

    Hmm – that pit lane entry / exit seems a bit tight to me! Should probably put a STOP sign at the end of it, otherwise, could get a bit dicey on race day!

    I do like the end / start of the lap – the fast chicane, leading to the long straight. Has a slight echo of Magny-Cours, although the right hander at the end could have been tighter with less run-off. That would have been a perfect chance for an overtake.

    Otherwise, does seem like it will be processional. There don’t seem to be any real challenging corners just sequences of left-rights and no chance to get any decent speed-up.

    Oh well, let’s hope the 22 guys can spice it up abit!

  43. colm says:

    Fabulous video, thank you.
    It’s terribly flat, and I mean that in the 3D sense. But still…a bit point and squirt for the most part?

  44. Gosh.. sadly looks nowhere near finished.. but hey.. everyone in the know is saying it will be so i guess i’ll wait and see.

    I think they should leave the pit exit exactly as it is now.. a semi doughnut to face the right way and then boot it from a standing start.. hehehe..

    Interestingly the real pit lane exit and the ‘uncrossable’ white line are on the right hand side of the track AND on a left hand bend.. i see a few penalties occurring there and/or comings together.

    Anymore thoughts on the drivability of it James?

    P.S. Thanks for the vid.

  45. Ben says:

    Red Bull will undoubtedly be the quickest car here due to the Hungary-esque Sectors 2 and 3, but I can see McLaren picking up the win here due to Sector 1. The Red Bulls will easily be picked off down the long straight following the start and then held up on the twisty bits where overtaking is impossible.

    Add into the mix they will have to run a lower drag set up than Hungary thanks to the straights, I can see this circuit producing an expected race result.

    Although, having said that, if the Red Bulls are in front come the end of lap 1, I can’t see anyone catching them.

  46. Banjo says:

    It looks like a building site, with the race track being the network of roads around it. Very strange. Quite worrying seeing as there is not long until it’s meant to be happening. Hopefully will be in a race-able condition by then. I’m really not fussed about the condition of the buildings, as being a television viewer it shouldn’t really affect me.

    The lay out of the track looks good, but i’ll reserve judgement until i’ve seen a car go round it (or at least driven it on F1 2010 later his month!)

  47. Ryan Eckford says:

    It looks like a good circuit with three straights and a tight twisty section to complete the lap. The twisty section is slow in the main with 2-3 fast corners. The three straights will be good for McLaren and it’s F-Duct, the tight twisty section should be good for Red Bull, but I don’t think they will be able to stretch their legs out through this section though. Ferrari should not be discounted as this circuit seems similar in downforce level to Hockenheim and Abu Dhabi. This will a pivotal race for the championship, which I think will be a great battle between the three championship contending teams, with possibly Lewis Hamilton coming out on top.

  48. Ben G says:

    Can anyone see Charlie Whiting signing that place off as safe to race F1 cars on?

    Prediction – the Korean GP will not take place this year.

  49. Darren says:

    Well, its better than I thought to be fair.

    The back part of the track looks very mickey mouse. This could just be because Karun was not going very fast (greasy track, demo tires, unfamiliar car etc) When they go through at full pelt it may be better. Dont like the barriers either, “why” is the word that springs to mind….

    FAO all track designers especially you Mr Tilke (A1 Ring doesnt count it was already there) – “BUILD TRACKS ON HILLS” the definition of hill is given below.

    “A natural elevation of the earth’s surface, smaller than a mountain”.

    Good examples of hills can be found at; Spa, Interlagos, Imola, Suzuka, Laguna Seca, Brands Hatch etc. These “hills” give tracks feature and character making them individual. (If you string every track introduced in the last 10 years together I doubt you would notice much diffrence as you passed from one to the other)

    However of course, some tracks don’t have hills (Silverstone, Monza etc.) instead of hills they have things called sweepers. This makes the track interesting and challenging.

    If one mixes “hills” and “sweepers” together in the right quantity you will probably get a good race track. Throw in a few engineered overtaking places and everyones a winner. Challenging tracks for the drivers, beautiful scenery and viewing spots for the spectators and some quality overtaking for the viewers at home.

    Its not difficult….

    A somewhat lengthy rant over, to think I started saying its not too bad aswell….

    1. Ben says:

      Tilke does not choose the locations they are chosen by the race track owners and are usually located in areas close to cities or major transport hubs or areas of appeal that are likely to be of interest to Ecclestone, thus improving the chances of being accepted. Areas that make for fantastic race tracks like Spa rarely meet this criteria and thus we end up with the flat landscapes we see today.

      Also, Tilke could not build Spa as a new race track – the FIA has exceedingly strict criteria regarding the designs of the tracks, no adverse camper, no sharp inclines, minimum track width of 12 metres, start finish straight must be level, to name just a few. There are very strict rules on run off areas too. The older tracks are exempt from these strict rules (although obviously they do have to meet other rules which is why they do get updated) so the reason you see tracks like you do is mostly down to the confines of the rules and locations with which Tilke is presented with.

      I am not saying that Tilke does not deserve some of the blame, however the majority of the complaints that get his name attached to them are out of his control and would be the case whoever designed the circuit.

      1. Darren says:

        You make a very good point Ben. I think it is very silly that some tracks have one set of rules and others have a different set.

        I dont suppose this will ever change so long as Bernie is on his crusade to bring F1 to every country in the middle / far east.

        As for the safety, of course every effort has to be made to make the tracks safe but I think it has gone too far. The extent of run off areas spoils the spectacle and makes life too easy for the drivers.

        Motor racing is inherently dangerous but I think the cars are now about as safe as they possibly can be, if they were made stronger the human body would not be able to stand it. Any cause of death or serious injury is probably going to come from a freak incident like poor Henry Surtees or Massa. The tracks do not need to be butchered in the name of safety.

        Of course you have to draw a line somehwere but I think that line needs moving for the sake of the spectacle.

      2. JohnBt says:

        Darren and Ben, SMACK ON with your comments.
        Serious ballsy fun seems to be dissipating in F1.

  50. David Chubb says:

    Good track and considering the rainy season stayed for longer than anticipated that’s good going

  51. Brad says:

    I reckon that they will get it done, has any one seen F1 racing? Not long ago they didnt have tarmac on it, so they have done a lot in a short time. These countries throw things up in a ridiculous time we cant even imagine.

    The start is going to be great, can you imagine the first corner mele and then the long straight and hairpin at the end??? slip streaming and shuffling galore, bring it on

  52. Ian says:

    James, worse case scenario what happens if after Charlie’s visit later this month he decides the track is not ready or up to required FIA standards, will we have no F1 race that weekend or could the event be held elsewhere. Is there any contingency plan for such an event?

    1. James Allen says:

      There were some soundings out, apparently of other circuits last month. I think the feeling is that in the key areas the track will be ready. This F1 demo run was a bit of hurry up for the organisers, I imagine!

      1. Ed says:

        James,

        Is the 2010 Driver’s Championship a 19 race event though. Surely certain drivers could feel aggrieved if they lost their chance at the championship as a result of 25 less points being available for them to challenge?

        Where else was sounded out? As I cannot remember but is Japan first or Korea? Presumably Fuji is the obvious one. The chance to promote a race at such short notice would be incredibly hard!

  53. Jason C says:

    Looks… tight. It’s really hard to get an impression of what it’s like from that vid because he’s driving so slowly. I quite like the way the walls line the track – better than acres of run-off.

    Actually, sod it, why don’t they just run the race on the surface as it is? We’d be guaranteed a spectacular race…

  54. Paulinho says:

    No mention of how the FIA are breaking there own rules over the track inspection then James ?

    “On site inspections will be performed by the Commission’s delegates as necessary, with at least one preliminary inspection and one final inspection. For permanent circuits, the final inspection should be made not later than 60 days (or 90 days for FIA Formula One World Championship events) before the first international event to be held, at which inspection all work relating to the track surface, permanent features and safety installations should be completed to the FIA’s satisfaction.”

    Surely the deadline for this was July 22nd ?

      1. BurgerF1 says:

        I think the track organizers got an extension due to weather delays which constituted force majeure on the typical timeline.

  55. IanM says:

    Just a thought, I’m sure that the track will be ready, but if it isn’t, and it fails the inspection, do we just lose a race from the calender or will it be replaced with a race at another track or postponed? If there is one race less it would be a blow to the drivers further back in the championship.

    1. Ben says:

      The event would be cancelled and we would lose the race which means potentially the championship could be descided by the cancellation of the event rather than on track action.
      ie, if leaving Japan one competitor is 51 points ahead of the second placed driver and then Korea pulls out, that would have the effect of deciding the championship.
      I think instead, though , they should have back to back races at Interlagos

      1. Rafael Lopez says:

        back to back at interlagos would be badass lol

  56. MorrisOx says:

    Great footage, but an F1 car tip-toeing round on what look like BF Goodrich mud-pluggers tells its own story about how far from a finish it is. Unfinished barriers, unfinished kerbs, unfinished run-off, unfinished pits…Charlie’s going to be leaving them a long snagging list!

  57. Jimmy says:

    WOW!

    That engine souns SWEEEET! thats not a Renault in the back right?

    Not too sure about the circuit though. Sureley it can’t be completed in time…WAY TOO MUCH work needed…

    1. Rafael Lopez says:

      Yeah…any word on what was powering that car? Surely not a 2010 spec engine…?

  58. FaithHealer1 says:

    What I think you’ve got to remember about this is that because the circuit’s not completed yet, there aren’t full walls and barriers and he’s on wet tyres, he can’t have been pushing that hard (in fact I doubt whether he was allowed to really hammer it) so at least we can take a little comfort that the F1 cars won’t be quite as slow through the track. But I have to agree I’m really not a fan of the layout and I personally can’t see it being ready in time. I actually think they have made an effort with the layout with regards to overtaking – lots of long straights followed by tight corners followed by long straights, while formulaic might just work and avoid the problem you get at that chicane at the end of Abu Dhabi’s second big straight. But particularly after we get a brilliant race at such a classic, beautiful circuit like Spa, this dull layout leaves quite a bit to be desired, which is a shame because while I’m not a fan of new tracks replacing old, F1 still needs great tracks and I won’t ‘hate’ a new track just because it’s new. All I care about is that it’s a good circuit so I really hope to be proved wrong.

  59. James Hunt says:

    As the championship is approaching the end. which car do you think will suit this track better James?

    Red Bull or McLaren?

    1. James Allen says:

      Sector 1 McLaren, Sectors 2 and 3 Red Bull

      1. Adam G says:

        James, do you think Red Bull will have to cut down on their downforce so as to not lose too much to drag on the very long straights?

  60. Artorwar says:

    Was I the only one starring longingly at the hills in the background? With the exception of an unsighted crest the track lacks interesting topography, and could really have done with being a mile or two into the bumpy stuff. That said the layout looks ok, a few nice corners and we will struggle to judge until the race. Austin looks far more promising however.

  61. F1ART says:

    I was going to attend this event but i think looking at the facilities’ I will give it a miss till next year. Thanks James you probably saved me a load of grief.

  62. Brian says:

    Personally I can’t see this being ready in time for a safe race to happen. If the FIA gives the green light. They are going to have one hell of a long punch list. I don’t want to start rumours, but I thought that I heard earlier in the season that if Korea doesn’t happen Bernie has a back-up track. Possibly a return to France, A1 ring isn’t a go it’s under construction. Also one grandstand, looks like there will be less fans then the other useless tracks F1 goes to to fills Bernie pockets.

  63. Han says:

    hey james, how about commenting on the recently revealed new layout for the austin track?

    1. James Allen says:

      I’m finding out more about it

  64. JohnBt says:

    Goodness gracious for crying out loud. Don’t think the venue will be ready, I mean really ready. C’mon, this is F1 not a walkathon. LOL.

    I hope I’m very wrong.

  65. Paulinho says:

    Chung Yung-Cho, chief of the Korea Auto Valley Operation (KAVO) has been quoted as saying on the 5/09/10 “We have done more than 90 percent of work on the track, the F1 championship here will be successful. You will see a historic moment 50 days from now.”.

    Having done some research this afternoon (off work this week) it seems the track is being constructed on reclaimed land beside an artificial lake near KAVO.

    Some facts about the South Jorean circuit.

    Chandhok completed 15 full laps in his Red Bull.(hmmm)
    The circuit will accommodate 120,000 spectators.
    The main stand will allow 16,000 spectators.
    5,000 hotel rooms near the circuit have been designated for the circuit.
    600 shuttle buses will be on hand to transport visitors to the circuit.

  66. Tom Haythornthwaite says:

    I can’t judge the track for race quality but but I recently spent some time in Korea and I am certain of two things:

    The track will be perfectly ready and all the teams and every fan that travels to Korea to watch will be very impressed by Korean hospitality and friendliness.

  67. aziwal says:

    It’s these modern tracks which make me watch ‘Grand Prix’ again and again. *sigh*

  68. Kenny says:

    I don’t know whether the first corner is one double apex or two tight ones close together…either way it’s a recipe for a pile up at the start. I do like the long straight that follows, though.

    Having lived and worked in Korea for ten years (way back in the 20th century) I second Tom’s comment…the Koreans can get the job done. The biggest concern must be how the track will hold up. All of the layers need time to settle and “cure”…is there enough time for that?

  69. Ronald Ooms says:

    C’mon James. Massa did not let Kimi through in Brazil in 2007. Kimi passed Massa thanks to the pitstops.
    If Kimi wouldn’t have passed Massa, then the Brazilian would probably have yieled the position. But on that day, Kimi got passed thanks to the pitstops ( as it happened many many other times in F1, as overtakings on track wasn’t always happening)
    During the Kimi-Massa years at Ferrari, there were hardly to none teamorders as the drivers were treated equally. And as a Kimi fan myself, it sometimes frustrated me in 2007.

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes and we all believe in the tooth fairy and Father Christmas

  70. Adam G says:

    James, with the new 20 race calendar just released, do you think F1 is at risk of splitting the same amount of money between more tracks? With many tracks seemingly struggling to balance their budgets, even a small hit could push them over.

  71. mo kahn says:

    One one for this track: ‘Yuck’

    this is the kinda track where one can sink into his pillow and watch the race. Trust me… organisers should be fined for spectacle defemation.

  72. Zayan says:

    Sector 1 is typical “overtaking-opportunity” Straight-hairpin-straight type, although the remaining sectors actually look nice!

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