The general view among the drivers is that the new Yeongham track is enjoyable to drive and quite challenging, with two distinct characters; the straights and tight turns of Sector 1 and the twists and turns of the later part of the lap, which in time will form a street circuit section.
But many of the drivers are complaining already about the pit lane entry, which is on the racing line through the blind final corner and about the angled kerb at Turn 16, which is below the level of the asphalt and caused the Hispania car to go off this morning. Some drivers felt it was “dangerous”.
At the pit lane entry point, the speed differential between a car on a hot lap and one on its way to the pits is potentially dangerous. The matter is bound to be discussed at length in tonight’s drivers’ briefing.
Barely 30 metres later(below) the pit lane entry line comes into view and a car which wanted to pit would start to move to the right and slow down, on the racing line. The cars are in fifth gear at around 240km/h at that point. But having discussed it there is nothing that can be done about it this weekend, so it will stay as it is.
“I think the pit entry is quite on the edge here, ” said Sebastian Vettel. “Because it’s blind and someone going into the pits will be going slower than someone who is staying out. If you are trying to pass and they decide to pit it could get quite difficult.”
Mark Webber agreed, “The pit entry and exit is a little bit marginal but apart from that I’m clutching at straws to critcise anything.”
“For sure the entry to the pits is a bit strange,” said Felipe Massa, “Because you are the middle of a high speed corner and you need to stay inside, so sometimes it’s not easy to see if the guy in front is going into the pits or not,”
“We also have to look at the kerbs on the inside of Turn 16, there is a big bottoming out of the car there and that’s dangerous.”
In response to the drivers’ comments, tonight the FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting has ordered the course workers to build up the kerbs on the inside so drivers will have to go around the area, rather than drive over it. This will be in place in time for Free Practice 3 on Saturday morning.