The last few days have seen a turnaround in the fortunes of the Korean Grand Prix and the expectations are now that the F1 circus will race there in two weeks time.
It is still subject to an inspection this coming week by FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting, but F1 commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone has already indicated that the track will pass this inspection.
“They had problems but they have done wonders in the last few weeks. I’ve been in touch, I’ve seen photographs and the top layer of the track has been laid. They will pass the inspection…despite all the doom stories, I think people will be pleasantly surprised.”
Representatives from KAVO, the organisers of the race in Korea, were at the Singapore GP two weeks ago and the pressure was really put on them by Ecclestone and the teams. It seems that they have responded, laying the tarmac this week and working flat out to ready the track.
F1 is determined to avoid the embarrassing scenes going on in India around the Commonwealth Games.
I was told by someone who worked on the Abu Dhabi circuit construction project that the Korean circuit is “weeks behind” where Yas Marina was in preparation for its first event. Certainly it has been cut a lot of slack as normally it should have passed its inspection weeks ago.
But no matter, it now seems that the race will go ahead, even if certain things are not completely finished. All the essential parts of the track, safety and race management wise should be done. We will know for sure after Whiting’s visit.
KAVO released some pictures of the grandstands today, the first sign of any real confidence from them that they are ready to host the F1 world. They cut it fine, but it looks like they will make it and we will all be there in two weeks from now for what is likely to be an important race, given how close the championship is.
Meanwhile here’s a chance to remind ourselves of the layout of the track from the two seater lap done by Karun Chandhok in the Red Bull car. It will be interesting to see how much it looks like the animations when we get there..