2010 South Korean F1 track shown in new pictures on official website

South Korea's F1 track in Jeonnam (click to enlarge)

South Korea's F1 track in Jeonnam (click to enlarge)

We’ve had a glimpse before of South Korea’s F1 track, which is due to hold its first Grand Prix next year.

But now the official home page for the 2010 South Korean Grand Prix is live, complete with new pictures of the Jeonnam track.

The circuit was designed by (all together now…) Hermann Tilke, who is not far off having a total monopoly on F1 track design.

The Jeonnam track is 5.4km long and has the usual Tilke mix of over-taking-friendly sharp hairpins plus a couple of quick corners. It’s not clear from the diagram if it has much in the way of gradient.

Here’s how the race organisers describe the circuit:

The most notable characteristic of the Jeonnam Circuit is the fact that it has been designed as two inter-changable tracks; the F1 track (5.6km) and the permanent track (3.04km).

During ordinary occasions, such as domestic automobile races or motorcycle races, the northern part of the circuit (3.045km, in the shape of a hat) will be used. But during international motor-sport events, such as the F1 Grand Prix, an elongated track (heading towards Yeongam Lake) will also be utilized, extending the total length to 5.6km. In the past, several circuits within the country have made short-courses by temporarily blocking certain track areas.

But the Jeonnam Circuit is the first course to actually be designed as a dual-structure from the beginning. The Motegi Twin Ring Circuit of Japan has also attempted to combine an “oval course” with a different “general course”, but the Jeonnam Circuit is the first track in the world to have combined 2 different F1-standard-sized courses.

Another characteristic of the Jeonnam Circuit is its racing direction: counterclockwise. Only 2 of the 17 circuits listed on the 2007 F1 Calender (Turkey and Brazil), have been designed in this manner. The Jeonnam Circuit would be the only counterclockwise track located in Asia. Since most drivers are used to clockwise-direction tracks, the Jeonnam Circuit will serve as a unique, but challenging, experience for the world’s best racers.

The Jeonnam Circuit also has two separate sets of pits and paddocks (a facility used for storing and inspecting race cars) for the general track and the F1 track, respectively. This is an unprecedented feature in the world. By having 2 different pit facilities, the Jeonnam Circuit is able to offer sufficient space for other “support races”, which are also held during the F1 Grand Prix period. In addition, the 2 pits will allow larger parking room for the F1 race cars.

The Jeonnam Circuit has combined all the strong points of other famous tracks, such as Monaco and Indianapolis. The marina section, which is located in the southern part of the F1 track, offers breathtaking views of the nearby ocean. The Jeonnam Circuit will become the first permanent track in the history of F1, to have the ocean in the background. Within the marina section, a radial-shaped town (closely resembling Monte Carlo of the Monaco Grand Prix) will be constructed. This region will be developed into the greatest motor-sports cluster of the East.

See more pictures of the complex on the official site.

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93 comments on 2010 South Korean F1 track shown in new pictures on official website

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  1. Robert McKay said on 6th April 2009, 18:23

    Ocean view, dual-track style structure, double pit facilities, marina section, radial-shaped town.

    So another track where the facilities are the key point and the actual track layout is of secondary importance, then…

    • ajokay said on 6th April 2009, 22:28

      Photo of the building work and a top-down map of the track here:

      http://www.korealifes.com/formula-1-circuit-near-mokpo-south-korea/2009/01/13/

    • Macca said on 7th April 2009, 9:20

      Robert, I totaly agree with you. Lets start building tracks for the tracks, not the locations

    • mimmikim said on 11th May 2010, 8:15

      Hello Robert!

      Actually, I was the proofreader for the above article and I admit that information is definitely lacking and there is a HUGE focus on facilites (there usually is here, it seems).

      After reading your post, I talked to my boss about the need for information and apparently, the information is forthcoming (which is not entirely helpful when trying to plan such a large trip, I realize).

      I ask all of you that are interested to directly email the KTO (Korean Tourism Organization) at visitkorea.or.kr. The more people voice what kind of information they need, the better chance we have of people listening! Cheers~

      • Chris Yu Rhee said on 11th May 2010, 13:58

        Is this Mimi? Do you ever go to Kim & Johnson’s in Seoul?
        We are going down to Mokpo the weekend of the 21st to check it out. I’d love to be able to get on-site to look at specifics for Keith. Do the organizers have any plans to make the English on the official website work?

  2. Keirdre said on 6th April 2009, 18:29

    I’m hopefully going to be living in Korea next year, so I look forward to checking out this circuit in real life. But it does look very artificial and does have all the hallmarks of a Tilke-fail.

  3. James B said on 6th April 2009, 18:33

    Not optimistic about the track layout in my opinion.

    The marina section does look ok though, but I agree with Robert McKay it does look like they’ve focused on the facilities more than the track.

  4. HounslowBusGarage said on 6th April 2009, 18:41

    Looks flat, doesn’t it?
    On the basis that 1 is a ‘nation’ pit complex and 2 is the GP pit complex, I think the zig-zag bit betweent he shoreline crescent and the dedicated track looks fairly naff. Real point and squirt stuff.
    The long straight effectively running between Pis 1 and Pits 2 starts and ends with a tight corner; not sure it will be any good for overtaking whichever way round the course is run.
    Sorry to be jaundiced, but it just looks like another compromise track in a property development.

  5. Hammad said on 6th April 2009, 19:15

    Why do we still have Tilke tracks coming in…..?

  6. they reseased their logo some weeks ago, for those interested in that sort of things. (maybe already covered here by keith?)
    http://f1bloggen.se/2009/03/26/koreas-grand-prix-visar-logo-infor-2010/

  7. Pedro Andrade said on 6th April 2009, 19:53

    The penultimate corner, around the marina, looks good, but the rest looks boring.

  8. saab said on 6th April 2009, 19:54

    corners… sure… but what we need is tracks going up and down like spa, istanbul or that new one in portugal…

  9. Nik said on 6th April 2009, 19:54

    I actually think Tilke is doing a good job, given the limitations. If you look at why each track is bad, its because of location or some other factor (Valencia, Singapore eg.). This weekend we were shown the potential that Malaysia can have – there are at least 2 excellent overtaking opportunities on that track. Bahrain is also by no means boring (I have actually driven it, it is a lot hillier and exciting than it looks on TV).

    This new circuit also looks decent as well, I just hope it is very wide (it gives drivers more options). I don’t think they should have included a 90 degree bend though, since they are pointless/boring.

  10. taurus said on 6th April 2009, 20:04

    Why has every new track got to have a Marina?

    Nothing will ever get close to Monaco (see Valencia). Singapore only works because its a night race, therefore unique. Abu Dhabi and Korea will be poor imitations of a traditional and historic event.

    Out of all the circuits Tilke has designed (and re-designed), he’s produced one good corner – Turn 8, Istanbul. The man produces flat and characterless tracks (Bahrain, China, Malaysia, new Hockenheim, etc etc).

    Get back to the classics. Or at least stop murdering them.

    • Nik said on 6th April 2009, 20:20

      as i mentioned in my comment just above yours, Bahrain is by no means flat – it just looks that way on tv. seriously.

  11. KingHamilton said on 6th April 2009, 20:08

    facilities are brilliant.

    The track itself looks alright, better than some like Catalunya and Budapest but nothing spectacular

  12. John Beamer (@john-beamer) said on 6th April 2009, 20:15

    Of course Singapore is also counter clockwise. And in Asia.

    • Kherubim said on 7th April 2009, 4:40

      I was about to point that out too, but facts have never gotten in the way of good marketing spiel…

  13. mkh1 said on 6th April 2009, 20:30

    Just looks like yet another drab boring circuit. Looking at the calander for next year there are around 8 circuits that I would quite happily replace for better ones. That’s a lot considering I haven’t included this one, Abu Dhabi or the new Donnington as F1 hasn’t raced on these tracks yet.

  14. IDR said on 6th April 2009, 20:32

    I think the point on new tracks is they need to promote a big real state area just to finance F1 installation, keeping in mind how is the unillateral deal of Mr. “I_want_all_for_me” Ecclestone.

    So I imagine all those “grey blocks” arround the circuit will become a big Bussines/Residential areas; technical carachteristics of the circuit remain a secondary priority.

    If one visit the webpage, there is a very interesting promoter’s chart.

  15. Nick said on 6th April 2009, 20:47

    how about they just add canada back…?

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 7th April 2009, 8:44

      Yes please.

    • Nik said on 7th April 2009, 9:58

      the promoters in Canada apparently owe FOM three years worth of hosting fees. Chances of it coming back on any time soon are zero, unless it gets picked up by another promoter and some sort of deal is worked out (the chances of that happening in this economy are also close to nil).

      Some of the other more historical venues like Monaco and the German Grand Prix also have special deals with FOM where they don’t pay the full fees. FOM is keeping them alive because of their importance – something that wasn’t extended to Montreal.

    • maybe its something they should extend to others as well….say…Silverstone?

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