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

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

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
    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…

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


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

    3. 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~

      1. Chris Yu Rhee
        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. 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.

    1. Now Im Scared
      11th October 2009, 12:53

      Hopefully? You need to explain this one… I live here. Have for 7 years.

  3. 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
    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. 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?)

    1. Thankyou Daniel, I am a graphic designer so I was very interested in seeing the logo

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

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

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

  9. 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. 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.

    1. 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
    6th April 2009, 20:08

    facilities are brilliant.

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

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

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

  13. 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. 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. how about they just add canada back…?

    1. Yes please.

    2. 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.

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

  16. I like the look of it…

  17. Another example of money being wasted on another track that seems to designed by a scalelectric builder – good news north korea launched a ballistic missile – oops sorry sattellite?.
    Perhaps north korea can provide the opening ceremony/ firework display – wasted money – isnt the south being affected by the reccesion?
    When do they have their rainy season? – will it be floolit?

  18. Pretty facilities don’t make the track good.

    1. Amen.

      I thought the purpose of a racing circuit was racing, not an excuse to establish some new housing developments and take advantage of sea views! Someone needs to have a word with Hermann Tilke, I propose the following letter be sent to him…

      “Dear Hermann

      Please stop producing photocopies of your dull, boring and featureless “racetracks” all around the world.

      Just because a racetrack has a pretty hotel next to it or a sea view doesn’t take away from the fact that your circuits are useless. Trying to fool us by having races in the dark hasn’t worked either by the way.

      Love and kisses

      F1 fans”

      Anyone know Hermann’s e-mail address? ;-)

  19. Nik, I have a comment on yours.
    You say you like wide tracks, but think that wide tracks often looks boring and you have no sense for speed, tendentially.
    I mean, it is perfectly logical that a wide track make easier to overtake, but that are tracks like Spa that are narrow but allows overtaking also. For 2009 cars, i think there will be more chances to overtake, on all the tracks, even the most tricky.
    So, why not focussing on technical difficulties, bends, fantasy, up and down, hystorical tracks features, speed?
    I have enough of long wide airport straights followed by slow hairpins. The old Zeltweg tracks had no hairpin but overtaking was so common, as well as Zandvoort, Paul Ricard, Imola original lay out.
    With 2009 limited aerodynamics cars I think we can “dream even better” than before.

    1. Ye a mix of both is fine – and there are some tracks that manage to be narrow, challenging and provide good overtaking opportunities as well. A circuit doesn’t have to be wide for the whole length of it (there is almost no point in having a wide straight), but by having wide corners you provide multiple ways that drivers can take a corner (as you see in a couple of turns in Malaysia). Also with no walls along the sides of a bend, drivers can throw the car around more without fear of meeting concrete.

    2. Imola has Tosa bend… But I guess it’ not a hairpin in the true sense of the word.

  20. I don’ comment Korean track lay-out, of course. :-D

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