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

  1. Robert McKay said on 6th April 2009, 21:01

    I had a look at the website. Oddly, one of the things they seem most proud of of the layout is that it will be the second longest track in F1, behind only Monza.

    I was actually more interested to find out that Monza was the longest circuit on the calendar, seeing as Suzuka is longer. And Spa is a good kilometre longer than either of them anyway. :-D

  2. matt said on 6th April 2009, 22:08

    “it allows the race cars to reach their maximum speed, making the event even more attractive.”

    This line really confused me, seeing as most cars’ gearing is dependent on the circuit and they will therefore touch on their top speed at almost any event with a decent straight. And it claims cars will only go 200 mph, so it’s not as though they’re troubling monza.

  3. Arthur954 said on 6th April 2009, 22:11

    As Matt has indicated, hopefully this GP and the Indian one will not come at the expense of two European GPs.

    Maybe the only way forward is to have a F1West and F1East, as two separate series. F1West would be races in Europe and North America, and F1 East in the Middle and Far East.

    Bernie, Mo and Tilke can set up office in Peking and run the series from there. If Lou wants to join them, thats OK with me.

    • Jay Menon said on 7th April 2009, 2:06

      That will not work..hahaha..but it would be cool though. I was suggesting something along those lines as well. Since Bernie has signed a deal to increase the races from 17 to 20, we might not see some of the European races go, but eventually, with more new circuits popping up, we will.

      Instead of two series, I suggested that races in Europe/America, that have been struggling to keep races form consortiums that would rotate races around a number of circuits. Like a Southern European GP would rotate around the likes of Catalunya, Algarve, Imola etc. So the race would visit each of these circuits once every three years.

  4. matt said on 6th April 2009, 22:25

    ‘The straight section of the circuit continues for 1.25km, making it the longest straight section among all international circuits (a record held until 2006).’

    So in other words, not the longest straight section among all international circuits.

    ‘The longest straight section found in North America and Europe is the Indianapolis Motor Speedway of the USA which continues for about 0.9km. But straight sections that are longer than 1km, like those of Korea International Circuit and Fuji Speedway, barely exist.’

    Yeah but as Keith wrote about, flat-out section is more important than straight section, in which case Korea is fifth.

    ‘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.’

    I swear almost every modern circuit has several configurations. The shorter configuration of this circuit would not be ‘F1-standard-sized.’ And why did Motegi only attempt two configurations? (In fact, Montegi is two completely seperate courses, so isn’t a real comparison. Although the ‘general course’ at Motegi has three configurations, so it’s still more than Korea).

    The amount of BS and nonsense actually makes me angry.

  5. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 7th April 2009, 0:11

    I’m struggling to summon any enthusiasm for this one. It doesn’t seem to be distinctive in any way – pretty cookie-cutter from the looks of it.

    The short, fast right into the long right-hander looks interesting, and with the water on the inside it should look cool. But taken as a whole it’s got a couple of slow bends and a couple of quick-ish ones but nothing that makes it stand out.

    But let’s see what it looks like in real life. Istanbul didn’t look much on paper but it’s a decent track.

    • Nik said on 7th April 2009, 10:04

      Exactly right, you can’t judge a circuit until it has actually held some races. The guys who design circuits aren’t complete idiots – and I would have a bit more faith in them for now than armchair critics :)

  6. AJ Ball said on 7th April 2009, 0:46

    Reserve judgment since some of the Tilke tracks I thought looked rubbish in plans (Istanbul, Hockenheim) have turned out ok and vice-versa (Valencia, Shanghai, Singapore). Hopefully that street circuit bit actually has some scenery or thee can be an Adelaide-like park/street ambience but that’s what I thought would happen in Valencia and we ended up with a soulless concrete and tarmac canyon.

    It’s also strange that we never get to see any of the design process behind these tracks – rough drafts or alternative ideas etc. It’s just ‘Here it is, it’s great isn’t it?’

  7. christopher said on 7th April 2009, 1:28

    yawn…

  8. Ben said on 7th April 2009, 1:43

    The Jeonnam Circuit will become the first permanent track in the history of F1, to have the ocean in the background.

    I think someone needs to do some homework, East London in South Africa (used in the early 60’s) was situated right next to the coast.

  9. Fer no.65 said on 7th April 2009, 2:54

    Glad to see the main page photos are from 2006

    AND

    most importantly

    one of the pics is Fisichella’s 2006 Renault. That’s like mirrored…

    like this:

    http://img23.imageshack.us/img23/5145/dibujoefo.jpg

  10. I’m guessing someone more knowledgeable is going to tell me, what about the dual circuits of Brand’s Hatch or Suzuka? Were those divided as afterthoughts?

    I like the design, but why build a town in the midst of a racing circuit -deliberately-? I understand if the town happened to be there first.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 7th April 2009, 8:33

      I don’t think the Brands oval or Suzuka East tracks are F1-standard – these guys seem to be saying both their tracks are:

      the Jeonnam Circuit is the first track in the world to have combined 2 different F1-standard-sized courses.

  11. Eh. It looks okay. I’m not going crazy about it, though.

    “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.”

    Actually, no it isn’t unprecedented. Indianapolis has two sets as well.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 7th April 2009, 8:30

      Doesn’t Spa have two as well?

    • ajokay said on 7th April 2009, 11:00

      Spa does. Suzuka and Sepang have 2nd pit lanes on their shorter tracks, but with no or temporary garages.

      I wouldn’t say Indy does, it just has two different types of pits within the same pit lane

  12. DGR-F1 said on 7th April 2009, 8:05

    At least its somewhere new to park the Ferrari FXX…..

  13. Hakki said on 7th April 2009, 9:00

    As a Japanese point of veiw, I’m glad that another GP is going to be hold in east asia.

    but I am worried about if Japanese GP is goint to be held in Suzuka in the future, now Honda the owner of Suzuka pulled out.

    Fuji is not as exciting as Suzuka and In Suzuka,
    we have lots of memories of showdown like Senna and Prost’s1989,1990, Hill and schumy’s 1994, Hakkinen’s1998, Raikonen’s2005 etc…

    I hope Japanese Gp is going to be held at least
    every two years.

  14. HounslowBusGarage said on 7th April 2009, 9:10

    Being really picky, I just checked the FIA site and under APPENDIX O TO THE INTERNATIONAL SPORTING CODE, and under SUPPLEMENT 2 – MINIMUM CIRCUIT LENGTH AND MAXIMUM NUMBER OF CARS IN PRACTICE FOR AND AT
    THE START OF AN EVENT, we have
    ‘A – Minimum circuit length for FIA Championship events’ and then there is a table which shows that the minimum length for an F1 course is 3.4 kms.
    On the Korean Jeonnnan F1 site it says that the permanent course is 3.04 kms. It then goes on to say “but the Jeonnam Circuit is the first track in the world to have combined 2 different F1-standard-sized courses”
    In which case I hope that “3.04” is a typo for 3.40, or someone has got some stretching to do.

  15. PJA said on 7th April 2009, 9:44

    Can’t say I am that impressed by anything so far. They claim they have combined strong points from famous circuits such as Monaco, do they mean that it has a marina section?

    For me the strong point of Monaco is that it is a street circuit that allows no room for error and all the circuit’s history, the Monaco scenery is nice but is secondary to the racing. Unless I have missed something the marina section at the new track isn’t on roads and even if it is then it will probably have plenty of run off desgined into it.

    Does anyone know what time of year the first GP is scheduled for?

    • Nik said on 7th April 2009, 10:21

      “Does anyone know what time of year the first GP is scheduled for?”

      Its TBD. When it was added to the Wikipedia page[1] for the 2010 season, it was placed at the end of the draft schedule for no other reason than it being a new circuit. I would guess that it is more likely we would see it take place during the Asian leg – sometime after Australia but before Spain.

      There is also talk of Portugal coming back in 2010, and possibly the USA (to coincide with USF1). That would bring 2010 to 20 races, which was always the FOM target.

      [1] – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Formula_One_season

  16. Andrew White said on 7th April 2009, 10:59

    I think this track can be split into three sections. First is three straights followed by tight corners (how imaginative). Then there is a Hungaroring-style part at the top, then at the end is a load of 90-degree, point and squirt corners (like the end of Singapore).

    The only redeeming feature for me is the last crescent at the very end, that looks quite interesting. But overall, it looks like another soulless Tilkedrome.

  17. matt said on 7th April 2009, 11:59

    We are a pedantic bunch. Of course, we wouldn’t have to be if their site had a single fact that was actually true.

  18. rubbish…stop putting asian circuit in calendar..more european circuit…im siad that even im asian!!!!!no korea,no india, no singapore, just japan and malaysia, its enough!!!

    • Jay Menon said on 8th April 2009, 2:11

      Yeah..its too many races popping up in Asia. These Asian countries are looking at F1 purely from an economic standpoint, not for racing, how many Korean and Chinese racers have we seen?

      I think F1 should be a good mix, as it is a true global sport. We need to have more races on the American Continent, Brazil alone is not good enough. We need races in Africa too..this will cover all major continents. We need to maintain the European heritage too. If Bernie keeps this up, we’ll be waving goodbye to the likes of Spa and Monza, Imola already bit the dust.

  19. Clare msj said on 7th April 2009, 14:03

    Hmm..They either thought noone would notice the blatantly incorrect ‘facts’, or they simply didnt know they were wrong – either way it doesn’t endear me to the project already – if anything it annoys me. How can somewhere who knows either so little about F1, or underestimates the intelligence of it’s fans so badly, be allowed to host a race, and unfortunately probably at the expense of a track with considerable F1 history.

    Oh yes thats it, they have buckets full of money…same old, same old. Frustrating every time it happens.

    Unfortunatly though, because of the specific tracks which are being lost in favour of all these new circuits, places like Abu Dhabi and South Korea etc dont really stand a chance with the fans. I would take Canada/USA/France over any new track, regardless of what it looks/races like. Which is kind of unfortunate for all these new places. I have already judged Abu Dhabi before it has even raced, just as i have South Korea – and I am sure I am not alone. Puts them on the back foot already – even if they produce a great race there will be negative things picked out about them that at places like Canada would have been overlooked.

    Mr E is all about increasing the spectacle – yet he is removing tracks reknowned for providing great races, and replacing them with ones that happen to have the highest bid. He contradicts himself a lot does ol’ Bernie – aiming at a European TV audience, then taking away their races; wanting exciting racing, but removing tracks which provide it – not that I am at all bitter about some of the races removed of late or owt! :P

    As for South Korea – I am sure the facilites will be excellent, and the whole place will be visually stunning, and all three people that go to spectate will have a much better time than those poor unfortunate souls that have to cram themselves into one of those dirty old tracks with about 100,000 other people, and have to suffer the horrible noise that all those 99,999 other fans will be making come race day.

    Rant over! :D

  20. ……………………………………………………………..:That’s what I think of it: forgettable

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