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. Stoo said on 6th April 2009, 20:51

    I like the look of it…

  2. 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?

  3. Damon said on 6th April 2009, 20:53

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

    • GeeMac said on 27th October 2009, 6:23

      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? ;-)

  4. David said on 6th April 2009, 20:58

    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.
    Ciao.

    • Nik said on 7th April 2009, 10:01

      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.

    • GeeMac said on 27th October 2009, 6:25

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

  5. David said on 6th April 2009, 20:59

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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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 :)

  11. 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?’

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

    yawn…

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

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