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. Tilke’s circuits might actually work this year with the new car designs.

    His circuits have so called “proposed overtaking corners” so with the cars being easier to overtake, then these areas could come into good use.

    Also, as everybody knows from Monaco, street circuits are hard to overtake on.

    So why are they building tracks that are harder to overtake on?

    It totally contradicts the whole point of creating more overtakes.

  2. I hard to tell something about the new racetrack by just watching the drawings. Chosing a track location and layouot is like looking for a place to set an astronomical observatory; the goals are clear but the site is what determines the way you build it.

    I love classic circuits in Europe and some others that not longer are holding F1 races. Each classic has its own set of features, unique ones. there’s no recipe to follow that leads to an exciting racetrack, you can nailed or not. I don’t see much of a success on Tilke’s designs except from Turkey. I don’t know how he develops his work so I am not gonna criticise him.

    The challenge is to come up with something that open your eyes as an espectator -on-site or on TV, which is very hard to achieve- and as a driver. So basically you need a good piece of land with acceptable topography -no flats, please- and exploit them to make a track that it is 3-D, combines easy turns and difficult ones, with blind apexes, and places where you can go flat out -you dont need a 1 km straight-.

    Algarve circuit is gonna be soon in F1 and stay there for long ’cause they found a good combination of those things. Spa will be a classic forever ’cause its magical the way it flows through the topography, Monaco too, ’cause its like racing inside a cathedral, even at lot speeds everything is so fast and you cannot make mistakes..

    You dont need marinas, street circuits, top notch facilities to make a race track a classic, what you really need is a good piece of land and a track for drivers to be challenge

  3. A good piece of land is hard to find. Land is normally used or owned and to just tear up whatever is there for a racing track generallly doesn’t go down well. People never seem to understand that the land is acquired and Tilke is just asked to make the best of it.

    Contrast this to Spa where people decided that holding a race on the public roads between a few towns would bring in some money / tourists and just did it with no real safety concerns. Then they shortened it at great expense but with the track already part of their heritage. A track cannot grow organically like this these days as we think differently about risk and safety. There is more bureaucracy which mainly stops people doing poorly considered things without accountability.

  4. Prisoner Monkeys
    10th April 2009, 7:24

    I fail to see why this circuit is being so oorly received. Just because it isn’t another Spa-Francorchamps doesn’t automatically make it bad. Hell, if Tilke simply created another Eau Rouge, it wouldn’t be very creative and everyone would be all over him for that. Everyone seems to have their own ideas as to what the perfect Formula One circuit invovles, but no-one seems to be able to detail what that vision is; the few who can give only the vaguest suggestions.

    Yes, this circuit looks like Tilke raided his ideas drawer and stitched together two separate circuits … but that could be the thing that saves this circuit. If the top and bottom halves are different enough – and they certainly look that way – the race could prove very interesting indeed. I think it’s a lot like Valencia in that I’m going to give it the benefit of the doubt: it might have been bland before 2009, but the new regulations could very well make it much more interesting. I think a lot of the dislike for this circuit is stemming from the dislike of Hermann Tilke, but you have to admit that this is a hell of a lot better tha the proposed circuit for the French Grand Prix.

  5. Actually, Clive Bowen’s design for the new French GP circuit looks much more organic than this layout.

    This circuit doesn’t all fit together to flow as a cohesive whole, which is a rather different matter than different parts of a circuit having different characteristics from one another. There are just too many slow to medium speed corners on the Korea circuit.

    Also, Tilke has dropped in too many of these niggly little bends and kinks in the wrong places. A lot of the curves and corners that I liked at first glance I realized would NOT be nearly as good as I thought because I was just looking at about half the circuit. So even that arcing corner before the pit straight at the bottom probably will not be nearly as quick or exciting as I initially hoped. The left-hand bend immediately before those lower pits adds an extra change in direction in setting up for the straight. On top of that, it’s decidedly more difficult to set up an overtaking maneuver without a more obvious line down the straight. That is to say that if the well-defined corners at the beginning and end of a straight both go in the same direction, you naturally stay to one side and have a much more clearly set racing line, but if this is not the case, you have to cross the straight as you go down it, and this is relatively detrimental to setting up an overtaking manuever as compared with the first scenario. Then there is the matter of that bend after the lower pits, which I suspect could be rather like the setup for the hairpin leading onto the internal pit straight at Bahrain. That extra curve before the hairpin means that you have another apex, and therefore the guy in front takes an inside line and cuts off the run the guy behind had going.

    I don’t expect every new track to be Spa. Then again, Dubai Autodrome is decent, and Algarve is excellent; both are FIA Grade 1 circuits. Also, though only an FIA Grade 2 circuit, Potrero de los Funes in Argentina is new and is incredible. There are very good circuits out there that bend back on themselves: like Sears Point or Road America (so this is NOT a new concept). And I’d say that Riverside proved you could have quite a good road course in the desert. With all these examples, and plenty more I’m sure, I cannot hold Tilke to be innocent when it comes to being a relatively poor circuit designer on the whole.

    BTW, if leaving them alone meant F1 leaving circuits, I would rather that Hockenheim, Nurburgring, Fuji, Osterreichring, etc have been left alone and just said good riddance to F1. It’s not like they were making money off of F1 either anyway, and the circuits would have been better for it.

  6. NowImScared
    4th June 2009, 0:26

    I can’t even get the English version of the official Korean site to work. I have serious doubts about this one. Jun nam is not a very popular spot, and is WAAAAAYYYY off the beaten track. I’ve lived in Korea for 6 years now. We’ll see what happens.

  7. NowImScared
    4th June 2009, 17:14

    Uh-oh. Below is a link to a site that haas a picture of the area as of January, 2009. There is nothing. Just some grading. You won’t see any of those wonderful buildings either. They’re not there. They do this all the time (stretch the truth) in promotional materials for construction sites and new buildings in Korea. That’s what had me worried when I saw the artist’s drawings instead of actual pictures.
    They build things fast here, but not that fast.

  8. After so many years of people talking about how great the classic tracks and classic turns are one would think that they would start to build tracks that resembled older tracks and turns that made this sport so fun to watch.

  9. Just looked at those new photo’s, its SOOOOO FLAT!!!!!!
    I just hope there is going to be some cambre in the corners and not much run off in the ‘street’ section, as the layout itself looks OK.
    However, I fully expect another Tilke bore-fest.

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

    what kind of a claim is this? who gives a flying f**k?! and what is this recent love between Tilke and building a ‘marina’ by the circuit? you can’t just copy monaco. I give up…

  11. I wouldn’t be so harsh…
    in SPA or Monaco, the scenery adds a lot to the track.
    Besides, the layout diesn’t seem so terrible I think. I am rather optimistic.

    Of course I don’t think it is sane to have ALL new tracks created by a single man.

  12. Its so weird every new track now has a marina.
    Its not about how it looks like on the outside its about the track isnt it?
    And I dont think FIA should be adding more tracks in countries who hasnt have much experience with F1. Just my opinion…

  13. Its so weird every new track now has a marina.
    Its not about how it looks like on the outside its about the track isnt it?
    And I dont think FIA should be adding more tracks in countries who hasnt have much experience with F1. Just my opinion…

  14. Prisoner Monkeys
    23rd September 2009, 13:25

    I dont think FIA should be adding more tracks in countries who hasnt have much experience with F1.

    So what are you saying? That they shouldn’t e allowed to develop a following simply because they don’t already have one? What if the next Ayrton Senna is some kid from Korea who turns on his television one rainy Sunday afternoon and is enamoured with the South Korean Grand Prix?

    1. Now Im Scared
      11th October 2009, 12:57

      You’ve never seen Koreans drive, have you? LOL

  15. gwenouille-There is no scenery around the track! Check out the photos posted by Chris Yu Rhee on the first page of this thread. There is NOTHING there. I live in Korea and know this place. The buildings shown in the artist’s conceptual drawings don’t exist now, and probably won’t for a long time. The economy is FLAT here, and no one is going to build a business park like that in an area that is solely devoted to farming. At this time, they only have HALF the funding required to complete the track. I am just worried that they’ll do everything half-ass (the norm here, unfortunately) and F1 either drops the race from the calendar in 2010, or worse yet, have the race here in 2010 and tell Korea “never again.” Then all Korea will have is a $100M+ loop of asphalt surrounded by rice paddies.

  16. when will these guys translate their site at least into english language?

    1. Now Im Scared
      27th October 2009, 6:55

      Probably never. There’s been very little in Korean about this event. As Maxwell Smart would say; “Missed it by that much…” This seems to be the norm in Korea. They almost get it right, but miss the finer, yet important, bits.
      Example – new four-lane highway to Incheon Airport, yet there are only two speed cameras and sensors. It makes me wonder what they are thinking, or if they are thinking…

  17. Please help me! I want to attend this race whether the circuit is bad or not. I want to know where the best will be around the circuit in ranking order since I don’t have any box invites. If you have some for me,(
    3) please name your price. Syd

    1. Now Im Scared
      11th October 2009, 12:56

      Please read my posts above yours. There is nothing but grading and some paving (maybe). They have on 50% funding to-date, so don’t hold your breath. I have not been able to find any info on obtaining tickets in English OR Korean! I don’t know if they can pull this one off in time…

  18. I think the track looks good but a little flat!

  19. Now Im Scared
    14th January 2010, 22:44

    They just reported that they had a successful ‘test’ at the track in Korea. Couldn’t find any info anywhere other than what I saw on the ‘ticker’ at the bottom of the tv screen while I was watching racing on a Korean channel.
    The official website has some more current pictures showing a lot more has been completed, but still nothing in English or Japanese.
    I’m hopeful but….

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