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. 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

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

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

  3. 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.

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

    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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

  11. 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.

  12. Benalf said on 9th April 2009, 18:12

    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

  13. Michael said on 9th April 2009, 19:29

    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.

  14. Prisoner Monkeys said on 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.

  15. Robert said on 23rd May 2009, 2:31

    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.

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