Heidfeld warns over oily tarmac at Korea

Nick Heidfeld has raised concerns over the track surface at the Korean International Circuit ahead of its inaugural race next week.

The Sauber driver said:

At the moment hardly anyone knows exactly what to expect on site. I am very curious to see the track and the facilities.

From a driver?s perspective the most important thing is that the tarmac lasts. If the final layer is laid a short time before, it is generally understood it can be oily which, of course, would be extremely problematic.

But I can only give any informed information about the quality and lay-out of the track once I have driven there. Generally I welcome new venues because they provide a special driving challenge, and for a World Championship it is positive to race in as many countries as possible.
Nick Heidfeld

Heidfeld did a demonstration run in South Korea two years ago but team mate Kamui Kobayashi is visiting the country for the first time:

I am very excited about going to the next Grand Prix. After the race in Suzuka I am even more motivated.

I went straight to Tokyo to stay there until I have to travel to South Korea. I had a couple of promotional activities and meetings, but also time to relax and do some sports in order to prepare for the next race. I always enjoy nice warm weather, and also it was good for me to stay in the same time zone instead of flying back and forth to Europe. I have never been to South Korea.

At some circuits this year other drivers have had an advantage in terms of knowing the track, but this time it is the same for everybody. I am very much looking forward to discovering the circuit.
Kamui Kobayashi

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22 comments on Heidfeld warns over oily tarmac at Korea

  1. Ned Flanders (@ned-flanders) said on 15th October 2010, 11:32

    I suppose a oily surface could go two ways. It could make for a thrilling GP of full of incident… or it could be so dangerous they have to cancel the race. Hopefully the former!

  2. Just nitpicking Keith but you missed a “t” where it says “Heidfeld did a demonstration run in South Korea two years ago but eam mate” just before the last quote.

    I’m not too worried. Until they get there and there’s a problem I’m just assuming everything is fine. I hope it isn’t oily but if it was so bad it was dangerous I can’t imagine the race would be happening in the first place. I just think it may be a little tougher and maybe a few caught out if quick Nick is right.

  3. Interesting comment from Heidfeld. If the surface is smooth and oily, it will offer very little grip and make mechanical grip more important.

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 15th October 2010, 13:12

      I really do not know if aerodynamic grip is any different mechanical grip on an oily surface. However, if your assumption is true, it looks like it might favour the Ferraris.

  4. DGR-F1 said on 15th October 2010, 13:27

    If I was a driver, I would be at least as concerned as to whether the garages were finished and all the safety features worked…….
    At least it will be a new track to all the drivers, so we will be able to see them all starting from scratch on Friday.

  5. Anagh said on 15th October 2010, 14:03

    Shldve been North Korea. the track wudve been arnd a nuclear silo. :-D

    • Indeed. It would’ve been interesting. Shame no-one outside North Korea would be allowed to see it.

      Not to mention the fact that all the teams would have to replace their sponsor logos with praise for the all-powerful leader :)

  6. damonsmedley said on 15th October 2010, 14:07

    Never mind oil, what about all the dust that will be blowing around? The aerial shots look like they were taken in Bahrain. Hopefully they have laid down some grass so the track looks a little nicer, and there isn’t too much dust.

  7. Richard Brown said on 15th October 2010, 15:16

    Heidfeld seems to have a bit of a fetish for tarmac quality. Add this to the recent one about Singapore bumps this year, and a couple others from years gone by too :)

  8. They should prepare a lot of oil flags!

  9. i think the drivers are making too much of this oily thing… the track will provide decent grip… and i think Mclaren will prolly make most of the straights… i hope to see Ham, Alo, Web & Vet all in contention till the last race!!

  10. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 16th October 2010, 4:48

    Why are some of the drivers are concerned about the tarmac it’s equal for everyone, it will test who have the nerves.Nick looked a bit nervous then Kobayashi.

    • It’s equal for the drivers, but not equal for the cars (varying levels of mechanical grip).

      • That will be even more interesting as now the mechanics not only have to think about a new track & but a tarmac about which they are not sure whether it will hold on.

  11. Scribe (@scribe) said on 16th October 2010, 16:10

    I like it when drivers get nervous in this way, it means they just arn’t sure whats going to happen, that can only be good news for us.

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