The Force India drivers are anticipating busy first day’s work at the new Korean International Circuit on Friday as they get used to the new track and try revised parts for the VJM03.
Vitantonio Liuzzi will be using a new chassis this weekend after being hit by Felipe Massa at Suzuka:
My first impression of the track is that it will be a pretty nice one to drive. It has a lot of different types of corners, from slow to high and it won’t be easy to find a set up that will suit every type of corner you have there.
I think the first sector with the long, long straights and tight corner into another straight will really suit our car; the second sector not as much but we will see when we get there – so much will depend on the grip levels and the track surface.
It will make Friday practice pretty busy as we look through all the data and try to get the most out of the car and the tyres.
We’ve got a couple of new tweaks on the car as well that will make the programme even more charged. Plus I will have another chassis to use in Korea and for the last three races as my car was very badly damaged in Japan.
Adrian Sutil is expecting the track surface to change rapidly over the race weekend:
I’ve seen and driven the layout on the simulator, but what you can’t get an idea of is the bumps, the grip levels and the kerbs. As the track surface has been laid only very recently it’s going to evolve over the weekend – I expect this to be one of the major talking points of the weekend and we’ll look to get as much information on Friday.
I expect we’d run a medium level of downforce on the circuit but a lot will depend on the bumps and the track surface. If there is a lot of grip then we could even run a lower level but we’ll see when we get there. It just means practice will be busier than usual as this is the kind of information you can only get when you drive the cars on the track.
Both race drivers will be in action in all practice sessions to give them maximum preparation time on the new circuit. Reserve driver Paul di Resta will not be driving this weekend.
Team principal Vijay Mallya described some of the new parts being brought for the car as the team work to hold on to sixth place in the constructors’ championship with Williams just two points behind:
Of course we were disappointed by the Japanese event: we didn’t make the most of qualifying and we had a double retirement in the race. We’ve got some work to do to maintain our advantage in the constructors’ championship but I am confident in our own reserves, our drivers and ability to maintain it until the finish.
To this end we’ve put a lot of effort into the Korean Grand Prix. We’ve got some changes to the front wing and a small mechanical update that we didn’t use in Suzuka because of the weather.
We are also looking at introducing some new aero tweaks to strengthen performance, but of course we want to make sure any effort is targeted and will give a genuine improvement.
Mallya, who is also chairman of the Federation of Motor Sport Clubs of India, said he was looking forward to the latest Asian addition to the F1 calendar:
It’s going to be a very interesting event for us as a team. It’s a new track, a new country that very few people on the team have been to before so it will be a big challenge for us to address. We’ve tried to gather us much information on both the facility and the area in advance to make it as smooth as possible.
Both drivers have been in the simulator to learn the layout and the team will fly out earlier than usual to get used to the area, the track and of course the jet lag – we realise it’s a very hard time of year for everyone.
For myself I’m very excited about the prospect of another race in Asia, and particularly a race in this market.
There is a large amount of industry and potential worldwide business to come from an Asian tiger such as South Korea, which has the fourth largest economy in Asia and the second largest metropolitan city in the world in Seoul. It’s got a lot to offer Formula 1 and I hope we can, in turn, bring a lot to the region as well.
2010 Korean Grand Prix
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