Robert Kubica has been scouring Youtube for videos of the new Korean International Circuit but admits there’s nothing like driving a track for the first time to learn a circuit properly:
I have seen the videos on You Tube and collected as much information as I can with the team. I will do some virtual laps to learn the layout before we walk the track with the engineers on Thursday. To be honest, though, the first installation lap gives you more information than most of the preparation you can do.
The level of grip at the track is a talking point ahead of the race due to the late laying of the tarmac. Kubica says it makes this weekend’s race difficult to predict:
The track looks pretty interesting. There?óÔé¼Ôäós a bit of everything: long corners, high-speed and low-speed sections, and the final sector seems quite challenging.
A lot will depend on the level of grip that the asphalt has. If the grip is high, then some of the corners will be easy flat; if it?óÔé¼Ôäós low, they will be a big challenge. We have seen already this year, at races like Hockenheim and Canada, that the grip varies a lot with new tarmac. And that makes it very difficult to predict what will happen this weekend in Korea, and how competitive we can be relative to our rivals.
He added he’d been encouraged by his car’s pace in Suzuka despite his early retirement from second place.:
I was positively surprised with our level of performance. I was hoping that we would be more competitive than in Singapore, because Suzuka is a circuit more like Spa, but I didn?óÔé¼Ôäót expect to be as quick as we were. It was a big effort in qualifying, and I was surprised to be so far up the grid, but ultimately it didn?óÔé¼Ôäót pay off. But that?óÔé¼Ôäós how racing is: problems can happen, and I haven?óÔé¼Ôäót thought about it since.
Chief race engineer Alan Permane said the cars will run a similar set-up to that used at Suzuka this weekend:
The downforce needed will be on the high side and we plan to run with the same wing package we used in Suzuka.
There are a couple of high-speed corners, such as turns seven and eight, which remind me of turns five and six at Sepang. They involve a quick change of direction and we expect turn seven will be flat, while turn eight will be almost flat.
It will also be important to maximise the F-duct for the long straights because there are a couple of good overtaking opportunities into turns one and three.
He identified the final sequence of slow corners as being particularly important for a quick lap time:
For these corners you need a nimble car with a good turn-in and good traction. It?óÔé¼Ôäós important the car works well in these sorts of corner because it?óÔé¼Ôäós where the most significant lap time gains can be found.
2010 Korean Grand Prix
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