2011 Korean Grand Prix discussion

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This area is for people who are attending or planning to attend the 2011 Korean Grand Prix at Jeonnam.

Use the comments below to share your thoughts on the race, where on the track you intend to watch from, how you’ll get to the track and more.

Been to the Korean International Circuit before? Tell us about it here: Korean International Circuit ?ǣ spectators? experiences

2011 Korean Grand Prix

Taken any pictures or video at the race?

If you’ve got any pictures or video from the race weekend you can share them with F1 Fanatic by uploading them to our drop.io, or you can arrange to email them in. Contributions are always welcome.

94 comments on 2011 Korean Grand Prix discussion

  1. Chris Yu Rhee said on 5th January 2011, 6:12

    Let’s hope that this year’s race goes off more smoothly. I will be visiting the track sometime in spring, so I’ll post a full report then. Right now it’s probably covered in snow like the rest of Korea!
    Hint-get hotel reservations early!!!!

    • Chris Yu Rhee said on 9th August 2011, 10:45

      We couldn’t get on the track during our vacation last week down south, so no info on the track’s condition…

  2. Booked my hotel today, best I could really do was Gwangju so a bit of a commute to the race for me.

    Annoyingly I have a suspicion that tickets will only go on sale to non-Koreans after the end of the month when prices go back to normal ¬_¬

  3. Darren said on 28th April 2011, 1:30

    Does anyone know what the support events are this year? I have seen a program with 3 support categories. I have heard from a driver in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia that they have a race 2 hours before the GP.
    Who needs to buy tickets, become a volunteer motor sport official and you get even closer to the action!

  4. Kelly said on 28th April 2011, 6:49

    Hey!

    You can book tickets on the official F1 website and there’s 18% discount up until the end of the month to buy tickets.

    My question though is this: is there a camp site by the track? or how far away is it and how can we book it?

    My friend and I were going to drive down and camp as it seems accommodation is not easy to get.

    Any help would be great.
    Cheers
    Kelly

  5. I got my ticket via Interpark too, via grandstand ‘R’.. Doesn’t really specify more than Block 12, Row 1. 24 – All I know is when I selected my seat on the picker it wasn’t far from the start/finish line in the upper stand. :)

    As far as I know, Stand B is just after the first 2 turns (well a long hairpin), so we shouldn’t be far from each other.

    I’m just hoping Interpark aren’t dodgy! :)

    • Kelly said on 29th April 2011, 5:28

      Hey Alan,

      I’ve ordered things from Interpark and have had no problem with them so also plan to book with them as the tickets are cheaper than on the official F1 website.

      I’m currently trying to choose which ticket to buy and which spot to go with :)

    • drmikki said on 6th May 2011, 14:22

      Interpark are one of (I think) about 3 suppliers listed on the official website, so I don’t think they are dodgy!

  6. Hi, i’ve booked my ticket through Interpark too! Booked Grandstand A, section 2 row 21. Will be staying at Holiday Inn Gwangju! As for the circuit transfer, I’m asking the hotel if they have shuttle services to the circuit.

  7. James Butler said on 22nd June 2011, 4:30

    Yeah, Interpark are fine, i have my tickets in hand now even!

    Is there anywhere to camp near the circuit?

    • How did you get your tickets already? All I got was an e-ticket that tells me to collect the tickets from the venue – which is why I felt a bit awkward as the e-ticket isn’t specific about where at the venue or what times tickets can be picked up.

      • drmikki said on 22nd June 2011, 10:15

        I think it depends which ticket collection option you chose – I chose the “pick up at gate” as less chance of problems (I hope!!) but others may have paid the courier costs for tickets.

        • Ah yes, forgot about that. I’m going to contact them for hopefully more info regarding the pick up. So I’ll let you know what I find out.

    • Chris Yu Rhee said on 11th July 2011, 7:07

      Re camping;
      We camp quite often in Korea, but have not seen anything YET in the Korean media about camping for the race.

      There are a couple recent articles about the race in the English dailies here, but they are more “puff pieces” than real information…

      here are the links:

      Korea Herald
      http://www.koreaherald.com/sports/Detail.jsp?newsMLId=20110710000280

      JoongAng Daily
      http://joongangdaily.joins.com/article/view.asp?aid=2938676
      (the Korean version of this one is drastically different than the English. Hmmmm…)

      As I see info on camping I’ll share it on this thread. A Min-bak is as low as I’d go-no love motels for me!

      BTW-Interpark is definitely legit. They are a huge company, and will be my choice for tix, because I (hopefully) will be staying in my tent or in my trailer.
      Waegook is good too, especially if you want a no-hassle package deal. He’s been here for a loooong time.

  8. There’s a kind of English traffic/accomodation site available here http://f1lod.koreangp.kr/en/

    It has bus times/routes for the free shuttle buses. I’m happy as it looks like it isn’t inconceivable to come from Gwanju (albeit with a 1.5 hour commute each way).

  9. Chris Yu Rhee said on 9th August 2011, 6:23

    Well, the land of “the not quite right” strikes again! The ONLY channel (ESPN Star Sports) in Korea that broadcasts F1 races in English just disappeared from the local satellite providers without warning…
    You would think since they spent about $300 million on a track and $20+ million a year to host the event that they would have a channel that shows the ENTIRE F1 season… The Korean channels will only show the Korean race. Sigh.

    • Chris Yu Rhee said on 9th August 2011, 10:43

      I just verified (with the company that USED TO BE Star Sports in Korea) that the Korean broadcasters probably won’t even show the race live…
      And my friends that were at last years race said that the stands they were in were scary. Remember KAVO’s comment about stands not being ready for last year’s race?
      Sad.
      It looks like this track is going to become another white elephant for Korea.

  10. Olivia Liu said on 16th August 2011, 9:01

    Hey guys! Anyone knows how to find a hotel/motel @ Mokpo, which could be booked online?
    After surfing the Internet in the last couple of days , couldnt find one with an EMAIL address or a BOOKING buttom, ONLY bunch of phone numbers!

    Me & my friends’re planing to travel to the circuit for this year’s race, but got stuck at solving the accommodation problem of mokpo….
    Since we really dont wanna stay at Gwuangju for the F1 weekend, given the transit time being too long from Gwuangju to the circuit & there’s a bullet train, TKX, which could take us directly from Seoul to Mokpo, so trying to go from Gwuangju isnt really a good choice for us….

    I saw people posting replys said they stayed at Mokpo last year for the race, anyone has any advise or clue??

    REALLY APPRECIATED if someone could lend a hand by sharing some useful information regarding the accommodation at MOKPO~

    • F.L. Shanghai said on 16th August 2011, 18:31

      Hi Olivia, booking a Motel in Mokpo online is almost impossible. Even trying by phone is very hard as most of motel owners do not speak English. You need to be helped by someone who can speak Korean or to book through these F1 travel agencies (very costly). I am working for the F1 Event and my company already booked a good quality motel in Mokpo where we were already staying last year and which we book with the help of our local assistant.

      • Olivia Liu said on 31st August 2011, 6:57

        Hi F.L.Shanghai,
        I coulnd’ help but notice that ur ID contains Shanghai, and me & my friends are from SHANGHAI!
        What u said there is what i was worring.
        We dont have any local contact,and through i can speak good English so as my friends, but this isn’t gonna work either and we’re ONLY a month and a half away from our planed departure day….
        Is there a tiny little chance that u could help us? say maybe let us know ur local assistant so that we might reach out to him/her ourselves, or give us anything feasible/doable, since u said u r organizing F1 events and at least went to Mokpo last year.
        i know it’s a lot to ask by a completely stranger, but if u would like to take the trouble, we’d REALLY be APPRECIATED!!!!!

      • Olivia Liu said on 31st August 2011, 7:02

        Hi F.l.Shanghai, if u decide to give us any tips or advices, pls email me via yan88112@gmail.com! i’m all ears!
        Thanks a lot~

  11. Hey does anybody know how difficult it is to book a love motel on the spot in mokpo on the race weekend. I speak enough HANGUL to book a room but don’t know about availability if I just walk in that Friday.

    • Chris Yu Rhee said on 8th September 2011, 7:20

      If you try to book something walk-in, you’ll be lucky to get anything under $300 US a night-if you can find something.

      There is a link for accommodations on the Korean F1 website:
      http://www.koreangp.kr/html/main.jsp

      A description of the accommodations;
      http://www.koreangp.kr/html/en/information/accommodation_info.jsp

      With this one you can search for rooms;
      http://f1lod.koreangp.kr/en/

      Still nothing on camping that I’ve seen or heard in Korean(or English – I live here).

      There is a lot of print advertising now, though, mostly in magazines and sports newspapers.

      You’d think after last year’s debacle they would have things a little better covered in languages other than Korean… sigh

      • James Butler said on 10th October 2011, 8:20

        I booked one on Saturday in Mokpo (7 days before the race weekend) for both Friday and Saturday for only $45 a night. Still plenty out there!

  12. Iumi Gervasio said on 14th September 2011, 13:49

    Hi!

    Anyone here interested in buying 2 Main Grandstand Korean Grand Prix tickets. We had conflict in our schedule and will not be able to attend the race.

    Please contact me @ iumibenjamine@yahoo.com. (Price is negotiable)

    Thanks!

  13. Chris Yu Rhee (@chris-yu-rhee) said on 16th September 2011, 15:04

    Well, I finally found a ‘mention’ about camping for the race-nothing more.

    A “cleaned-up” (as best I could) Google translation of the Korean that the JoongAng article, “No more nasty surprises for Korean F-1 GP”, was based on;

    http://koreajoongangdaily.joinsmsn.com/news/article/html/513/2941513.html?cloc=joongangdaily|home|newslist2

    Hangul news articles [Daily News]

    F1 Grand Prix of Korea D-30, better prepared?

    Formula One (F1) Grand Prix of Korea is coming in the next 30 days.

    2011 Grand Prix season, the 16th tournament, Korea, Jeollanam-do, 14 to 16 October will be held at the Yeongam KIC (Korea International Circuit) The 14th will be practice runs twice, on the 15th will be qualifying, and on the the 16th the main race will be held at 3:00 pm.

    The racetrack is expected, in terms of appearance seems to be better, and the operation(management?) will be the best, second only to the fun and the competition of last year’s race. Last year until just before the time to receive inspection, were they able to build proper facilities at the stadium. There were serious parking, accommodation, and transportation problems.

    F1 organizing committee revisited the experiences of the previous year and has established policies for operational improvements. Simplified entry procedures, and operations has made measures to expect the unexpected. In particular, facilities at the Paddock Club, etc., were heavily bolstered (improved?). Jeollanam-do has placed advertisements and is building a new hall(what?).

    Mia rental of goods and shelter, bank ATM machines, and general medical clinics, medical centers also have been installed. At the parking lot, the capacity has been improveded to 23,000 spaces to speed up the parking and the traffic.. Many corporations are helping to clean up the appearance of the region outside the circuit.

    Accommodations last year were a problem. The maximum occupancy for one day over 69,000 accommodation requirements (rooms) is expected to be secured by over 120%. Hotel F1, F1, and F1-only dining facilities are open at 256 places: Hanok hotels, Hanok stays, homestay, temple stay, it is also possible to use the camping village. At tourism hotels the number of luxury rooms has been increased to more than 700 rooms*. The website is in four languages (http://f1lod.koreangp.kr) with accommodation and traffic information is operatioinal on the internet site..

    Traffic problems were also improved. West Coast Highway and Mokpo-Gwangyang Expressway Route Alternate Route 2 will connect to the bypass road (bamboo JC ~ Western IC), also 49 local line (Yeongam IC ~ P3 parking lot), this temporary access road opening dwaeteumyeo Sandan Buddha was fully opened, so getting to the Speedway is possible without going through the crowded city of Mokpo.

    Car parking in connection with the use of transfer by Shuttle is promoted as a convenience. The shuttle Speedway – Parking, Speedway – section 650 pay station Mokpo city is Gangnam Express Bus Terminal, and high-speed bus that connects the track in 15, the 16th races is open for two days and the KTX jeungpyeon Part 5, F1 event will operate additional trains. Also Part 3.Sf-Muan Airport has established additional aircraft for the two days of the event.

    K-POP connections on the 15th day before the concert will be held. SNSD and Super Junior Idol star as part of a range of F1, this concert has free admission. When you buy F1 tickets, Jeollanam-do, Gwangju area, including discount, or you can watch for free.

    Bakjunyoung F1 organizing committee of the “successful completed all the preparations for the tournament. Daegu International Athletics tournament by the end of the last remaining international sport now THX-send F1 Grand Prix expect a lot of encouragement,” he said.

    *All of these “luxury” rooms were sold out months ago…

    The article, as published in English, by the JoongAng Daily;

    “With the second Formula 1 Korean Grand Prix only one month away, organizers said yesterday they have learned from their mistakes last year and are prepared to stage a better-managed race.

    The F1 race will take place from Oct. 14 to 16 in Yeongam, a county some 400 kilometers south of Seoul in South Jeolla. The first day will include two practice runs, followed by the qualifying run the next day. The final race is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Oct. 16.

    A series of hiccups last year eventually led to the dismissal of the top organizer in January.

    The racing track in Yeongam was only completed two weeks prior to last year’s event and approved by the International Automobile Federation (FIA) just 10 days before the race.

    Korea Auto Valley Operation (KAVO), the local organizer of the race, also came under fire for inadequate marketing and race operations.

    Organizers gave away thousands of free tickets and offered a 50-percent discount on others to help fill seats. But they could not finish building the seating areas – other than the grandstands – on time and the safety of the temporary seating was called into question.

    The situation prompted the Board of Audit and Inspection to launch a probe into KAVO in November. The company responded by dismissing Chung Young-cho as its chief executive in January, citing lax management.

    Yesterday, organizers admitted they had little time to build proper facilities and to address transportation and accommodation problems, but vowed that things would nonetheless be different this year.

    “Learning from last year, F1 organizers set out innovative ways of improving our management,” the organizing committee said in a statement.

    “In terms of customer service, we expect this year’s F1 race to be much more satisfactory.”

    Organizers said they have bolstered facilities for fans, such as first-aid centers and ATMs, and have opened more accessible entry gates from nearby highways into the circuit’s parking lot.

    They said there will also be more rooms available for visiting fans and media. Tourists can stay at designated hotels, and may also sign up for temple stay programs in nearby Buddhist temples, organizers added.

    A Web site providing information on accommodation – in Korean, English, Chinese and Japanese – is up and running at f1lod.koreangp.kr.

    South Jeolla governor Park Joon-young, who doubles as the head of the organizing committee, said his team is expecting a successful event.

    “With the World Championships in Athletics already finished in Daegu, the F1 Grand Prix is the last major international sporting event left this year [in Korea],” Park said.

    “Ticket holders for the race can enter other tourist attractions in our province for free, and I hope to see a lot of you in South Jeolla this October.”

    Formula 1, the world’s most prestigious open-wheel circuit racing, attracts millions of fans and television viewers worldwide.

    Of the 19 races this year, six remain, including three after the Korean GP in India, Abu Dhabi and Brazil – ultimately wrapping up at the end of November.

    The Korean GP is under a seven-year deal with F1 plus a five-year option.

    Fernando Alonso won the Korean grand prix last year but Sebastian Vettel of Germany was the overall winner, becoming the youngest champion ever.

    He leads this year’s standings with eight wins from 13 races.”

    They sure left out a lot of relevant info that was in the Korean version, didn’t they?

    The road situation has improved dramatically so it will be better, but still expect a traffic jam…

    If I find ANYTHING about camping, I’ll post it as soon as I can…

  14. Was anyone there there last year and are able to advise where are good viewing spots. I’m going this year but are yet to buy tickets, not sure which grandstand to go for as obviously I have never been before.
    Also I’m heading to Korea the monday before the race and are staying with my friend in Seoul for a couple of weeks, however, I want to go South and stay closer to the circuit for the race weekend. Does anyone know how I can find accommodation? That official link that people have posted doesn’t seem to be working.

  15. victoryyyyyyy said on 25th September 2011, 9:55

    I’m planning on going to the race this year and was wondering what the motel situation was like.

    I don’t need anything fancy. I will just be staying on Sunday night and leaving Monday morning so a love motel will be fine. Would it be safe to assume that I could just come into Yeongam and Sunday and find a room? I’m hoping that most people won’t want to stay here.

    Thank you!