I’m a big fan of Formula 1 on South Korea. I know there’re many concerns about Korean Grand Prix, and so do I. I bought Gold grand stand ticket which is the most expensive position costs almost 1 million KRW(nearly 900 USD or 650 Euros, 560GBP)! To buy the ticket, I did two part time jobs during this summer vacation. Now I booked the ticket, reserved train tickets and a motel room near the track. Please understand I’m so nervous about cancellation as much as you.
2 years ago when I was still a soldier in duty, F1.06 of BMW Sauber and Quick Nick visited South Korea and did demo run. I applied a vacation for watching. I did never knew just 1 year later BMW will withdraw, and Nick will become reserve driver of Mercedes. I was happy to hear that he would return to F1 as Sauber driver.
Anyway, I heard that there would be a demo run 3rd October in Seoul, the capital of South Korea. This time is Renault. First time, It was known that it would be driven by Ho-Pin Tung the reserve driver of Renault F1, but later Jérôme d’Ambrosio was choosen. I think he did practice session at Singapore GP, right?
Because the event set to be held in Seoul and I live in Suwon, I have to hurry. Originally, the event starts at 2:00 PM, but there’s some opening ceremony and demo run by Renault-Samsung(the Korean branch of Renault-Nissan group) stock car. Although I was late almost 30min, but main of the event was about to start. I was not late actually. There were so many people around demo section, I believe most of them don’t know F1 or motorsports well, but they’re interested in what they’ve never saw or heard. I’m sure this kind of event would help Koreans to understand F1.
After the opening session, there was a demo of Renault-Samsung SM3 stock car. I don’t know GT well, so there’s few things to tell you. then Formula Renault 2.0 out. It was driven by Korean junior driver Jong-Gyun Kim who is a friend of my friend. My friend called him during parade before run, and he looked us and answerd as smile. I’ve never known there’s a Korean junior driver in Formula Renault, because motorsports is not popular in South Korea.(and not at all in North Korea :-D) Infrastructure and mind is very poor, so it’s unbelievably hard to enter motorsports in Korea. My friend told me his father was also race driver. it would GT driver I guess.
I saw F1 2 years ago, but I’ve never saw Formula Renault car. It’s not as big as F1, and not powerful and noisy, but Its elegant shape impressed me. I’m a kind of person who don’t like F1 car after 2009, Formula Renault car looks more similar to before 2009. It’s not fast as F1 but much more than GT car. the most impressive thing is its painting. the car was not painted at all except some of sponsor mark such as Renault or Elf, etc…I saw naked carbon-made formula car many times in picture and display, but not running actually.
After Formula Renault demo, it was time to piece de resistance, the 2009 Renault R29. they prepared 2 cars, but only one was driven. one of them is spair. I positioned wrong place to watch. The event was held around one straight closed public road and I was at the side of Kwangwhamoon. The opposite is Seoul city square and a garage was there, VIP stands was there, there, there, there…but there’s no choice because so many people were around there. I tried to break through crowd but failed. If I had been there, I could barely saw R29. Not perfect location but instead I could see much closer and snap some pictures, recored some videos.
R29 was impressive. although it seems d’Ambrosio made a mistake, but he has reverse gear so he could escape from wrong position. even Fernando Alonso, my most favorite driver, made a mistake of changing gears in Singapore, right? Anyway it was not a serious problem. He ran high speed in straight and made some doughnuts this end and the opposite. I regreted again because doughnuts and smoke of tyres were more extreme at the opposite end.
However it’s more exciting than 2 years ago. I heard there was Korean national anthem performance by engine sound but it was held at the opposite end. It’s really shame not to hear the famous Renault style instrument. the GP is close and much more people are interested in F1 than 2008. South Korea is one of major car manufacturing state. I don’t think Hyundai or Kia would enter F1 within 10 years, but who knows? I believe South Korea has potential for motorsport. even Bernie said that is why he choose South Korea although it could be pretense for money. We just need more time and experience.
FIA inspecters will come to South Korea 11th October directly after Japanese GP. They will make the decision as to whether the GP will go or not. It’s shame there are so many delay in construction but I believe the track will be ready for the race. I hope there’s many spectacles between title contenders.
ps.I’m sorry for my poor english. youu should find numberless grammar error!
here’s google map coordinate of the event.
Formula Renault 2.0 run I recorded.
Renault R29 run(again, sorry for poor editing skill)
here are some of pictures. I’m sorry for absence of english descriptions.