@keithcollantine – I think Korea is secretly brilliant, to be honest. Each of the three sectors is very distinct in what it demands of the car; the first sector is all long straights and tight corners, while the second sector is fast and flowing and is a real driver’s section, and the third sector is tight and technical and demands a precise set-up. I think Tilke designed it to try and bait the teams and drivers into focusing on their two strongest sectors and leaving the third one be, and we saw this in effect in qualifying last year when cars were setting similar lap times, but were setting vastly different sector times. The effect was muted given that 2011 was The Sebastian Vettel Show, but with this year’s Pirellis in play and the ban on off-throttle blown diffusers (I’m expecting the FIA to amend the regulations ahead of Hungary in light of Red Bull’s slipperiness in Germany), it could be a diamond in the rough. If the regulations can make Valencia interesting, they can certainly do it for Korea.
Ignoring for the moment the restrictive regulations and the limited space on offer, I think Tilke’s biggest problem is that he tries to break circuit design down into a mathematical equation – that a long straight plus a heavy braking zone will equal overtaking. And it probably does work; we saw plenty of moves going into the hairpin at Hockenheim. But it tends to create a clinical, soulless and ultimately joyless circuit. The best circuits always followed the lay of the land, and had a more holisitic approach than Tilke’s mathematical one. It’s the only explanation I can think of for Spa and Silverstone being equally good, despite being polar opposites in terms of elevation, which the fans often hold up as the critical factor in circuit design.