The new Korean International Circuit turn-by-turn in pictures

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Start/finish line: Alonso cycles the Korean International Circuit

The teams have been walking the Korean International Circuit ahead of the first official action at the track in two days’ time.

The pictures below show what each corner of the new track has in store for the drivers and how the circuit looks just days before the race weekend begins.

Interestingly, the pictures appear to show the pit lane exit leads straight out onto turn one, not around the first corner up to turn two as earlier versions of the design indicated.

There is no pit lane exit line at the moment but it might not have been painted on yet. Circuit workers were painting the grid hatchings on the track earlier today.

Fernando Alonso said he liked the look of the track and expects a “spectacular race”:

I have to say the first impressions are positive. First off, there are no big surprises as what we saw on the simulator over the past weeks and the reality of it have a lot in common. It seems to be a very interesting circuit, which should be fun to drive, especially the final sector.

What track is it similar to? It?s a mix of various ones. The first sector reminds me a lot of Bahrain: long straights with heavy braking that lead into 180 degree turns. The second is similar to Turkey, especially Turn 11 which makes you think of Turn 8 in Istanbul, while the final one is similar to the third sector in Abu Dhabi.

When you arrive at a new circuit, you are even keener than usual to get on with the driving, so the two days that still separate us from the time to do the first lap on Friday morning will seem very long.

I think we could be in for a spectacular race: there are at least a couple of places were overtaking seems possible, especially under braking for Turn 3 which comes at the end of a straight that is over a kilometre in length. There should be plenty of action there on the opening lap of the race, more than we will see at the start.
Fernando Alonso

Korea International Circuit, 2010 Korean Grand Prix
Korea International Circuit, 2010 Korean Grand Prix

2010 Korean Grand Prix

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Image ?? Lotus F1, Ferrari spa

49 comments on “The new Korean International Circuit turn-by-turn in pictures”

  1. Nice! The last picture says “Paddock: Alonso”, but it’s Massa though :)

    1. Yeah, its definitely Massa. The long face seems to suggest that he has just let Alonso overtake on his pushbike :)

    2. Changed, thanks.

      1. @ Keith

        Those ‘Allianz’ maps of tracks – where do you find them? Noticed you’ve got them from Germany to Korea only. Where can I find the Monaco, Silverstone, etc?


      2. @ Keith

        Those ‘Allianz’ maps of tracks – where do you find them? Noticed you’ve got them from Germany to Korea only

    3. You can tell because Ferrari have given him a bike instead of a car.

      1. Actually, a lot of drivers prefer to use bikes instead of cars. Not sure why.

        1. I’d guess probably cars are not allowed on track?

          1. secretely laying in some rubber….

          2. Well, it dates back to the days of Michael Schumacher’s debut. His car had a mechanical fault and he’d never driven the circuit before. So he said something along the lines of “Never mind, I’ll just go out on my bike”, pulled a collapsible bicycle from the boot of his car, saddled up and learnt the track that way. I’m guessing the popularity of using a bicycle has something to do with getting a feel for the circuit through something, if that makes sense. Drivers and teams typically do a walk-around to check things out, but if they’re on a bike, I’d say they can get a better feel for the actual surface and any bumps.

          3. I suppose on the bycicle they can get a better feel for the track, as there is no dampers interfering and they can easily turn and go through a corner again if they want.

  2. I suspect the pit exit was changed because there wasn’t time to loop around the first corners. It’s going to be … interesting, to say the least. I seriously doubt there will be any accidents as a result of it, because the drivers are smart enough to avoid it.

    1. I am not as worried about the pit exit as I am for the entry… The final corner is completely blind, and if it is anything like on the ‘F1 2010’ game, full throttle too. I can’t imagine it will be worse than the original Singapore pit entry, but it looks like a tricky one at best.

      1. Drivers looking to pit will be going down the inside of turn 17 so as to line up for the pit entry. Drivers who are on the racing line with be on the outside so that they can take the turn 18 kink flat-out. Those who are pitting will be travelling a little slower, because the radius of the inside line is tighter. I don’t think it will be too much of a hassle because drivers won’t be passing each other through 17 – they’ll simply be using the corner to get close to the guy in front so that they can have a got down into turn 1.

        1. […]they’ll simply be using the corner to get close to the guy in front so that they can have a got down into turn 1.

          Exactly, so if they are nose-to-tail and someone decides to slow down, pull to the right and pit, there could be trouble. I doubt it should trouble them too much, but if they had used the start of turn 17 as the pit entry; perhaps the pit lane hugging the wall that is on the inside of the long turn 17 in front of the proposed harbour, it would have been a lot better.

    2. FIA and’s circuit diagrams have always had the pit lane exit feeding into Turn 1. The design was changed ages ago.

    3. But it will make the pits a lot shorter, so a bit more tight with the pitstops.

  3. I really hope they get more ‘stuff’ in by 2011, as most of the corners in these pictures aren’t very characterful. Even if there was just some colourful paint added to the walls in the tighter areas, anything to make it a bit more interesting!

    1. What has the sport become?

      Where we used to beg for grass, We now just beg for green paint!

  4. i think the option tyre wont even last 10 laps. Could be fun! :)

    1. Yeah, we said the same thing about the option in Monza … then Vettel did his thing and went 52 laps on them.

      1. Well, Monza has to be the least demanding tyre track all year. The hards took 4 laps to warm up.

  5. Well, I am pretty pleased with this. Considering it was only just passed at the 11th hour and they are still working on it, it looks rather a lot better than I had even hoped for. It is good to see a bit of grass too, so drivers can’t get away with as many mistakes. And the grass makes the track look heaps better too! :P

    1. The grid markings were being painted on today.
      Does the pit lane look smaller than normal,or is it just an allusion of the camera angle.

    2. Yeah, I’m amazed that they’ve gotten the grass to grow as much as they have in such a short time. The grass and the painted curbs went a long ways to making it look more like a race track. They clearly still have a lot of work however.

    3. I’ll tell you what. I’m glad this race is going ahead because it would throw a major spanner in the works of this champioship if it didn’t.

      As a wise man once said, on here I think actually, as long as there is tarmac and some crash barriers and the safety stuff then we’ll be good to go. The gimmicky buildings and all the flashy lights aren’t necessary. Let’s race!

  6. I’m afraid of it….

  7. HounslowBusGarage
    20th October 2010, 13:29

    Those walls from turn 13 to 17 look a bit unforgiving.
    I was also looking at photos of the pit exit on another site, obviously they haven’t painted the blend line on the track yet and I wondered if it would go all the way round turn 2 to keep the slower cars off the apex.

    1. That part of the track is actually pretty interesting looking with the close walls and the trees. Hopefully they leave the trees.

  8. I know everyone is making insightful comments about the track but I’d just like to say thank you for getting a snap of Rob and Felipe!

    1. I love that picture too! Best driver-engineer combination ever? Possibly. Actually, most definitely. :)

      1. I think so. They’re quite a double act and have provided some hilarious and quite touching radio moments.

  9. Nice work Keith hope the tarmac that looks beautiful hold on until Sunday’s checkered flag.

    1. looks as good as in the f1 2010 game

      turning into that first corner may result in some “backmarker” carnage… like the in game :D

  10. Quick bends after 7 looks great.
    I wonder why there is a tight right just in the middle. What I most hate of tilkodromes is some tight bends. For examples there are really many at Sakhir, and I don’t like them. Hardly breaking for a jump on a kerb, and than accelerate again…don’t make too much sense to me.

    1. Those tiny taps of the brakes are very difficult to get right, like the entrance to Suzuka’s Degner 1 – it helps a good driver make a move.

      1. Degner 1 is quick, 9 (or 10) Yeongam curve seems very slow.
        Tilke puts a lot of tight and slow bends in the middle of a flowing section (another example is that tight right corner after quick downhill esses at Sakhir), I don’t understand why.

        1. It’s 10 actually.

  11. I think the tight right at Turn 10 is to slow down the last part of the National Permanent track which appears to be quite quick and flows well after the sharp 180 at Turn 4.

    The circuit has been dumping heaps of water on hte grass to get it to grow which has created some muddy sections (but is expected to dry out before Sunday).

    The cool thing is that I think I was just inside the garages in the support pits when Massa rode by.

    1. Nice one, so you were there in the background!

      Thanks again for posting the updates.

  12. “Fernando Alonso said he liked the look of the track and expects a “spectacular race””

    I’m not sure what the point is in posting these sound bites. What’s he going to say – ‘Oh, Christ, not another one of these. Swear to God, I’ve seen more variation at NASCAR ovals; if I win this, the only animal I’ll be imitating is the jackass, because that’s what the person who approved this circuit is’?

    By way of comparison, imagine turn-by-turn at Spa. Now look at this again. How did this sport fall so far and so fast? Wait, I think I know the answer…

    1. Drivers always look forward to new circuits. It’s because they’re going into the unknown. They might have learned the circuit from the team simulators or video games (which are actually pretty popular with drivers … if I were a driver, I wouldn’t be gaming so much as playing my guitar a lot), but there is only so much those simulations can teach. They look forward to these races because they are looking out for the hidden secrets of the circuit, trying to unlock its underlying potential. Whoever learns the circuit fastest will be the fastest, and because it’s a new race, everyone is on a level playing field.

      By way of comparison, imagine turn-by-turn at Spa. Now look at this again. How did this sport fall so far and so fast?

      You do realise that circuits like Korea are built on the piece of and that has been set aside for them, right?

      I actually suspect that Korea will be secretly popular with the drivers because it has no rhythm. Circuits like Suzuka and Silverstone have flow. Even stop-start circuits like Abu Dhabi have a certain rhythm to them. But Korea is simply so varied – no two corners are alike, none of the approaches are the same length, and every corner influences the one before it and after it so that it has a negative/em> rhythm to it; just as you start to build up momentum, it gets lost and a different kind of momentum is built up. And I think that’s going to make it challenging to drive.

  13. Great pics Keith.

    You are always the speediest way to see something about F1!

  14. Is it me or is the front of that Ferrari in the last picture flexing beyond the specified legal limits? ;o)

  15. The track doesn’t look too bad. It is probably most similar to Sepang of all the tracks.

    I just wish they did something better than the Mickey Mouse section of Turn 4/5/6.

  16. I worry about that pit-lane entry. Cars must slow/refrain from accelerating whilst still on the racing line. We’re going to get a few complaints, methinks. Also, those tight corners are really going to make traffic unpopular.

  17. you know what, above anything else I think the guys in Korea deserve a hell of a lot of credit for getting this trackin what looks to be a raceable condition – especially given what it looked like 6 or so weeks ago. I’m really looking forward to this race now!

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