Formula One moves from Japan to Korea this week to complete the first of the three sets of double-header races scheduled before the end of the 2012 season. Round16, the Korean Grand Prix, will be held for the third time on Sunday 14 October at the Korean International Circuit in Yeongam.
Twelve of the circuit’s 18 corners are taken at speeds of 200 kph or below, including six slower than 100 kph
In addition to the many slow and medium-speed corners, the cars also exceed 280 kph four times every lap
Last year’s race featured a total of 29 overtaking moves, just two more than last year’s race in Valencia
Korea is one of the more recent additions to the Formula One calendar, and that’s still reflected in the fact that we don’t get too many fans at the race. It’s a pity, because the circuit layout makes for good racing, but I think the situation is improving each year. It’s a very challenging track and well designed, which lots of the drivers enjoy. The basic characteristics should be more favourable for us than in Japan, so we’re heading to Korea in a positive mood.
It’s good that we have a back-to-back race this weekend, so I have the chance of a better result within seven days. I think the recent updates on our car will be better suited to this circuit, so I hope we can make a step forward performance-wise. I enjoy the circuit a lot and I am excited to get to Korea after following the new Gangnam craze on the internet in the last few months. When I have some time away from the car and engineering meetings, I’m definitely looking forward to his performance this weekend.
After the race in Japan on Sunday, the team headed straight to Korea to begin our preparations for the back-to-back weekend. Although we had a challenging time at Suzuka, we were able to learn quite a lot about the car and its performance which has provided some good data to look through this week before the next race gets underway. The track at the Korean International Circuit is an interesting one, with a much slower layout than many of the tracks that we visit. The sport is still very new in Korea but we hope to see the interest continue to grow this year.
Looking to this weekend in Korea, the circuit has a very different character to Suzuka – the Yeongam circuit features many more slow corners, with six of them taken below 100 kph, which is particularly slow for a Formula One car. The Suzuka weekend showed that, at such a challenging circuit, there are several different teams within a few tenths of a second in terms of race performance. Our task in Korea is to ensure we return to a level that will allow us to achieve better starting positions than in Suzuka, so that we can target better results in the race.