With the brand new circuit in Yeongam finally completed, the Korean Grand Prix will go ahead this weekend, with Mark Webber currently leading the Drivers’ World Championship, fourteen points ahead of Fernando Alonso. As the 2010 season draws closer to the end, the Grand Prix in South Korea is set to be an enthralling contest.
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The Korean International Circuit includes eighteen turns within a 3.492 mile stretch. The circuit was described as “satisfactory” by FIA technical delegate Charlie Whiting, just twelve days before the race is scheduled to begin. Many racers are worried about the final layer of the track surface, which has only recently been put down, which could mean that oil could still be seeping through it this weekend.
The building of another new and expensive racing circuit in a country which is not really interested in it has resulted in surprisingly few strike threats from teams and drivers, who have been united in their backing of the FIA.
The race itself could benefit Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button of McLaren, as the team think that it will thrive in the first sector where Red Bull fears it could regret its relative lack of straightline speed, leaving it to make up ground in the aero-rewarding middle of the track.
Former Hispania driver Karun Chandhok demonstrated a Red Bull car on the track in September, explaining that the infrastructure was basically in place, although the Indian racer did notice that the barriers were very close to the track, which means any mistakes on the course will be inevitably punished.
A new circuit will mean new uncertainty for the teams, who will not know how their cars will perform until the free practise session. McLaren, especially, will be looking to improve on their fourth and fifth place finishes in Japan, while Vettel will be looking to increase his fourteen-point lead over Button. Alonso and the German Vettel are level on 206 points, which could mean that we could have, by the end of the weekend, going into the final two races of the season, a Red Bull one-two at the top, which has been so familiar this term.
If Hamilton and Button want to have any chance of claiming the Championship title this year, they need a solid race in Yeongam.