Friday, September 10, 2010

Karun Chandhok takes a run round the new Korean circuit

Last week erstwhile Hispania Racing driver Karun Chandhok, one of the most pleasant people ever in F1, who has been temporarily ejected from his race seat in favour of Sakon Yamamoto, took advantage of the spare time to nip over to Korea and test drive a Red Bull round the new grand prix circuit. Those nice people at Autosport have put his onboard video up on You Tube so we can all get a look at the new track

Judge for yourself, but it looks like there's a heck of a lot still to be done, bearing in mind that the F1 circus rolls up there in less than 6 weeks' time. There's plenty of unfinished bits at the side of the track and cranes and concrete everywhere.

As for the track itself, the run down to the first corner looks interesting, there's a long, fast straight at the back and there are some interesting looking corners.  There's quite a lot of run off area - for those of you who aren't really into F1 but are just reading this out of politeness, that means that there's a tarmac area for people who misjudge the corner to sort themselves out in before rejoining the track. In the olden days, there used to be a lot less of them, with unforgiving gravel being the only place to go if you mucked it up.

There's lots of walls, which give it a look of Valencia in some places. There are elements of blandness to the track that may well come to life if it gets wet. Karun was out there on intermediate tyres, and there were lots of black clouds in the sky enthusiastically waiting for an opportunity to cause mayhem. \it looks as if this place may have one of these special end of season championship changing micro-climates.

It'll be interesting to see how it looks for the race on 24 October. It's so nice of Bernie Ecclestone to give us another race which will require us to get up in the middle of the bloody night to watch. I have nothing but admiration for the fools dedicated fans who get up at 1 or 2 am to watch the practice sessions. I just can't do that. The race at 6 or 7 will be enough of a challenge!  I actually wish we could have more races to the west of us because a grand prix on a Sunday tea time is extremely convenient. Why doesn't Bernie sort out an Argentinian, or a Mexican event? Going back to the States would be good too.

Let's hope we also see more of Karun on the track in proper combat from now on. He's a talented guy and he should get a decent drive from a team that appreciates him.

Update: Am just listening to practice at Monza with the excellent 5 Live team which now includes Karun himself. Crofty has just reminded us about all the photos Karun posted on his Twitter feed which I for some reason managed to miss out on last weekend. You have to go back 3 or 4 pages, but I promise you it's worth it for the behind the scenes stuff.


Mr Eugenides said...

They are certainly cutting it fine in terms of finishing the venue, aren't they?

For what it's worth, I suspect (famous last words) that the race will be dry. The rain in Korea is a monsoon seasonal rain; it starts in July and comes down in fits and starts until mid-September. Late October should be dry.

Caron said...

Thanks for that insight about the weather.

Are you going to go down to watch the race?

Assuming it goes ahead of course - if you look at Karun's twitter, it seems like they'll have to work round the clock to get it finished.

Mr Eugenides said...

I won't be able to attend the race, unfortunately. But if anyone can work round the clock to finish a venue, I think it is probably the Koreans!


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