K arun Chandhok completed just a week ago in a previous year Red Bull's maiden voyage on the new Formula 1 circuit in Korea. The premiere Grand Prix is to take place there in six weeks. However, the first pictures did not provide much information about the course. The top layer of asphalt was still missing on the whole route. Run-off zones, curbs and the pit lane weren't ready either.
In the third last race of the season, preliminary decisions about the title could be made at the top of the World Championship standings. Big question marks are the last thing the top teams need before the trip to Korea. 'The asphalt surface is still a big unknown. We know the layout, but we don't yet know how the road will behave,' explains Red Bull technical director Adrian Newey about the problems in preparation.
Asphalt decides Downforce level
colleague James Key from Sauber is also excited to see what awaits the teams in Korea. Depending on the condition of the asphalt, the technicians have to use different wing settings. 'When it's pretty slippery, we have to drive with a lot of downforce. If the grip is good, that could change. But we won't know until we get there.'
Ferrari chief technology officer Aldo Costa also sees some question marks before the Korean premiere at the end of October. 'There are some areas where the information situation was not good. We don't know much about the curbs and the details in the corners. We only have a rough view of the track. It looks like a course that requires a lot of downforce. We have carried out some simulations. But we are not as sure as with a course that you know well. We are still working on it. '
Can you overtake in Korea?
Also at Williams is expected to have to put the wings in Korea above average. Head of Technology Sam Michael has already taken a closer look at the route. 'It will be interesting to see if you can overtake. It looks like a lot of downforce and that usually reduces the chances - but it doesn't have to be that way.'