D ass modern Formula 1 cars are problematic in the rain, we have to get used to it. They are too low above the ground to be able to drive at higher water levels. And they produce so much spray that the man behind cannot see anything.
Although it never rained really hard at the Korean GP, the field behind the safety car started the race. Shortly afterwards, the pilots were condemned to a standstill for 49 minutes and then once again drove in tow with the pacemaker vehicle. The race was only released on lap 18. Two more neutralizations followed due to accidents, which brought safety car driver Bernd Mayländer a total of 24 laps.
Part of the blame was the new asphalt. It still had its bitumen layer that barely let water through. Therefore, long puddles remained on the sealed surface. But you had to expect that after the short-term asphalting. It could have been even worse if the organizer hadn't flushed the drainage holes that were plugged with building sludge the night before the Grand Prix.
Difficult decisions for Charlie Whiting
The fine drizzle made many decisions in the race management difficult. Nick Heidfeld praised race director Charlie Whiting. 'It was incredibly difficult for him to always make the right decisions, but he made them all well. From his point of view, the situation was difficult to assess. It was definitely the right thing to start behind the safety car.'
The Sauber driver shows understanding for Charlie Whiting's difficult job: 'If I had to decide in the cockpit, I might have cleared the race one or two laps later. But from the spectator's perspective one naturally wonders why the safety is still there -Car drives around while you can see everything clearly on the television or in the stands. But in the car on the long straight the view was almost zero for the first few laps.
Webber doesn't blame the crash on the race management
Timo Glock said that the race could have started two or three laps earlier. 'In the beginning it wouldn't have been possible in terms of visibility, but after 15 laps behind the safety car it was okay.' Mark Webber, who had asked for a demolition in the car, didn't blame the accident on themRace director. 'The conditions were difficult, but manageable. In the accident, I can only make myself responsible.'
Lewis Hamilton, on the other hand, kept pleading with the radio for permission to race. 'I thought we should have gone into race mode earlier.' Sebastian Vettel also broke a lance for race director Whiting: 'I think the race was approved at about the right time. You could also see in the cockpit that it was torn all around.'
Slight criticism of the late end of the race
According to Vettel, it was much more difficult at the end with the darkness. At the latest in 1976 in Fuji a Formula 1 race ended in such poor lighting conditions. 'I haven't had any serious problems yet and could always brake where I wanted. But it was sometimes very difficult to see the braking point, especially in the first corner. I had a slightly tinted visor on it, which didn't make things any easier . '
Fernando Alonso, who, unlike Vettel, drove to the end, commented:' In the end it was difficult to see the wet spots on the road. Since our intermediates were almost slicks, that would have been can easily get in the eye. ' Team mate Felipe Massa reported: 'We have a very bright lamp on our steering wheel. It really bothered you in the dark.' Nico Hülkenberg was happy that Charlie Whiting did not stop the Grand Prix before the distance of 55 laps. The Williams driver overtook Jaime Alguersuari on the last lap. That earned him the last World Cup point.