Friday, October 12, 2012

Korean Grand Prix: Facts and Figures

 

         Korean Grand Prix- Facts and Figures

This will be the third Korean Grand Prix, as this race joined the F1 calendar in 2010. It boasts two individual circuits - one part containing 2.30 miles of track with 10 turns and a larger circuit totaling 3.489 miles of of pavement with 18 turns. It is the larger of these circuits that will be host to the 2012 Korean Grand Prix. Of those 18 turns, there are seven right turns and 11 left. The forecast average speed for this track is 127.598 mph with top speeds moving toward 198.838 mph.

There are three straights at Korea International. The start/finish straight is .382 miles long and, after navigating Turns 1 and 2, drivers will hit the longest straight of the circuit which is .720 miles long. This leads directly into Turn 3, which is the slowest turn of the race and then, into the pit straight which is the same length as the start/finish straight.

The total number of race laps will be 55 for a full race distance of 191.774 miles. Lap record for this circuit is 1:39.605 set by Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) during the 2011 season. 

Changes to the circuit since 2011 include:
  • higher debris fences between Turns 7 and 9
  • the curb on the apex of Turn 18 has been lowered by approximately 1.18 inches
  • artificial grass on the exit of Turn 13 has been extended as far as the end of the asphalt run-off
  • a number of verges have been laid with asphalt and painted with green non-slip paint
  • drainage has been improved in the pit entry.

Korea International Circuit




The 2010 inaugural race saw Sebastian Vettel start from pole. Teammate Mark Webber qualified in the number two spot to give Red Bull Racing its eighth front-row start of that season. Due to a collision on Lap 19, Webber was forced out followed by Vettel on Lap 46 with engine failure. 

The inaugural race was started under the safety car when heavy rains caused the start to be delayed. Conditions worsened and after three laps, racing was suspended. After a 45-minute interval, racing resumed under the safety car and ran for 17 laps before the safety car exited and racing began. After 55 laps, Fernando Alonso emerged with the win.

Vettel has been on the front row for both Korean GP starts. Lewis Hamilton took pole at this circuit last year and has finished both his Korean GP's in second pace. It marked the only time in 2011 that a Red Bull car was not at the front of the grid. The win for Hamilton was particularly eventful in that McLaren was celebrating the teams 700th Grand Prix. 

Last year first and third place finishes for Vettel and Webber, respectively, earned Red Bull Racing enough points to to claim back-to-back Constructors Championship titles here, while Vettel claimed his second Drivers Championship a week earlier in Japan. 

John-Eric Vergne made his race debut in Korea in 2011 as a practice driver for Toro Rosso. He went on to do Friday driving in Abu Dhabi and Brazil, securing a spot on the team with Daniel Ricciardo this year.

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