First GP: 2010
The Korea International Circuit is a 5.62 km (3.49 mi) motorsport circuit located in Yeongam, South Jeolla, South Korea, 400 kilometres south of Seoul and near the port city of Mokpo. It is the venue for the F1 Korean Grand Prix after a $264 million (250 billion won) deal between Bernie Ecclestone and the Korean F1 promoter Korea Auto Valley Operation (KAVO - a joint venture between M-Bridge Holdings and Jeollanam-do regional government).
It was announced on 2 September 2009, that the funding was in place to start construction at the site, and officials were confident the work would be completed in time to hold a Grand Prix in 2010. On 10 December 2009, the organisers of the event announced that they were on schedule, with a plan to finish the circuit on 5 July 2010, though they admitted that their largest problem lay in finding accommodation for all Formula One staff and spectators. The organisers also ruled out the possibility of staging the race at night until they have more knowledge of and experience in running a Grand Prix.
German designer Hermann Tilke was given the responsibility of the design of the track. It is part permanent, part temporary. The temporary part is along the harbour side of the province where spectators from the promenade, hotels and yachts can view the race. Part of the city with possible exhibition facilities, shops, restaurants and cafes are utilized as the pit lane during the F1 Grand Prix weekend.
The initial contract has a duration of seven years, with a five-year option that could take the race until 2021. The circuit planned to revive the Korea Super Prix in 2011. The Formula Three event, previous held at the Changwon City Raceway, last raced in 2003.
In the midst of speculation that the race would be aborted because the circuit would not be completed in time, organisers for the race announced the circuit's opening date to be 5 September 2010. On 4 September 2010, in an event called ‘Circuit Run 2010', a Red Bull Racing Formula 1 show car using a V10 version of the current Renault engine, with Karun Chandhok at the wheel, completed 14 laps of the all new Korean Formula One Grand Prix circuit. Four thousand spectators travelled to the new track for the event.
The final track inspection was delayed multiple times. Originally, the FIA technical delegates were due to inspect the circuit on 28 September 2010 in order to grant permission for F1 races to be held there, however the date was later moved to the 11 October, only 11 days before the first cars were scheduled to start first practice. Following a two-day track inspection, FIA race director Charlie Whiting described the Yeongam circuit as ‘satisfactory' and announced the mandatory license would be issued through the Korea Automobile Racing Association (KARA).
The inaugural Korean Grand Prix was run on 24 October for the 2010 Formula One season. The event was the 17th out of 19 events during the season, after the Japanese Grand Prix at the Suzuka Circuit. The capacity of the venue is 135,000 spectators.
According to the Chonnam Yeongam Korean Formula One Grand Prix circuit, around 77 million dollars (88 billion won) was needed for the construction cost of the circuit, the amount requested by the scholarship that was used in the 52.8 billion won. However, it was difficult to secure the remaining 35.2 billion won, and it was reported that there would be virtually no prospect of government aid to the Formula 1 project by the Korean government.
|06-10-2013||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull||1:43:13.701|
|14-10-2012||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull||1:36.28.651|
|16-10-2011||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull||1:38.01.994|
|FRI practice 1|
|FRI practice 2|
|SAT practice 3|