Formula 1 returns to Asia for the 2013 Korean Grand Prix, the first of two back-to-back races on the continent. The Korean International Circuit tests the car’s overall performance because of its mixture of high-speed corners, long straights and a slower technical part towards the end of the lap.
Supersoft and medium tyre compounds will be used, a change from last season where Pirelli brought the soft and Supersoft.
The circuit has been modified since 2012 and one of the changes has been made to the pit exit which now runs through the middle of the run-off area at Turn 1. Sausage’ kerbs have been installed at the apex of six corners and the verge at the exit of Turn 13 has been extended with asphalt.
There will be two DRS zones in Korea with the first detection point right after Turn 2 and second one before Turn 16.
This will be the fourth Korean GP held to date after the track made its Formula 1 debut in 2010 when it hosted the seventeenth round of the season.
The construction of the Korea International Circuit started one year before the inaugural race and was led by the German designer Hermann Tilke. His inspiration for certain aspects of the design stand on Korean emblems, like the main grandstand roof which was modeled after a traditional Korean house.
The track is one of only a few anti-clockwise circuits on the calendar, alongside Marina Bay Street Circuit, Yas Marina, Circuit of the Americas and Interlagos.
The Korea International Circuit at Yeongam, near the port city of Mokpo, is 5.615km length and has 18 corners. All its three sectors are all very different which makes the challenge even bigger for the teams to optimize the car for the race.
Sector one is mainly straights while the final two sectors are a mix of low, medium and high-speed corners. The 1.2 km straight between Turns 2 and 3 is the fourth longest in F1 and allows drivers to reach speeds of up to 320km/h.
“The Korea International Circuit is an interesting venue – it’s got two very distinct elements, the first half, which is basically a couple of heavy braking zones and three extremely long straights; and the final section, which is a long, undulating section with a mix of high-and medium-speed corners,” McLaren’s Sergio Perez says.
“It’s a somewhat technical course, one that rewards precision more than it does commitment, so the main challenge comes from dialling the car into the track, which is satisfying when you get it right because there’s a lot of time to be had from running a well-balanced car.”
No one has won this race starting from pole position and the two drivers at the top of the Championship standings are the only two who ever won a Korean GP: Fernando Alonso in 2010 and Sebastian Vettel in 2011 and 2012. Vettel has also led 93% of the racing laps at the circuit.
Excessive rainfall during the summer of 2010 caused delays in construction of the circuit. The final track inspection by FIA was delayed multiple times and was completed less than two weeks before the inaugural race
The 2010 Korean Grand Prix lasted nearly three hours due to a long stoppage for rain, with the final laps being completed in the sunset. The race marked the last F1 appearance so far for the Japanese driver Sakon Yamamoto.
Jean-Eric Vergne made his Formula 1 debut at the 2011 Korean GP, as a test driver for Toro Rosso. Lewis Hamilton’s fastest qualifying lap on the same weekend ended Red Bull’s run of 16 consecutive pole positions.
- Practice 1: 10.00-11.30
- Practice 2: 14.00 – 15.30
Saturday 5 October
- Practice 3: 11.00-12.00
- Qualifying: 14.00-15.00
Sunday 6 October
- Race: 15.00