South Korea’s Formula 1 Track @ Dawn
The Korean International Circuit in Yeongam.
The decision to award a grand prix to Korea was greeted with mixed reactions, with critics quick to point out the country has no racing tradition and it was another case of the FOM putting money before anything else.
The location was also an issue. While organisers wanted a venue near Seoul, they ended up with one in Yeongam County, more than four hours from the capital.
The construction of the Hermann Tilke-designed circuit started in November 2007 but was still some way short of being finished by the scheduled completion date of July 2010, three months before the inaugural grand prix.
The 3.5-mile circuit is built on 425 acres of reclaimed land beside an artificial seaside lake. The anti-clockwise track features the calendar’s longest straight, allowing for speeds of up to 320km per hour. The grandstands will accommodate up to 135,000 people, although the remote location makes it likely that capacity will not be tested.
The organisers have a seven-year deal to host the race, with an option to renew for a further five-year term.