Okay then after much ho har and Bernie threatening to throw his toys out of the pram, we’re off to Yeongam county for the inaugural South Korean Grand Prix. Which apparently is all perfectly fine and dandy and just waiting to hold it’s most important event ever right now.
The highlight of this weekend is going to be listening to the commentators picking the place apart. Extra points for spotting every time the Legard says “Still needs a lick of paint here and there but ….. “, and then saying some moronic statement or other.
It’s another FIA Tilke design as usual, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’ll be dull, lifeless and only there so Bernie and CVC can line their pockets with Korean money, no sir-e-bob.
This place is still a building site and it’s going to be another “spot the spectator” event for sure. They might be able to build all of the worlds landfill tat, but I doubt they can rustle up more than a handful of spectators that have “South Korean” stamped on their passport.
Anyway the final tarmac layer got laid about 2 weeks ago so it’s still curing effectively. Normally a circuit has to run a few FIA sanctioned events before it can call itself an F1 circuit. Even some chavs in a selection of stolen escorts and Saxos would be nice, but as far as I’m aware the only thing bedding this place in is construction equipment rushing to build the stands.
So the surface is going to be like a skating rink for the first two test session. Expect at lest one high profile name to crash test the scenery at some point on Friday and with home grown marshals rather than plucky English marshals, it might be a bit dicey if they do his the wall. Given just how slippery it’s going to be I have a fiver on the ex snow racing champion Petrov to go quite well here. Also the HRT’s should be okay because they handle the same whatever the conditions, as everyone else tries to find some grip the HRT boys will be wondering what all the fuss is about.
The track itself looks kind of like a cross between Malaysia, Valencia and Canada. A couple of blindingly fast straights, linked with a hairpin and then a noodles back section with sweeping corners and stuff, there’s not much of an elevation change and not a lot to look at. It’s got Redbull stamped all over it really.
So the podium is probably going to be between Webber, Vettel and Alonso. Hamilton could get a tilt at it, but Lady Luck appears to have the humph with him at the moment. Alonso has been talking up his chances of late and Ferrari are very much behind him, Massa has been doing a good PR job of telling all and sundry that he’s a Ferrari man through and through and is only there to help Alonso win. But I think this is a Redbulls drivers to loose now. Vettel is right back in the hunt with a couple of good results and Webber has been consistent enough. It could well come down to qualifying and that has been the preserve of Vettel this season. If he can get a pole here then he’ll avoid the carnage that will undoubtedly happen on the first lap.
Everyone that isn’t in a Redbull, Ferrari or McLaren has pretty much stopped developing this years car, so they’re looking to pick up points where possible.
Kubica keeps fighting with Rosberg for the best of the rest title, Schumacher might get a result here as it’s a new track for everyone.
Hulkenburg is looking less and less likely to keep his seat for next year, whilst Petrov might get another year now the F1 circus has signed to go to Russian for a GP in 2012.
The chaps down at Force India are getting worried as neither, Sutil or Liuzzi has a contract for next year at the moment. The Word is Sutil is off to Williams in place of the Hulk, but other rumours have him getting the boot into the doomed “test driver” roll for some one after underperforming this year. There are a lot of Gp2 drivers getting linked to all sorts of seat at the moment. So there are lots of drivers looking over their shoulders rather than were the tarmac is going.
Meanwhile back at Ferrari, the word on the street at the moment is that Smedley is the one looking to move on after his boy got shafted by the Alonso machine. If he does go then Massa is probably going to follow him, Renault is the favourite at the moment with a swap for Kubica. I don’t see why Kubica would ditch the number one at Renault for a definite number two at Ferrari, but money can be a great incentive to some.
Predictions updated before thurdays midnight please, there’s still plenty to play for.
Qualifying kicks off at 5am on Saturday, the race is at 6am Sunday I think, the BBC is being a bit vague.