Right hello, first things first then.
This is a whacking great big white elephant in the middle of a swamp. The only things you will find in Yeongam for the rest of the year are mosquitoes and lost souls looking for a reason to end it all. No one comes to this place looking for a good time, even the F1 circus is camped an hour down the road avoiding the dockyards and low rents ladies of ill repute.
And because the place has absolutely no soul what so ever, apart from the them lost ones looking for a way out. It has no atmosphere, glitz, showmanship, or anything. There is a reason the teams and the FIA don’t want to come back this way ever again. Its utter rubbish.
Which is odd, because I rather like the circuit! Not in a classic Spa or Le Mans or Suzuka kind of way, because it has absolutely no history, romance, or any of those things that draws the race fan back year after year. If I’m honest the circuit is a bit Mickey Mouse in places, the stands are mostly empty and it looks like a windswept trading estate in Dulwich on a wet Sunday afternoon in November.
But, and this is a pretty hefty but, if they built the marina around it, or better still picked it up and moved it to some south of France seaside town .. It wouldn’t be a bad circuit. Its problem is that it’s between Singapore which just looks fantastic in super neon Technicolor 24 hour HD o’vision. And Japan which will be packed to the rafters with F1 fans even more fanatical than the Italians and more knowledgeable than the Brits. These places need time and effort to have a history, like Turkey, which I thought, was a pretty good circuit too, they need time to change and evolve. The Silverstone of 2013 bears no resemblance to that first ever F1 race in 1950 does it. Then it was just the perimeter road of a disused WW2 bomber airfield. Okay it is still a muddy windswept field in Northampton but that just shows these places can work.
The other problem is it costs more money than NASA spent putting man on the moon to put an F1 event on these days. Bernie, despite whatever he may say to the Media, is screwing as much money out of the circuit owners to pay the teams and more importantly the Rights holders of F1, CVC, than ever before. They bought into Bernie’s dream and they want to see a nice tidy massive profit at the end of each season. Sod the circuits that can’t pay through the nose for these races, these infant countries with no history and thriving grass roots culture of motorsport. Nope they have to pay up like everyone else.
Back to Silverstone, imagine Bernie telling a cash strapped post war England that it had to pay more next year to host its GP. That the cost of a weekend ticket next year would roughly equal the monthly wage packet of your average race fan .. F1 would have died on its feet. No one would have gone, the money wouldn’t have been there to invest in the infrastructure and F1 would have gone back to being a minority sport for the super rich around Europe.
Its Bernie’s desperate bid to make as much money as is humanly possible that is grinding this sport down, the stakes are so massive now, so astronomical high that these new circuits like Korea, like Turkey and India aren’t give the time to grow and learn what it takes to be successful. I have no problem when the cynical attempts at money generation like Valencia get culled, that was never going to work was it. There are far better circuits in Spain than a fish market in a dockyard in an industrial port city. That was always doomed to failure. But Despite being designed by Herman “long straight tight bend” Tilke, Yeongam isn’t a bad race track, its only half finished and it’s in the wrong place but that last sweeping section has potential, stick a couple of hills in it and shorten the back straight a little and it could be a circuit people want to go to.
But who am I kidding, it won’t be on the calendar next year will it.
Much like Marussia by all accounts who have posted the largest financial loss in the history of F1! Lotus tried hard by losing £56 million in 2012, but Marrusia trumped them with a whopping £57.6 million loss last year. But don’t worry, all that lovely Russian money will clear any day now and clear than small matter of the £130 million debt they have. But they are in good company, last year saw McLaren make its first financial loss in a number of years, though that was mostly due to the loss of Mercedes engine money and Jenson seniors bar bill.
They can’t keep this up can they, It’s all going to come crashing down around Bernie’s ears one of these days.
Anyway, oh yeah, Redbull will win … Vettel will win I should say. Webber is winding down for proper racing next year. Ferrari is the first to admit they will be testing 2014 bit in practice from now on, so they’ve given up. Mercedes will fail to deliver again and be mystified where the speed and handling have gone. Lotus , well Lotus historically don’t go well on cold wet circuits, I see no reason to doubt that, But Ferrari not trying anymore and Merc scratching around for consistency might see Kimi on the podium.