Tag Archives: Yeongam

10 Ways in which the Korean circuit was different

Well, the first Korean Grand Prix has happened. And what a race it was. A brand new circuit, five Championship contenders and the outskirts of a tropical typhoon.

It’s had quite the cozy feeling to it. Only the very hardcore F1 followers had dared to venture into the unknown. It felt like a small gathering of friends in between big events elsewhere.

It makes me realise that very few of you have had the chance to experience the new circuit in the flesh, so to speak. So let me share with you a few pictures that tell the story of how Mokpo differed from other Grand Prix experiences.

For those who want it all on one page: Continue reading

Korea’s done. Can we talk about something else now?

Charlie Whiting’s back in the office. What he saw was a finished circuit. So please stop bothering me, make your travel arrangements, buy your tickets and I’ll see you all in a week’s time.

Oh and one other thing: I said the circuit‘s finished. Paddock too, by the way. And some grandstands. Great stuff, job well done. But don’t expect anything else.

Charlie tells me the Koreans tried to pretend the only thing that still needs to be done is ‘some landscaping’. Forget it. There is no landscape. The place is sitting in the middle of a giant construction site. The lunatics’re building a bloody city in the middle of the circuit, and all around it.

So don’t stare yourself blind on the scene from the F1 2010 video game in the top picture. A computer monitor is the only place where you’ll see the circuit in its proper shape for some time to come. The real deal’s a building pit, and it will remain that for the next two years at least. Bring your boots.

There. And don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Charlie Whiting is back from Korea

I’d sent him off to Kimchi or whatever it’s called, incognito, ahead of the official inspection. He went there straight after Singapore. Took him a day and a half to find his way back home.

How did it go, I asked him. Did the Inspector Frogleg outfit work? “Like a charm,” he said. “Nobody recognised me. One person asked me if I was Mr Bean. They all seem to love Mr Bean over there.” Well, that would explain the construction delays, then. So you could find out how they’re doing without being noticed?

“Oh no,” he says. “I said they didn’t recognise me. But they did notice me. Of course they did. How could they not? I stuck out like a sore thumb. Literally. This is some backwater deep in South Korea, you know. I was the only Westerner for hundreds of miles around.”

“But I did find out how they’re doing. Continue reading