Korean Grand Prix Preview – HRT F1 Team
Korea International Circuit, 55 laps, 5.615km
Yeongam, 11th of October 2011
There’s no time to take a breather in the Formula 1 World Championship as all the teams are heading now straight to Korea which will hold the 16th race of the season. Located in the county of Yeongam, the Korea International Circuit will host its second Grand Prix in its history. It is a part permanent, part temporary anti-clockwise track. Designed by Hermann Tilke, the circuit features the longest straight in the championship, measuring 1.2km, where cars can reach speeds of up to 320km/h. The track tests cars’ speeds on straights but also the drivers’ skills on the 18 corners the circuit has to offer, five of which are slow speed turns. Narain Karthikeyan will replace Vitantonio Liuzzi and drive alongside Daniel Ricciardo in the first free practice session.
For this race Pirelli has elected their PZero soft (prime) and supersoft (option) tyres.
Vitantonio Liuzzi: “For Korea we need to strike back a bit after encountering a couple of complicated races. We have to understand all the issues we had in Suzuka and try to put up a better fight with our main rivals. We still have four races to go and we have to keep on fighting. I finished 6th last year in Korea so I’ve got good memories and I like the circuit quite a bit. Traction is a really important factor in Korea which is an area we’ve been struggling with, so hopefully we can have a trouble-free Friday and Saturday so that we can understand the set-up better. It won’t be an easy end to the season but we have to keep our chins up”.
Daniel Ricciardo: “Korea will be another new circuit for me so that is something I’m looking forward to, another new challenge. Speaking to some of the drivers who raced there last year they told me that it is quite a good circuit so I’m sure I will like the track. After the qualifying session in Suzuka, my race engineer felt that we should have done more and we did so, personally, I feel we found something in Japan that we can put into next weekend. So I am hoping for a better weekend in Korea”.
Colin Kolles, Team Principal: “Last year the Korean Grand Prix was an unconventional one but hopefully this second event will go a lot smoother. The characteristics of the track, featuring the longest straight of the championship and its slow corners, won’t suit our car much but we are hard workers and we will do our best to put in a fight. Daniel took a step forward in his F1 learning process in Japan and Korea, another track that he has never been at, will mean another challenge for him. And Tonio will be willing to put the Japanese GP behind and have a fruitful weekend. Like in Japan, Narain will be driving in FP1 instead of Tonio and he may be able to contribute to the team towards a positive result”.