As the 2010 Formula One schedule gets set for its public unveiling later today (Friday), the two most recent additions to the fold have both made announcements with regard to their slot.
The new-for-2010 South Korean GP is due to form part of the 'flyaway' finale to the campaign, but felt compelled to reassure series organisers that it would be ready to host the world finest in October.
Speaking at the annual Motorsport Business Forum in Monaco, general manager Kevin Lee confirmed that building work on the Korea Auto Valley Operation facility was continuing apace, and remained on target for an early-July completion. The race is slated for an October slot, but Lee has confirmed that the first event will take place entirely in daylight, after speculation that it may follow in the footsteps of Malaysia, Singapore and Abu Dhabi in running into night.
"It is totally on plan," Lee told Reuters
reporters at the event, "We have a plan to finish the whole construction work at the circuit on July next year and, up until now, it is roughly 60 per cent done.
"We work together with other people, [Hermann] Tilke is our engineering consultant, and they are very happy with the progress of the construction at the circuit. We are on schedule for next year."
The addition of South Korea to the schedule expands the F1 season to a record-breaking 19 events in 2010, but the venue will have to go some to match its predecessor as newest venue after Abu Dhabi's debut with the spectacular Yas Marina circuit.
While the 2009 season finished under lights, however, Abu Dhabi has expressed its disappointment that it will have to play second fiddle to Interlagos next year, after the Brazilian venue was provisionally listed as host for the 2010 finale.
Despite the order being more suitable for logistics – with 'eastern' events Singapore, Japan, South Korea and Abu Dhabi due to precede the finale – Yas Marina CEO Richard Cregan used the Monaco forum event to press the circuit's claim to be reinstated as the closer.
"I think the final slot for us is very important in terms of the grand prix as an overall event," the former Toyota F1 man said, “With the destination we have in Abu Dhabi, it means that people will hopefully come there to the last event at the end of the season and then take some holiday or whatever with their families. It would be good for us to have that.
"We feel that we deserve to be last race and I'm sure [Interlagos] feel they deserve to be last. We'll have to wait and see. I think it's a logistics issue in terms of how you are moving the teams and freight around the world."