9 October 2010
Team bosses insists they're reading for Korea
Should Korea pass its FIA inspection on Monday, the teams insist that they would be happy to race.
The circuit has not yet been signed off for use, and work is expected to continue right up to the time of their arrival, but the F1 teams insist that they will be happy to contest the inaugural Korean Grand Prix should FIA race director Charlie Whiting give the event the green light on Monday.
Having fallen behind with its construction programme, and only avoided an earlier FIA inspection because it was scheduled on a public holiday, the Korea International Circuit at Yeongam has just a couple more days to get its act together before Whiting makes the hop from Japan to cast a final verdict on its suitability for use in two weekends' time.
Amid reports that the final tarmac layer has now been applied, and the final touches applied to items ranging from team and spectator facilities down to the kerbs that delineate the racing area, the teams admitted that they expected to be told that the event - the only new venue on the 2010 F1 schedule - would go ahead over 22-24 October as planned.
"As far as I know, Charlie will go there next week, will have a look, will have an inspection and then they will make a decision," Toro Rosso's Franz Tost confirmed, "And, so far as I know, we will go there and we will race there. Just let's go and see what's going on, because I haven't yet seen the track, therefore it's difficult to estimate the conditions, but I'm convinced that the FIA and FOM will find the correct decision."
Force India's Robert Fernley agreed that 'we're very comfortable, as a team, to put our faith in the FIA', aware of the dangers of the governing body taking a flier on somewhere not fit for purpose.
"They're not going to sign off on something that they're uncomfortable with," Fernley insisted, "If there are a few things missing, we're all in it together and it's the same for everybody. We're quite comfortable."
Mercedes Norbert Haug was on similar opinion, claiming that the sport had always benefited from going to new venues.
"We supported the decision to go there, I'm sure the right decision will be taken by the FIA and I want to underline that, if we had stayed where we used to be, years and years ago, F1 wouldn't be what F1 is right now," he reasoned, "Of course, everybody would have wished that this track is ready a little bit earlier, but I'm sure there are good reasons for the delay.
"If you look back, there was a lot of criticism sometimes of new tracks which are really good right now. I think F1 developed in a very good way and, of course, Bernie [Ecclestone] was very much pushing in that direction. [It's] not the easiest way to go motor racing for the teams but, if you are not growing, it's just wrong and I think it's the right approach, really."
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