In words that might be interpreted as an ominous warning, Scuderia Toro Rosso star Sébastien Buemi has characterised the new Korea International Circuit – home to the upcoming inaugural Korean Grand Prix – as 'very much in the style' of Hermann Tilke's most recent creations.
Of the 19 tracks on the F1 2010 calendar, eight of them bear the design hallmarks of German architect Tilke, but of all of them, arguably only Istanbul in Turkey has received positive praise for the action that it has generated, with many of the others being panned for limiting overtaking and dulling down the excitement factor.
Whilst none of the drivers set to compete this weekend have any prior experience of the circuit situated in Yeongam County about 250 miles to the south-west of Seoul, many – Buemi included – have resorted to simulators to get a prior idea of what to expect. Here is what the young Swiss ace has to say...
“Immediately after the Japanese Grand Prix, I headed back to Europe and spent the following Tuesday in the simulator to get some experience of what we might find in Korea,” the 21-year-old revealed. “It looks interesting enough with a very long straight, while the corners cover a really big range of types, from very slow to very fast.
“You get a sense from the simulator that the track layout is very much in the style of the more recent circuits designed by Hermann Tilke, in that he has been able to create a wide track and the overall length is one of the longest on the calendar at around 5.6 kilometres.
“I can't wait for Friday to find out how accurate our work on the simulator was and how our STR5 car will go here. I hope we will at last have the F-duct for a race weekend after testing it a few times, because the track characteristics – especially the long straight – mean this technology could deliver a significant advantage. Other teams have had it for a while, so it would be good to join them on the same level in this respect. If we get it to work well, then I think we can really aim to qualify higher up the grid than usual on Saturday.”