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Drivers and teams full of praise for Korea's debut

Having already received the praise of organisers for the number of spectators it attracted over the weekend, it seems the much-doubted inaugural Korean Grand Prix impressed F1's drivers and teams, too...
The top flight's drivers and teams seem to be in unanimous agreement with Korean Grand Prix organisers that South Korea's inaugural F1 race was a 'resounding success' – despite the weather's best efforts to derail proceedings.

With race promoters the Korean Auto Valley Operation (KAVO) having revealed that more than 80,000 spectators passed through the gates over the course of the weekend – two-thirds of the 120,000 capacity at the newly-constructed Korea International Circuit in Yeongam County – the event was hailed as 'the perfect start to plans to develop the sport in the country' [see separate story – click here]. Following months of speculation and doubts that the grand prix would even be able to go ahead, that appears to be the general consensus amongst the paddock's occupants, too.

“This was a tough event [due to the rain] and I must praise the FIA, the organisers, officials and marshals at the track as well as the teams for maintaining professionalism throughout,” remarked Bridgestone's Director of Motorsport, Hiroshi Yasukawa. “The organisers have done a fantastic job to bring F1 to this new and exciting market, and I think many fans here and around the world enjoyed this superb race.”

“It was great that we could go racing and give all the Korean fans and everyone who has put so much effort into making this race happen, the show they wanted to see,” agreed Lotus Racing chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne. “They were rewarded with an historic event, with the race finishing in the dark and some excellent action up-and-down the field.”

One man who perhaps did not enjoy the 'action' quite so much was Red Bull Racing star Mark Webber, whose costly accident in torrential conditions on only the second racing lap cost the Australian the F1 2010 World Championship lead. Nonetheless, the 34-year-old told his personal website afterwards that he was impressed by the manner in which officials had listened and swiftly responded to concerns about the circuit in the wake of Friday practice.

“It was an enjoyable track to drive,” Webber affirmed. “It had three very distinct sectors – long straights in sector one, some fast changes of direction in sector two and some tighter corners in sector three. It was also a good technical challenge, because we weren't using maximum levels of downforce due to the long straights at the start of the lap.

“The organisers were very accommodating, too. We suggested a couple of changes to the kerbs in the drivers' briefing on Friday, and the changes had been made by Saturday morning.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Friday Practice 2, Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of Formula One Management  and Hiroshi Yasukawa (JPN), Bridgestone
Friday, Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer, Lotus Racing
Sunday, Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB6
Race, The Safety car on the track
Race, The Safety car on the track
Race, Timo Glock (GER), Virgin Racing, VR-01  and SŽbastien Buemi (SUI), Scuderia Toro Rosso, STR5 crash
Race, SŽbastien Buemi (SUI), Scuderia Toro Rosso, STR5 crash
Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F10 overtakes Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6
Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6
Nobuharu Matsushita, ART Grand Prix, Sauber, F1 [Credit: Honda Racing]
Sebastien Ogier, Red Bull, RB7, F1 test [Credit: Red Bull Content Pool]
Singapore Grand Prix
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB13
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB13
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB13
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB13
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB13
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB13

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