Thursday, 13 October 2011

Korean Grand Prix Preview

We head to Korea after a spectacular race last year, we will hope for the same this weekend.

Korea is preparing for it's second Formula One race, and if the Grand Prix is anywhere near as exciting as last year's Yeongam race, we are in for a treat. And with the championship already wrapped up after Sebastian Vettel's 3rd place in Japan last week, only pride is at stake.

And a lot of it at that. Korea is such a difficult circuit, and at Turn 1, you simply cannot run wide. Lewis Hamilton found that out last season, when a wide at Turn One cost him a potential victory. Also, it is one of the best overtaking spot on the circuit, meaning you cannot get it wrong.

Last year, we were treated to a fantastic spectacle, culminating in Ferrari's Fernando Alonso taking a stunning victory, propelling him to the top of the World Championship. Alonso only took the win after a spectacular race, seeing both Red Bull drivers retire. Three laps were done under the safety car, but the rain was too heavy, and the race was red flagged. However, over an hour later, we got underway. 13 more laps were completed under the Safety Car, and it remained grid order, Vettel-Webber-Alonso. However, after the safety car came in, on the second racing lap, Mark Webber ran wide and onto the kerb, spinning into the wall and collecting Nico Rosberg with him. Vettel lead most of the way, despite many safety car peiods. Alonso was running second but he had a problem at the pit stop, allowing Hamilton to move into second place. However, the McLaren man gave it away when he ran awfully wide at Turn One. With just a few laps left, Alonso was catching Vettel, and would have fancied his chances of passing Vettel anyway, but on the pit straight, Vettel's engine blew, making it a double retirement for Red Bull, and promoting Alonso to the top of the championship after a stunning first race at Korea.

Tyre wear is high at Korea, and managing tyres will be crucial. Also, the track is one of the more popular of the new tracks, as it is very enjoyable to drive around, and difficult to get right. The DRS Detection zone this weekend is just after Turn One, while the Activation zone starts about halfway down the very long straight, presenting a good oppurtunity to pass there.

This weekend, Red Bull can win the Constructor's title, and need a remarkable result for them to be beaten to it. However, McLaren's pace in recent races has been much closer to Red Bull, and will fancy their chances of giving Red Bull a run for their money on both Saturday and Sunday. Coming off the back of finishing a brilliant second at Japan, holding off the new double world champion Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso will be looking for a result at a track that he took one of his most exciting and enjoyable victories at last year.

Korea will be hoping to produce a good race this weekend, and with all still to play for in various championship battles, lets go!

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