Chandhok samples Korea

The new Korean Grand Prix circuit delivered the most concrete indication that the race, scheduled for October 22-24, will go ahead as planned when former Red Bull junior driver Karun Chandhok completed a demonstration in a Red Bull chassis yesterday.

Chandhok completed 14 laps of the Yeongam venue, which will host the inaugural Korean Grand Prix on October 22-24 and said: "It's a really interesting layout. The track's got a good mix of corners and I think we'll see a lot of overtaking in the first sector - there are long straights into slow hairpins. The straight after T1 and T2 is really long, so we may see some good slip-streaming there, like in Shanghai.

"From T7 onwards there's a fast section of flowing corners all the way back to the start/finish line - so I think the Red Bull guys will be happy in sectors two and three."

Chandhok added that he saw no reason why the venue would not be finished in time for next month's race.

"Looking at the facilities, the garages and team buildings look pretty much finished and they're big! I think teams will need to bring around 30% more furniture to fill them! The grandstands also look reasonably finished. The track itself needs a bit more work on the asphalt and the kerbs, but the organisers think it's all within their time-lines and are confident that it will be ready on time."

Race organisers Korea Auto Valley Operation (KAVO) said: "This has been an excellent opportunity for us to fine-tune the facilities ahead of next month's Grand Prix, and it is exciting to see how enthusiastically the KIC has been received by Korean residents," said Yung Cho Chung, KAVO's chief executive.

Circuit designer Herman Tilke recently admitted that finishing the venue in time for the inaugural Korean GP would be 'tight', with such things as circuit and paddock access roads needing to be finished, as well as the top layer of the track asphalt itself. It is believed that the hospitality rooms still leave something to be desired, especially in the plumbing area, with the FIA recently putting off its final inspection until September 21.

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