- Korean Grand Prix
Korea given FIA approval
The Korean Grand Prix will go ahead on October 24 after the FIA's Charlie Whiting gave the newly-laid circuit his approval on Tuesday.
Whiting had been at the Yeongam site since Monday for the track's final inspection, amid speculation it was not ready for its inaugural event next weekend. But, based on a media statement issued by race organisers KAVO, he approved the circuit on Tuesday.
"It is satisfactory, and I will issue the license through KARA (Korea Automobile Racing Association)," said Whiting.
However, legitimate doubts remain, particularly after rain fell on the newly laid and curing top layer of racing asphalt overnight. A photograph, reportedly taken at the circuit on Monday, shows a bridge over the start-finish straight still under construction, while the circuit's main access road is apparently not yet sealed and the entire site not fully fenced.
But the main concern is the still 'sweating' track surface, with the process of oil seeping to the top unlikely to pass by the time of the first action next Friday.
"I think we've already made the tyres, so we have to try," said Bridgestone's Hiroshi Yasukawa. "Our tyres are equal for everybody. At this stage, wait and see."
Force India driver Tonio Liuzzi expressed his doubts to ESPNF1 in his latest column.
"The track surface will still be a bit of an unknown until we turn up in Korea and its condition will depend on what the weather was like when they were laying the tarmac," he said. "It could be a bit of a risk and we will have to analyse how the tyres reacted straight after the first practice session on Friday. We believe that the FIA is doing its absolute best to make sure everything is as good as possible but we won't know for sure until after first practice."