Hermann Tilke on Wednesday sounded confident the newly laid track surface at Yeongam will survive this weekend’s inaugural Korean grand prix.
With the top layer so recently laid and oils still seeping to the surface, it is feared this event could be a repeat of Spa in 1985, when the F1 cars had to go home because the track broke up.
But Tilke, the architect who designed the 5.6km layout, said he is not worried about the strength of the surface.
Instead, he predicted it will be a challenge for the drivers.
“It will probably have little grip in the beginning. But they are the best drivers in the world and must cope with it,” the German, whose company provided machinery and expertise for the laying of the asphalt, told DPA news agency.
“It will be very slippery in the beginning. But the track will become faster by the seconds until Sunday,” he added.
Also sounding bullish on Wednesday was McLaren’s chief engineer Phil Prew, who had worried about the state of the brand new asphalt before arriving in Korea.
“I walked the circuit this morning and the track surface didn’t look too bad,” he told reporters during a teleconference.
“It wasn’t particularly greasy underfoot and it looked – from what you can tell – smooth, well-laid and consistent all the way around,” added Prew.
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