Korea’s new formula one circuit is almost complete, an official of the Yeongam venue has revealed.
Speculation has dogged the inaugural event due to construction delays and an unusually late FIA inspection scheduled for the day after Sunday’s Japanese grand prix — just 11 days prior to opening practice in Korea.
But race organiser KAVO’s communication boss Kim Jae-ho has revealed to the Korea Times newspaper that construction “is now 98 to 99 per cent complete”.
The last crucial element is the top layer of surface asphalt, with other less important things likely to go unfinished.
“The inspection team may put first priority on safety and appropriateness of the race track ahead of other factors such as cleanliness and makeshift stands,” Kim admitted.
Work on the final surface layer began on Tuesday and will take six days — exactly the time available until Charlie Whiting arrives at the venue direct from Suzuka.
“Before the inspection the only thing left to do is working on the surface of the track,” Kim confirmed.
F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone said two weeks ago that allowing Korea to miss its original inspection date is “quite dangerous”, but the newspaper report said some other circuits have been in the same situation.
“We also tried to keep the date,” Kim explained.
“For us, the toughest factor was weather. It rained too much. It was totally different from past seasons.
“Frankly speaking, we (Korea) have little experience in building race tracks. However, despite the postponed construction, the track and venue will provide the perfect circumstances for the race,” he promised.
© RIF | GMM