The Virgin Racing team is back in the Far East again this week as Formula One prepares to race in South Korea for the very first time. The Korean Grand Prix, Round 17 of the FIA Formula One World Championship, is being held at a brand new Hermann Tilke designed track in Yeongam in
the South Jeolla region. Aside from the simulation work that has been undertaken in recent months, the 5.621km Korean International Circuit is 'virgin' territory for all of the teams and the track walk on Thursday will be the first time that the drivers and their engineers will be able to see exactly what they are up against.
Timo Glock, Race Driver #24
"I always look forward to the challenge of a new circuit and after everything that has been said about Korea I can't wait to arrive there and see the new track for myself. It is a high downforce circuit with what look to be some challenging corners, particularly the section between turns 7-9, 11-12 and turn 17, which is almost flat, blind and important as it leads onto the second longest straight. I think there will also be some good overtaking spots in the early part of the lap. I'm looking forward to Free Practice as in addition to getting my first real taste of the track it is always interesting to see how well our simulation work translates to reality. We have a lot of hard work to do in the remaining three races and it is important that we find everything we can from the current package to try to end the season well."
Lucas di Grassi, Race Driver #25
"I'm looking forward to Korea, a country that I have never been to before, and the circuit looks exciting from the pre-work we have done on the simulator. I'm confident I can put in another good performance as the track is new to everyone and we have some upgrades on the car. I have recovered well from the Suzuka accident and I have been training as hard as ever for the last three races of the season."
John Booth, Team Principal
"For a time, many of us thought this race may not happen, so it is testament to all the hard work carried out by the organisers that the Korean International Circuit is now ready for racing. Our congratulations to everyone involved. Much has been said about the track and the venue, but we are excited at the prospect of discovering it for ourselves in the days ahead. We have been busy in recent months working with a simulation of the new track from the data that has been provided and our own calculations. Timo and Lucas have done countless 'virtual' race distances of the circuit already, but of course there is no substitute for turning a wheel for the first time when Free Practice gets underway on Friday in order to properly gauge what the track has in store for us. The biggest unknown quantity will of course be the asphalt, which was only laid a few weeks ago and will therefore be very 'green'. With the weather conditions expected to be similar to Suzuka -- although perhaps not quite as extreme as Saturday - I think we have a very interesting weekend ahead as we work towards finding the optimum setup for the race. It is difficult to believe that we have only three races of our debut season remaining, but we will be pulling out all the stops to try to end the year on a high."