The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) has finally given the go-ahead for South Korea’s first Formula One Grand Prix following doubts over preparations for the event.
With just days to go before the F1 teams were due to arrive in the country, Korea Auto Valley Operation (KAVO) revealed in a statement the track had passed a final inspection.
Pictured: Korea Auto Valley grandstand can accommodate 16,000 spectators
Korea Auto Valley received a top grade following the inspection, which was led by FIA Formula One Race Director Charlie Whiting.
Whiting – who is also a safety delegate and head of the F1 technical department -expressed his satisfaction over the condition of the 3.5-mile track, which boasts Asia’s longest straight.
The FIA is now expected to issue a licence to hold the event as scheduled.
The Korea Auto Valley is now expected to be ready for the October 24th race
Korea Auto Valley
The green light for the race came less than two weeks before the scheduled start at Yeongam, 200 miles south of Seoul.
The circuit has been constructed on reclaimed land by KAVO, a joint venture between a private firm and the provincial government.
KAVO will host the race for seven years with an option to extend for five years. The circuit will become South Korea’s biggest sports facility, capable of accommodating about 130,000 spectators at a time including 16,000 seats in the main grandstand.
The circuit is designed as a dual structure: the 5.6 km Formula One track which will include elements of a street circuit and has a 1.2 km straight, and a shorter, permanent circuit of 3.045 km.
It was designed by Hermann Tilke.
The Korean Grand Prix will be the 17th event of this year’s 19-race season.
Races in Brazil and Abu Dhabi will complete the season after the maiden Grand Prix in South Korea.
Red Bull Racing driver Mark Webber presently leads the driver standings on 220 points, ahead of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and team-mate Sebastian Vettel on 206.
British duo Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button – both of whom drive for McLaren-Mercedes – following on 192 and 189 points respectively.