Korean Grand Prix: Williams previews Yeongam
9 October, 2012
Oct.9 (Williams) Team and drivers preview the Korean Grand Prix, Round 16 of the Formula One World Championship, at Yeongam.
Mark Gillan, Chief Operations Engineer: After a disappointing qualifying in Suzuka both drivers demonstrated very good pace in the race, with Pastor securing a solid 8th place. We now move onto Korea looking to capitalise on this pace and therefore need to ensure a better qualifying result. The 55 lap Korean race will be run using the soft and supersoft tyres, as per Monaco, Canada and Singapore. This is a medium to high speed circuit with a smooth track surface. In previous years we have seen a large grip evolution throughout the sessions and one should expect the same this weekend. With this large amount of evolution it is important to ensure that both cars set-up also evolves with the circuit so track time is therefore very important. Currently the forecast is predicting a dry weekend.
Pastor Maldonado: The Korean International Circuit is not a typical track for us but it is one of the newest and we’re enjoying racing there. We aim to be competitive and will be working to adapt the car set-up to this low grip track. There is a good combination of corners and the last sector is a medium speed flowing sequence which is very technical. I look forward to getting there and having a great race.
Bruno Senna: The Korean Grand Prix is different to other races. It’s a high downforce circuit so should suit our car. It’s also one of the tracks we have the least amount of practice on as it is fairly new to the calendar and therefore we haven’t had any running in our simulator, so it will be interesting to see how we get on. There’s a mix of high speed corners with lower speed technical sections. We’ll need to work very hard to score some good points.
Rémi Taffin, Head of Renault Sport F1 Track Operations: Korea is pretty much in the middle of the table for engine challenges. The first sector has three long straights linked by either sharp hairpins or right angled, slow speed corners. Since a high percentage of this is taken at full throttle, we’ll be working on providing good top speed, but also optimal engine braking and traction in the heavy braking zones of turn one and three. The second sector is reminiscent of Suzuka, with fast flowing turns leading into the final, slower sector, which represents a technical challenge to both engineers and drivers alike.
Paul Hembery, Pirelli Motorsport Director: For Korea we have the P Zero Yellow soft and P Zero Red supersoft compounds, and it’s likely to be the last time that we see the supersofts in action this year. Last year we made the same nominations for Korea and some people thought that was a bold choice in view of the demanding nature of the circuit, although in the end it worked out really well. This year we have the same nomination, but the soft is softer than the equivalent compound last year, so there should be a smaller gap in performance between two tyres. As the circuit is not used extensively during the year, we expect to see quite a high degree of track evolution as the weekend goes on, so car set-up is vital to avoid graining at the start of the weekend in particular.
Subbed by AJN.