Saturday, October 23, 2010

Yeongam's F1 track an accident waiting to happen?

The track in Yeongam got a green light for the Grand Prix, but now drivers are expressing concerns about the "dangerous" entry to the pit lane.

From AFP:
The pit lane entry is situated on the outside of the anti-clockwise track, with cars braking in the middle of Turn 18, a blind right-hand corner in a narrow section of the circuit.

"The only worry I have is the pit entry, which is a bit dangerous. It's a little bit scary," Button said.

"It's a corner when you're on full speed -- 250km/h on the exit -- and if someone goes in the pits, they have to lift (off the throttle) quite heavily. That's a bit of a worry, and I don't really know how we're going to get around that issue.

"It's a horrible position to be in. What can you do when there's someone right up behind you? You're not going to stay out for another lap."

German Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull Racing said the pit lane entry was "difficult" after finishing in seventh place in afternoon practice on Friday.

"The pit entry is quite on the edge because it is blind," he said.

"You cannot see if someone goes in (to the pits), and they have to go slower than someone who stays out. If you are behind someone trying to pass and he chooses to pit, it could be difficult."
Korean Grand Prix officials noted that not all drivers expressed such concern, and they added that the randomly chosen taxi drivers they picked to test-drive the track had all given it two thumbs up for safety.

UPDATE:
Though he gave a hat tip not to me but to someone who commented on this topic nine hours after I first posted about it, I'll link to The Marmot's post on the track's dangers (and other issues).

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3 comments:

  1. so..they got taxi drivers to test drive tracks for F1 racers?? interesting....smart? not sure..but defenitly interesting,,

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  2. My apologies, David. I was being facetious about that one part. I was going for the humorous idea that the notoriously reckless taxi drivers found throughout the Republic would themselves find no problem with what these professional high-speed race car drivers are warning is a potentially deadly situation.

    But I forgot the Stranger Than Fiction Rule™ about Korea: no matter how fantastical or silly your humorously flippant suggestion might be, there's always the risk that someone has actually done exactly what you were joking about, or will do it now that you've "suggested" it.

    Indeed, having taxi drivers test drive Yeongam to see if it was ready for prime time did not really happen, but down in Honam it is perfectly plausible that they might have thought to do so.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Actually, that could be a good idea, having taxi drivers do the "première" for the track. But that would be PR though, not safety check.

    Let's hope no one related to Yeongam track reads your blog, otherwise you might just find yourself to be morally responsible... ^^

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