• Korean Grand Prix

Tilke happy circuit will not break up

ESPNF1 Staff
October 21, 2010 « First impressions of track surface positive - McLaren | »
A view of the newly laid asphalt on the main straight on Wednesday © Sutton Images

The designer of the Korean International Circuit, Hermann Tilke, insists the freshly laid tarmac on the track will not break up over the course of the grand prix weekend.

It had been feared that in the rush to get the circuit ready and oils from the top layer of tarmac still seeping to the surface, there could be a repeat of the 1985 Belgian Grand Prix when the teams had to pack up and go home because the track broke up. But Tilke said that he is not worried about the strength of the surface and that it will improve with use.

"We have used a special formula -- one that dries quickly and is ready immediately," Tilke told Auto Bild Motorsport.

"It will probably have little grip in the beginning. But they are the best drivers in the world and must cope with it. It will be very slippery in the beginning. But the track will become faster by the second until Sunday."

McLaren chief engineer Phil Prew agreed with Tilke, saying that he thought the circuit looked up to standard.

"I actually walked the circuit this morning with the other engineers, and I have to say I was very impressed with what I saw," he told the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in. "The track itself and the kerbs and run-off all looked pretty good. The track surface itself - although it has been recently laid and it is a bit of an unknown - I don't think looked too bad and it wasn't particularly greasy underfoot. It looked, from what you can tell, smooth, well laid and consistent all the way around the circuit."