Korean Grand Prix

Korea will host its first Formula One race in 2010, with the launch of the eagerly anticipated Korean Grand Prix. The race will mark the next stage of the expansion of the sport into the Asia-Pacific region. The event was originally intended to be a night race, but these plans have been shelved until the organizers have gained more experience in hosting Formula One racing.

Laps: 55
Lap Distance: 5.453km
Race Distance: 305.2km

Korean International Circuit

The Korean International Circuit was custom built to host Formula One racing. Located in Yeongam County, 400 km from Seoul, the circuit was designed by renowned racetrack architect, Hermann Tilke and funded by a joint venture between Bernie Ecclestone and the Korea Auto Valley Operation.

The racetrack comprises both permanent track facilities and portions of the Yeongam street circuit, making it one of the few grand prix facilities in the world to combine elements of both a permanent circuit and a street circuit. The design of the course will allow the public to view the race from buildings and ships located in the harbour district.

The Korean International Circuit is also expected to break records for the construction of a Formula One racetrack. Funding for the construction of the facility was obtained as late as September of 2009, just over a year prior to the launch of the Korean Grand Prix.

Korean Grand Prix History

The idea of a Grand Prix in Korea was first floated in 2006 as part of a plan to expand the presence of the sport in the Asia-Pacific region. Uncertainty surrounded the race until late in the 2009 Formula One season, with the project having secured funding, but with the race yet to appear on the 2010 fixture list and construction not yet underway in Yeongam.

In September of 2009 the FIA put speculation over the future of the Korean Grand Prix to rest by including the race in 2010 fixture list. Construction of the Korean International Circuit began around this time, while Bernie Ecclestone hammered out the details of the future of the race.

The Future of the Korean Grand Prix

The Korean Grand Prix is scheduled to be raced for the next seven Formula One seasons. The creation of the race included a 5 year option that will allow the race to continue until 2021 if race organizers wish to extend their contract with the FIA. The race is expected to eventually move to a night-time start.

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