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Posted : 2013-10-02 17:32
Updated : 2013-10-02 17:32

F1 Korean Grand Prix to kick off this weekend

A capacity crowd at the Korean International Circuit in Yeongam, South Jeolla Province, watch a race in last year's Formula One Korean Grand Prix event. / Yonhap

By Baek Byung-yeul

This year's Formula One (F1) Korean Grand Prix will kick off this weekend in the southwestern city of Yeongam. All eyes will be on Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel who has been cruising on his quest for his fourth consecutive world title.

Vettel is among the 22 drivers competing in Korea, the 14th of the 19 GP events scheduled in this year's calendar.

The 26-year-old, who is considered Germany's best driver since Michael Schumacher, has topped the previous three GPs in Belgium, Italy and Singapore, and already has seven wins for the season. A win at Yeongam would all but secure his place as world champion.

Yeongam's Korean International Circuit, designed by Germany's Hermann Tike, can accommodate a crowd of 135,000. Drivers will compete through 55 laps on the 5.6-kilometer track. Vettel is familiar with the circuit, having won the Korean GPs in 2011 and 2012.

It remains to be seen whether tropical storm Fitow, forecast to arrive on the peninsula, Sunday, will affect the race in any way.

Two practice sessions will be held for drivers on Friday before qualifying laps begin on Saturday at 2 p.m. The race is at 3 p.m. Sunday.

Organizers expect to sell 200,000 tickets this year, although they sold about 160,000 in the previous three Korean GPs.

Under the F1 scoring system, drivers get 25 points for a first-place finish and 18 points for second place. Top-10 finishers will get at least a point. Juan Manuel Fangio of Argentina and Schumacher are currently the only drivers in F1 history to secure four-straight world titles.

Under its contract with F1, Yeongam hosts three more GPs after this one until 2016. It remains to be seen whether there will be an F1 event in Korea after that as the GP has been a crippling money loser for the small South Jeolla Province town. The accumulated losses from the previous three events are now measured at around 180 billion won (about $160 million).

The Korean Grand Prix will be aired by MBC Television and SBS ESPN. For more information, visit its official web page at www.koreangp.kr.


관련 한글 기사

머신 속속 도착…경주장 분위기 후끈

2013 F1국제자동차경주 한국대회 개막이 3일 앞으로 다가온 가운데 영암 F1경주장에 경주용 머신과 장비 등이 속속 도착, 대회 분위기가 고조되고 있다.

F1대회조직위원회는 지난달 22일 싱가포르대회 폐막 이후 영암 F1경주장에 팀별 장비와 방송장비 반입이 시작됐다고 1일 밝혔다.

싱가포르 대회에서 우승한 세바스찬 페텔의 소속팀 레드불을 비롯해 페라리, 맥라렌 등의 대회 장비가 항공편으로 수송됐으며 엔진, 머신, 교체용 타이어 등도 전세기에 나뉘어 국내에 도착했다.

인천국제공항에 도착한 경주차와 장비는 트레일러 등으로 경주장까지 운송되며 안전을 위해 호위차량이 동원된다.

레이스를 펼치는 머신은 대당 가격이 100억원을 호가한다.

대회조직위는 메인그랜드스탠드를 비롯해 팀 빌딩, 레이스 컨트롤빌딩, 미디어센터, 기업부스 등 60여곳에서 대대적인 청소와 방역활동, 시설 안전점검 등으로 손님맞이에 차질이 없도록 했다.

조직위는 또 반입 장비에 대한 물류 보호와 시설 경비를 위해 전문 경비요원을 경주장에 배치하는 등 시설과 안전관리에도 주력하고 있다고 덧붙였다.



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