Hispania Racing’s Karun Chandhok drove a Red Bull in a demonstration run at the circuit last month.And he believes the controversial track in Yeongam, which was only signed off this week at the 11th hour by the sport’s governing body, is going to favour Red Bull over McLaren and Ferrari. “It will be closer than last weekend in Suzuka as it is not quite so aero-dependent, but I still fancy Red Bull to win,” Chandhok toldTelegraph Sport. “I think Korea is another Red Bull circuit. They proved by the end of Japan that they were a good half a second clear of the McLarens and Ferraris.”In two weeks that is impossible to catch up, regardless of how many new parts you throw on a car”
Hamilton trails Red Bull’s championship leader Mark Webber by 28 points going in to Korea, with Button a further three points adrift. And while both Britons have talked up their chances this week, predicting that the circuit’s characteristics should suit their car, Chandhok is not convinced.”It does have three long straights, which will help McLaren, but from turn four it’s basically just left-handers all the way home and gets a bit more fiddly – slow-speed, second-gear stuff, camber changes – which will play more into Red Bull’s hands,” he said. “Fernando [Alonso] could hustle it up and get closer to them and actually I fancy [Renault’s Robert]Kubica to do well again in Korea. He is a real street fighter and thiskind of track will suit him.
“What could be interesting, though, is the start. Red Bull maywell
lock out the front row and still not be leading by the time we reach
T4 because of the straights in that first sector.”That would make it
very interesting. I know it is somethingthat Mark is thinking about because he told me when he asked me what the circuit was like.”
There has been speculation that the Korean International Circuit,
which is built on marshland about 300 miles south of Seoul, could
prove hazardous.The final layer of asphalt was laidonly last week,
even though FIA regulations stipulate that F1 tracks “should” be
signed off at least 90 days in advance of grands prix, in order to
allow a bedding-in period and some minor racing before the F1 circus arrives.
Chandhok, though, poured cold water on those fears as well as
suggestions that the whole event will prove chaotic.”Let’s not kid
ourselves, there willbe teething problems, as there are in any new
facility,” said the Indian, who has been replaced by Sakon Yamamoto at Hispania Racing Team for financial reasonsbut remains confident of finding a race seat for 2011.