Daily Archives: March 8, 2010

New photos of Korean track development

The planned layout for the Korean Grand Prix

The planned layout for the Korean Grand Prix

The Korean Grand Prix will make its debut this year, and preparations are well underway.

At the moment, a few grandstands have been partially set up, and the pit area is also getting along well. The various centres have been the most developed, and should be completed within a few months. While the track is nowhere ready, you can see the outline of it in the photos.

From this, there doesn’t seem to be too much worry about it not being ready in time. However, that’s not to say that the track will actually be any good. I really don’t like the look of it, as it seems to be completely flat and lifeless, and the corners are all in a mess. It just doesn’t fit together at all. Overtaking opportunities? Only one, and it’s a long straight in between two (surprise surprise) heavy braking zones.

To top it all off, you’ll never guess who designed it. Put your hands together for (drum roll)…. Herman Tilke. The only decent circuit he’s ever made is Turkey, and that place is more expensive than La Rascasse.

A preview of the Grand Prix is available here:

New development pictures are available here:

Vettel’s new name for RB6

Last year, you may remember Sebastian Vettel’s RB5 cars being called Kate and Kate’s Dirty Sister. Apparently, he names all of his cars.

So, this year, it was no surprise to see him rename his new car, the RB6. This year, it will be called Luscious Liz!

No word yet on how he handles it!

McLaren rear wing to be inspected

The slot and rear wing desing of the McLaren MP4-25

The slot and rear wing desing of the McLaren MP4-25

McLaren’s MP4-25 rear wing is to be inspected in Bahrain, following concerns from Red Bull and Ferrari over its legality.

While Ferrari have since been less concerned about the issue, they and Red Bull have asked Charlie Whiting, FIA race director, to closely inspect the rear wing. Christian Horner in particular has seeked clarification over the concept of McLaren’s rear wing.

The issue deals with a slot just above the driver helmet. It feeds air away from the rear wing, which “stalls” the wing at high speed. It reduces drag and still increases downforce. It is believed that the McLaren in faster in a straight line by 6mph because of this innovation.

While McLaren have already invited Charlie Whiting to inspect the innovation, his flight from South America was heavily delayed, so he cancelled the trip to Woking. The car will instead be examined at Bahrain this weekend.

Although Christian Horner is still asking the FIA for clarification, he still believes the innovation is legal:

“There’s a bit of a fuss over McLaren’s rear wing. They have a slot
on it and can pick up a lot of straight-line speed. Basically, if you
stall the wing you take all the drag off it and pick up straight-line
speed. It’s something that’s been done quite a lot over the years,
but with the wing separators you’re not supposed to do that.

I think it will get resolved before the first race. We’ve asked the
FIA for clarification, although I think Ferrari are probably more
excited than we are to be honest. Our question ultimately will be,
‘Is it clever design or is it in breach of the regulations?’ They
must be very confident that it’s legal. I would think it will be

McLaren is much less worried about their design, with Martin Whitmarsh saying:

"The wing is different and innovative, yes. But we have been in
contact with Charlie over a period of several months to check that it
complies with regulations. We have been assured that it does."

It’s unclear how important this design is to McLaren’s car, but rest assured that they won’t be winning races any time soon if it’s declared illegal. If it is legal, which it probably is, then we may see another scramble, like last year, with all the teams trying to copy the design.

As I said when the cars were launched, I’m more worried about the diffuser design than this. Still, this design seems to be legal, so we might see another development battle.