Cosworth's Guide to the Korean Grand Prix Formula One is set for a landmark event this weekend as the inaugural Korean Grand Prix takes place at the brand new Korea International Circuit in Yeongam. Korean Grand Prix from an Engine's ...
Cosworth's Guide to the Korean Grand Prix
Formula One is set for a landmark event this weekend as the inaugural Korean Grand Prix takes place at the brand new Korea International Circuit in Yeongam.
Korean Grand Prix from an Engine's Perspective
The start-finish straight is fairly straightforward with a relatively tight turn 1 leading directly into turn 2, which is likely to be taken flat, leading onto a long 1.2km straight. From an engine point of view this long straight is quite a challenge. Cosworth engineers reported quite a strong breeze on Wednesday which could make selecting seventh gear difficult if it changes direction or strength; a small change in wind direction can result in either 'kissing' the limiter at the end of the straight, which is preferred, or sitting in it for extended periods. In this respect, the circuit is similar to Montreal.
After a tight section of corners from 4 to 6, the sequence of turns 6 through 8 appears to be the most challenging for the driver with the lateral acceleration predicted to be in excess of 4G. As the track is very green, we will only get a true indication of the peak lateral acceleration once it rubbers in fully. In terms of oil surge, it is these corners that are likely to indicate the minimum permissible running oil level.
Turns 9 through 18 are all fairly tight, sequential and relatively slow. The interesting contrast between this final sector and sector 1 is the requirement to fit shorter ratios for the small bursts of acceleration between the corners. However, this has to be combined with a seventh gear that provides a competitive top speed. This sequence of corners is also a test of the engine's part throttle driveability. As such Korea is a genuine test of all aspects of the engine, as much as it is for the car, which is unusual.
Fuel consumption is another unknown. As the track rubbers in, the fuel consumption will go up as more power is put down per lap, so only once the track has finished rubbering in will it be possible to gauge a typical race fuel consumption figure. The nature of the track will change so dramatically as it rubbers in that teams will almost certainly assess different set-up solutions throughout Friday.
Cosworth predicts that drivers will be at full throttle for around 15 or 16 seconds down the long 1.2km straight between turns 2 and 3
This Weekend in History... 24 October 1993
Ayrton Senna won the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka in a McLaren-Ford. His team-mate, Mika Hakkinen, scored the first of his 51 career podiums, taking third place.