Korean Grand Prix Betting

In 2010, Korea joined Singapore and China to became one of the newest members of the FIA Formula One family, conducting its very first Grand Prix motor race at the new Korea International Circuit in Yeongam, about 370 kilometres south of Seoul and near the port city of Mokpo. The event marked an important milestone in the country’s hosting of international sports activities, following the Olympic Games of 1988 and the World Cup in 2002.

Preparations for the inaugural race started as far back as 2006, when local organisers Korea Auto Valley Operation (KAVO) and the FIA agreed to add the first South Korean Grand Prix to the 61st season of FIA F1 World Championships. By 2009, the funding had been put in place for construction of a track worthy of the highest calibre motor racing, and officials said they were confident the work would be completed in time to host the Grand Prix in 2010.

The course at Yeongam was designed by the famed German raceway architect Hermann Tilke. He came up with a 5.615-kilometre circuit that would be half-temporary and half-permanent, with the temporary part running along the harbour side of the province so that spectators from the promenade, hotels and yachts could view the race. Some of the city’s exhibition facilities, shops, restaurants and cafés could also be utilized as pit lane for the F1 Grand Prix weekend. Tilke’s creation took full advantage of the beautiful natural scenery of the rural location, too, with stunning views of Mt. Jirisan and Mt. Wolchulsan as well as three islands offshore. The 3.045-km permanent track was designed for use all year round, and it features a mammoth 1.2-km straight, the longest of any current Asian Formula One circuit.

The final track inspection was delayed multiple times, causing great concern that the event would have to be cancelled. However, just eleven days before the first cars were scheduled to start practice, FIA inspectors gave their go-ahead and the mandatory license was issued through the Korea Automobile Racing Association (KARA). The inaugural Korean Grand Prix went ahead as intended on 24 October 2010 as the 17th leg of a 19-race season, following on the heels of the Japanese Grand Prix at the Suzuka Circuit.

An estimated 135,000 spectators showed up for the historic event. Despite rainy conditions and early laps that required running under safety car conditions, the competition was fierce, contested by all of the top names in F1 racing. Germany’s Sebastian Vettel had won the pole position but had to pull out after 45 laps with engine trouble. That promoted Spain’s Fernando Alonso to the lead, which he defended to the very end, outpacing Britain’s Lewis Hamilton in second and Brazil’s Felipe Massa in third.

Coming into the 2011 South Korean Grand Prix, Vettel had already clinched the F1 Driver’s Title by virtue of points accumulated through the Suzuka event. That could have led to a lacklustre race at Yeongam, but the feisty German proved he was all about winning by beating all rivals over 55 laps, leaving Hamilton in second and Australia’s Mark Webber in third. The following year, Webber had the pole position but lost his lead to Vettel on the very first turn. That was all the advantage the defending champion needed to race to his second South Korean Grand Prix victory over 55 laps ahead of Webber with Alonso trailing in third.

In 2013, Vettel completely dominated the race from pole to post. He won the qualifying, led every lap, scored fastest lap and won the race to claim the fourth Grand Chelem of his career. Joining Vettel on the podium was runner-up Kimi Räikkönen of Finland along with France’s Romain Grosjean, who finished third. The Korean Grand Prix was provisionally slated to move up to 4th on the F1 calendar in 2014 as part of FIA’s original deal for seven years of F1 racing with a five year option that ensures the race can be held until 2021. However, in December 2013, it was announced that the event had been withdrawn from the schedule, ostensibly for financial reasons.

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