PASSNOTES

Your es­sen­tial F1 brief­ing #11 Korean Grand Prix

F1 Racing - - INSIDER -

Name Korea In­ter­na­tional Cir­cuit

Age 5 Ap­pear­ance

Un­fin­ished Oh goody, I do love it when new races ap­pear on the cal­en­dar. Travel broad­ens the mind, no? Well, not quite. We’ve been here be­fore – Korea, that is – but we're not go­ing back there after all. So we'll be spared the For­mula 1 press pack bleat­ing on Twit­ter about hard mat­tresses, cour­tesy buses with doilies in the win­dows, and ho­tel foy­ers that smell of cab­bage.

Per­haps they should seek Korea ad­vice! Very droll. Any­how, it's another nail in the cof­fin of the cir­cuit that hosted the Korean Grand Prix be­tween 2010 and 2013. Oh yes, I re­mem­ber now. Sup­posed to be a Monaco-style street cir­cuit in the mid­dle of an ex­cit­ing new city de­vel­op­ment, with a ma­rina and sky­scrapers and stuff. That’s it. Trou­ble is, none of the ‘stuff’ was ever built, so it’s still in the mid­dle of a swamp, and the near­est city is still a three-hour train ride from the cap­i­tal and not ex­actly geared up to wel­com­ing tourists – un­less they’re the sort of tourists who like to rent rooms by the hour.

Sounds like some Seoul-search­ing is in or­der! Well there’s al­ways the pos­si­bil­ity of a street race in Seoul and it has been dis­cussed in the past. But every­body in South Korea – in­clud­ing the cir­cuit’s own­ers – were very con­fused by the race’s brief reap­pear­ance on this year’s cal­en­dar. Per­haps some per­ni­cious prank by per­fid­i­ous Py­ongyang! Was the F1 cal­en­dar hacked? Maybe, but if so it was low-grade mis­chief com­pared with, say, ex­pos­ing the aliases Hol­ly­wood’s A-list celebs use to check in to ho­tels incog­nito. Let's hope none of the F1 teams booked cheap non­re­fund­able flight tick­ets… Korean Air will breathe a sigh of re­lief. I'll bet those de­mand­ing F1 types are the sort of peo­ple who like their pre-flight nib­bles served on a plate rather than out of a packet.

I can vi­su­alise the Twit­ter tantrum al­ready. Do say: Good Korea move.

Don’t say: How were we sup­posed to get the cars from there to Spain in two days, any­way?

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