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Page last updated at 06:36 GMT, Tuesday, 12 October 2010 07:36 UK

Korean F1 Grand Prix given go-ahead after inspection

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Webber's circuit guide to the Korean GP

The Korean Grand Prix will go ahead on 24 October as scheduled after Formula 1 officials gave their approval on Tuesday following a track inspection.

The FIA's technical delegate Charlie Whiting has completed a two-day inspection, with particular attention paid to the final layer of asphalt.

New aerial photographs show a completed main grandstand, while the pit and paddock areas are apparently finished.

Much of the remainder of the circuit still resembles a building site.

The first appearance of F1 cars on the track is scheduled for 22 October, just 10 days after Tuesday's announcement.

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F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone had expressed doubts about whether the race could proceed, with a 21 September inspection called off.

In extending the time given to complete the track before the inspection, the FIA - motorsport's world governing body - had to stretch its own rules which said tracks should be given approval more than 90 days before the race takes place.

Whiting described the track as "satisfactory", adding that a license would be issued through the Korea Automobile Racing Association (KARA).

Local organizers had blamed bad weather for the delays in completing the Yeongam circuit, built on marshland near South Korea's south west coast and about four hours by car from Seoul.

The green light granted for Korea leaves three races remaining in the world championship this season. Red Bull's Mark Webber leads the standings by 14 points from team-mate Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.

Cranes are still in place in various areas
Cranes are still in place in various areas around the circuit

KARA chairman Chung Yung-cho said: "We join the whole of Korea in welcoming the Formula 1 fraternity to the Korea International Circuit for the first time.

"We believe the 2010 Korean Grand Prix will be the catalyst to ignite enormous interest in the sport across the nation.

"The FIA has played a crucial role from the very beginning, and provided enormous support in terms of expertise, advice and knowledge."

He said the innovative layout of the circuit, bringing spectators close to the track while ensuring safety, had met with Whiting's approval.

No teams are expecting perfect conditions, however.

South Korea's car manufacturers hope the grand prix will help raise the country's image as a high-end maker, having emerged as one of the world's fastest growing exporters.

Cancellation would have dealt a major blow to South Korea's plan to raise its profile as a business and tourism destination.

Funds have been poured into various global events, including November's G20 summit and a bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics.



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see also
Ecclestone fearful over Korean GP
27 Sep 10 |  Formula 1
Chandhok impressed by Korea track
04 Sep 10 |  Formula 1
Korea GP venue 'in need of work'
03 Sep 10 |  Formula 1
Korea insists track will be ready
12 Apr 10 |  Formula 1
South Korea to make 2010 F1 debut
21 Sep 09 |  Formula 1


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