The Korea International Circuit in Mokpo, hosting round 14 of the Formula 1 championship this weekend, has fast become one of those “Marmite” venues — one you either love or hate, with the vast majority in the latter camp.
Now in its fourth year, financial concerns abound and there is every reason to believe it will not be on next season’s calendar, with the organisers yet to sign a new contract.
As for the circuit itself, the first half is loved by the drivers as it possesses long straights into tight hairpins, providing the ideal scenario for overtaking.
But then the second half is full of twists and turns, ensuring that overall it is somewhat hit and miss, leaving the drivers to think: “Let’s get to a real race track next week with Suzuka.”
Vettel’s victory in Singapore was the 33rd of his Formula One career, surpassing Fernando Alonso as the driver currently competing who has the most wins.
Vettel also completed the “grand slam” in Singapore – pole, fastest lap, leading every lap and winning — for the third time.
Jim Clark leads the way with eight.
Vettel has now spent 2 147 laps in the lead of grands prix. Only Michael Schumacher, Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost have completed more. Schumacher’s total is a staggering 5 111.
One more on Vettel — in making it three in a row in Singapore, he became the first driver since Felipe Massa in 2008 in Turkey to win three successive races at the same circuit.
With Alonso second and Felipe Massa sixth, Ferrari now has 61 consecutive points finishes to their name. McLaren hold the record at 64 that came to an end earlier this year.
The pole was also Red Bull’s 51st, pulling them alongside Renault. Ferrari, McLaren, Williams and Lotus are the only other constructors with more.
Speaking of Renault, it was the engine manufacturer’s 207th pole, just one behind the all-time record set by Ferrari.
In the three previous Korean Grand Prix, the driver on pole has failed to win the race.
The Korea International Circuit is one of only five anti-clockwise circuits on the calendar, the others being Singapore’s Marina Bay Street Circuit, Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina, Austin’s Circuit of the Americas and Sao Paulo’s Interlagos.