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2013 F1

2013 Korean GP preview quotes – Caterham, Force India, Sauber

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cate-kova-kore-20123-886x590Giedo van der Garde, Caterham
2012 Qualifying – n/a, 2012 Race – n/a

“Korea next and another track I have experience of from last year. Our week starts with a Renault Sport F1 event in Seoul and then it’ll be straight down to Mokpo for the race weekend. I haven’t had the chance to visit Seoul before but everyone tells me it’s a seriously cool city so I’ll make sure I get the chance to take a look around before work starts!

“Korea’s another track where I ran in FP1 in 2012, completing 19 laps which was enough to find my way around and be able to start pushing. Even though the tyres are different this year, that experience, as I had quite a few tracks last year, is particularly valuable now as it means I’m on it right from the start of FP1 and every lap counts in getting the setup right for the weekend.

“From inside the cockpit the Korea track is a pretty typical modern F1 circuit. There’s the long straight out of T2 where you need good straight-line speed and then it’s a bit stop-start through Turns three, four, five and six, and then you’re into the high-speed section up to the heavy braking zone at Turn 10. It’s pretty bumpy through that whole section and in the early stages of FP1 there’s little grip around the whole track, but it quickly builds up over the weekend so you can start really pushing through there from quite early on.

“If it rains this year then it’ll definitely be very interesting – our car likes the wet and two of my highlights this year have been on tracks where it’s been going from wet to dry, so it would be good if we could have some more unpredictable weather (even though the boys doing the pack up on Sunday probably wouldn’t agree with me on that!)”

Charles Pic, Caterham
2012 Qualifying – 21st, 2012 Race – 19th

“Before we go to Mokpo Giedo and I are helping out Renault Sport F1 at the finals of the Renault Samsung Motors remote control racing car championships in Seoul. I’ve seen some of them racing on YouTube and it’s so quick! I think the scaled-up equivalent is around 600mph and, honestly, I’m not too sure how they keep up! That’ll be a good start to the week and then we’re going to Mokpo on Wednesday to begin the normal race week preparations.

“Last year was my first race in Korea and I quite enjoyed it. This year it’s obviously a different package and as it’s quite a technical circuit it’ll be important to make the most of all three practice sessions to give us the best shot at quali and the race. In Singapore I didn’t really have a car balance I was happy with all weekend and I want to make that’s not the same in Korea, especially as if it rains on Sunday it’s likely there will be safety cars and we need to make sure we can seize any opportunities that come our way.”

Paul di Resta, Force India
2012 Qualifying – 14th, 2012 Race – 12th

“It’s an unusual track, but definitely a place that I enjoy driving. The three sectors are all very different with long straights linked by hairpins, some high-speed corners and a slower technical part of the lap. The tyre choices are the same as in Singapore so it will be interesting to see how they perform. We’ve always gone well on the supersofts, but struggled more on the medium compound so hopefully we can switch it on this weekend.”

Adrian Sutil, Force India
2012 Qualifying – n/a, 2012 Race – n/a

“I quite like the track and I’m looking forward to it. I haven’t been so successful there yet, but I want to make up for that this year. The circuit has a nice layout and a nice flow in the second part of the lap with some high-speed corners. Let’s see how the supersoft performs because the corners are very hard on the tyres. That could open up some interesting strategies.”

Dr Vijay Mallya, Force India team principal
“It’s never been our strongest track, although we did score some points there last year. It’s quite low-grip and the cooler temperatures make it a very different challenge. We will go there ready to learn as much as possible, try and improve our qualifying pace and come up with a smart strategy for Sunday.”

Nico Hulkenberg, Sauber
2012 Qualifying – 8th, 2012 Race – 6th

“Compared to many other drivers, Korea is a place I quite like. It’s a nice track and each sector is very different. The first sector has two straights and two hairpins. Sectors two and three are a bit like a street circuit and technically quite challenging. I enjoy driving there and also, historically, it has been quite a good circuit for me. In 2010 I would have finished fifth, but had a puncture just before the end of the race. Last year I had a great race there finishing sixth. So I have good memories of Korea and look forward to the race weekend.”

Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber
2012 Qualifying – n/a, 2012 Race – n/a

“Korea is going to be an exciting weekend for me, because I’ve been to the track but never raced there before. I’ve heard it’s quite nice to drive and it is going to be a good experience. In terms of preparation, I have mostly learnt from and analysed data and notes from previous years. I also watch a lot of on board videos and, of course, walk the track once we get there. With the two weeks between Singapore and Korea, I had plenty of time to study the track and make sure I am as best prepared as possible. Other than that, the aim for me will, again, be to keep up and improve my consistency.”

Tom McCullough, Sauber head of track engineering
“The Korea International Circuit does not get a lot of use prior to or during the race weekend. This year there is actually only one support race, which is something we have little experience of. Therefore, observing and understanding the track evolution will be important. The three sectors at the Yeongam circuit are all very different and that makes it a real challenge to optimise the car. The first sector only has two significant low speed corners; the rest of the sector is spent flat out in a straight line, therefore rewarding a lower drag set-up. However, in contrast the final two sectors are a good mix of low, medium and high-speed corners with shorter straights. As in previous years, the option compound will be the supersoft tyre compound. However, like in Singapore, the prime will be the medium compound, which is one step harder than we used last year. It will be particularly important to understand how this tyre performs on a faster track, particularly in high-speed corners. The recent update packages have all worked as intended and are helping us to fight stronger within the tight midfield pack. Our aim is to continue qualifying strongly and give ourselves the best opportunity to score more points.”

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