Tilke: Korea will be ready in time

Formula 1 circuit architect Hermann Tilke has no doubts that the new Korean Grand Prix track will be finished in time for October's race - despite fresh doubts about the event over the summer break

Tilke: Korea will be ready in time

Recent photographs taken of the track emerged over the summer showing the Korean International Circuit track was in a far from finished state - with the asphalt having then not been laid.

Those pictures prompted fresh speculation about the event, which has been the subject of frenzied speculation all season.

However, with sources revealing that the first layer of asphalt has now been laid ahead of a first demonstration run of a Red Bull Racing car next week, Tilke has made it clear that he is sure it will take place.

"The track is not finished yet, but it will be," Tilke told AUTOSPORT. "It will be ready.

"Of course it is tight. But every circuit is tight. With every F1 circuit, the problem is always that the race date is there - and if there is bad weather or other circumstances then we cannot delay.

"With a normal building, they can say that it will be finished now one week or two weeks later. We cannot do that with an F1 track. We cannot have it one week later."

Construction of the Korean track was delayed by poor weather over recent months, but work is now accelerating to get it ready in time. A final FIA inspection is likely to take place after next month's Italian Grand Prix.

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said in Belgium that he too was optimistic the event would happen - even if the track was finished only hours before F1 action starts.

"I have seen the photographs and I've seen the concern that parts of the track were still rubble a few weeks ago," he explained. "I think that this must be a very big event for South Korea, they have got lots of people and resources and I am sure they are not going to allow us to turn up and not be ready. It may well be ready the night before but I suspect we will be there."

When asked if, in the event that Korea was not ready, there would be a replacement race, Whitmarsh said: "It could, but I am sure it is just not practical. And I don't think it is being contemplated because Bernie [Ecclestone] and others are confident that Korea will deliver us a race."

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