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GP Week : Issue 105
– Email us Something to say? Email us at email@example.com Lacking in logic? After reading Bernie Ecclestone’s interview with the Guardian and follow-up report on espnf1.com, I couldn’t get my head around what he was saying. I’d already read GPWEEK’s coverage about plans for a Russian Grand Prix, but now his plans seemed even more absurd. Spa could potentially fall off the calendar and Turkey has one of the best circuits in the world? Two phrases that would make any F1 fan gasp, surely. Eccentric as Bernie can be, no one can deny he was at the helm in bringing about the Formula One as we know it today. But his recent comments about circuits and the sport’s direction lead me to suspect that his actions may damage rather than strengthen the sport. Turkey’s lack of attendance each year should hardly come as a shock. It’s not like locals can go and watch their Turkish F1 driver, because there isn’t one – nor has there ever been one in the history of Formula One. Motorsport just isn’t in their culture. So why should it surprise that people don’t pay extortionate prices for a ticket to a sporting event in which they can in no- way relate? Bernie’s plan to rob traditional motorsport countries of a grand prix and instead force it into countries that have no history of racing whatsoever is ludicrous. Taking away my most local (and F1’s most traditional) circuits, Silverstone and Spa, means I’d need to pay even more than the already overpriced amount to see a race which would include a longer travelling distance and accommodation. Oh well, I guess I’m back to just watching F1 on the telly. Claire Lorenc, UK firstname.lastname@example.org Have RBR not read their history books? They clearly haven't learned lessons from 2007 (McLaren) and 1986 (Williams). For Horner to say RBR will continue to support both drivers is absurd. Their best (and realistically only) chance to win the WDC is for them to support the driver in front. Vettel is a full win behind and even if he wins the next two races he has to hope Alonso comes 4th (or worse) twice –in his current form it's not likely he'll be off the podium in both races. RBR need to learn from the past and support Webber. Chin up Seb, playing number two for two races won't hurt too much. You've got plenty of time to prove you're a champion yet. Let the old man have this one and come back next year. Mark this one is still in your hands, take it by the scruff of the neck and win Brazil. Christian, serve the paymaster by all means but don't throw logic away. The WCC will be yours, but don't throw away your best chance at the WDC to appease the marketing department. Callum Wilson, Melbourne, Australia email@example.com It was with a sense of trepidation that the F1 circus landed in Seoul and made its way down to the relatively remote outpost of Yeongam. However, it wasn’t half bad. The circuit itself is definitely one of Tilke’s better efforts, even if the plans for a twinkling marina and high-rise business district behind the walls of the circuit’s third sector are a long way off reality. It’s quite and interesting approach – unlike Singapore or Monaco where you start with buildings, and then mark a track through them, Korea has built the circuit before the city. As it stands, the circuit wasn’t popular with photographers because, aside from a traditional-looking bridge over the star t/finish straight, it didn’t have much identity. Every corner looks the same on TV. Much has been made in the newspapers of the hotel situation, which resulted in two British journalists being summoned to Bernie for a bollocking. He doesn’t want ‘F1’ and ‘brothels’ in the same headline. F1 should be promoted as a glamorous sport, we’re told, but the port town of Mokpo – where most of us stayed – is better known for its sex trade than the chic parties we’re spoilt with in Monaco. Mokpo, however, was a bigger, more fun and more cosmopolitan town than I was expecting and in general I was pleasantly surprised. Korea is like Japan on meth: it lives off leftovers and is a bit confused, but it knows how to have a good time. I stayed in a hotel of a higher standard than many, though I was a little disconcerted when a colleague, also staying at my hotel, reported he found an open packet of cigarettes in his room one day after returning from the track. He doesn’t smoke. So one wonders what the daytime arrangements were with our rooms, and if the ciggy was post-coital. The Red Bull and Renault teams were staying in a place which, they tell me, had a dildo-dispensing vending machine in the lobby. Presumably in case you fancy exploring local areas of interest. Driving into the Korean Grand Prix Circuit one was greeted by a scene reminiscent of The Wicker Man. Helmet-wearing scarecrows lined the verge of the access road. Does Formula One really have a cult following in Korea? One thing is for opinion ADAM HAY- NICHOLLS GPWeek Editor Better almost late than never With two races to go and only the smallest class still in the balance, there is still plenty to enjoy as a landmark season returns home to Spain for the last two races. The races at Estoril next weekend and Valencia the week after are hugely important, for all sorts of reasons. As we have come to expect, most of them involve Rossi. The ageing (or perhaps ageless) icon is, for instance, playing a leading role in an increasingly tight battle for second overall. Second may be nothing but the first loser, but it beats being second or third loser. Pedrosa leads the game, with 228 points, but is crocked. Stoner and Rossi are right with one another, 205 MICHAEL SCOtt MotoGP Editor First Loser takes all