FIA approves Korea circuit for inaugural raceUPDATE #2 (GMM) Charlie Whiting on Tuesday gave Korea's new formula one circuit the thumbs-up.
The leading FIA official had been at the Yeongam site since Monday for the track's final readiness inspection, amid speculation it was not ready for its inaugural event next weekend.
But, based on a media statement issued by race organizers KAVO, the major wire agencies AFP, AP and Reuters said Briton Whiting approved the circuit on Tuesday.
However, legitimate doubts remain, particularly after rain fell on the newly laid and curing top layer of racing asphalt overnight.
A photograph reportedly taken at the circuit on Monday show a bridge over the start-finish straight still under construction, while the circuit's main access road is apparently not yet sealed and the entire site not fully fenced.
But the main concern is the still 'sweating' track surface, with the process of oil seeping to the top unlikely to be passed by the time of the first action next Friday.
"I think we've already made the tires, so we have to try," said Bridgestone's Hiroshi Yasukawa. "Our tires are equal for everybody. At this stage, wait and see."
10/11/10 Here are some recent aerial photos showing the Korea track pretty much complete:
10/08/10 (GMM) After expressing doubts about the inaugural event less than two weeks ago, Bernie Ecclestone now insists the Korean grand prix "is on".
The FIA's Charlie Whiting is due to tour the Yeongam venue the day after Sunday's Japanese grand prix, but F1 chief executive Ecclestone said the circuit "will pass the inspection" and host the race in two weeks.
"They had problems but they have done wonders in the last few weeks," the Briton, who is not in Japan this weekend, is quoted by the Daily Express.
"I've been in touch, I've seen photographs and the top layer of the track has been laid. They will pass the inspection," added Ecclestone.
The newspaper report, however, said many of the circuit's buildings and spectator facilities will not be finished.
Ecclestone continued: "Despite all the doom stories, I think people will be pleasantly surprised.
"I will be there, the world will be watching and we will have a great race -- and it is on, end of story," he said.
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