Seoul’s ‘technical’ Formula E circuit has ‘beautiful complexity’
Seoul will host its first Formula E race around the sports village designed for the 1988 Summer Olympics in Jamsil, with the top of the circuit enclosed in the Olympic Stadium.
The first half of the lap, including the stadium section, features a series of tight, technical turns before the second half features higher-speed corners and straights.
Maximilian Gunther of Nissan e.dams welcomed the possibility of racing around a historic Olympic site, and that the first part of the lap will be “busy” for the drivers.
“It’s always great in Formula E to experience so many different places, and especially with the Olympic history of the country, of the city, it’s very special to race in such a historic place, and especially to drive through Olympic Stadium,” Gunther told Motorsport.com.
“I think the track has a very nice complexity. On the one hand, there are very technical corners, like in particular the stadium with many combined turns, one corner following one another. So it’s a very busy period behind the flying.
“And then in the outer part, in particular, we have three long to very long straights. And with overtaking, that’s obviously quite possible. We have four lanes in some areas, so I think [there will be] overtaking in turn 19, in 20, especially in 22. I think it’s the best overtaking spot on the circuit. Round 1 is also possible.
“I think it’s a really great track both for the challenge inside the car, but in terms of the racing that we’re going to offer, and yeah, I think it’s pretty cool.”
Stoffel Vandoorne, Mercedes-Benz EQ, EQ Silver Arrow 02, Robin Frijns, Envision Racing, Audi e-tron FE07, Oliver Rowland, Mahindra Racing, Mahindra M7Electro
Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images
Gunther’s overtaking points aside, Nick Cassidy suggested overtaking could prove to be a challenge and hoped his Envision team wouldn’t struggle as much as Jakarta, the other new circuit on the calendar. of this year.
“The circuit looks cool. It’s tight, there are quite narrow areas, but real Formula E character. Getting over this part will be difficult,” observed Cassidy.
“If it’s a circuit for us, I have no idea, honestly. We struggled at Jakarta which was a new circuit, but I think here the conditions or the type of circuit seem to be a little bit different. So I’m hopeful.”
Nyck de Vries felt the diverse nature of the circuit sectors almost felt like a combination of two different venues, but explained that the weather could be unpredictable, although some weather forecasts suggested varying degrees of rain across the two races.
Seoul suffered flooding earlier this week amid heavy downpours on Monday, but the rest of the week was largely dry.
“The weather is a bit weird. We had a lot of water at the beginning of the week. And yet the forecast is wet for tomorrow, which I find hard to believe. But we will find out during the day,” said said de Vries.
“The track is very difficult because there is a bit of everything. The first two sectors are very twisty and tight, very narrow. And then obviously from sector three the track opens up a bit.
“There are some fairly fast corners and more straights that are a bit bigger, so it almost feels like two different tracks connected, becoming a complete circuit together.”
Oliver Askew of Andretti added that it would be difficult to generate the tire temperature on the warm-up laps in qualifying and anticipates a lot of lockup on the front right tyre.
“It sounds technical. Sector one and sector three are completely different, asking for different things,” Askew said.
“So I think it’s going to be a bit difficult to get the temperature of the tires to prepare for the lap because on the front right there’s not a lot of energy in that tire during the preparation lap.
“It’s going to be tough. You can expect some front right lockup and understeer in Turn 2 because most of the corners are right-hand.”