The Yeongam circuit, reached after a three hour journey south from Seoul on the country’s fastest train, is near a remote port more on the map for shipbuilding than tourism or motorsport.
“The atmosphere at the track isn’t great because there aren’t many spectators, but the track’s got some challenging sections and some good corners,” commented Vettel’s Red Bull team mate Mark Webber.
The Australian started on pole position last year but it is Vettel who has won the race for the past two seasons and is favourite for the hat-trick, even if that does not sit well with Ferrari fans and others yearning for a closer battle.
The champion’s fourth successive title looks a foregone conclusion and could be won by the end of the month but until then the 26-year-old is putting into practice the old German saying that all good things come in threes.
Only Vettel and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, the man who is now his closest rival in the championship even if there is a 60 point gap with six races remaining, have ever won the Korean race since it first appeared on the calendar in 2010.