Engines Rev Up for 3rd Formula One Korean Grand Prix

Korea's third Formula One Grand Prix will take place at the Korea International Circuit in Yeongam, South Jeolla Province from Friday to Sunday. This year's F1 season kicked off in Australia in March, and Korea marks the 16th of its 20 races.

The action starts with practice runs on Friday, preliminaries to determine the drivers' positions on the starting grid on Saturday, and the main action on Sunday.

A fierce battle is expected between Spain's Fernando Alonso, the winner of the inaugural 2010 Korean Grand Prix, and Germany's Sebastian Vettel, who triumphed last year in his Red Bull. They are currently leading the race to become this year's world champion, with Ferrari's Alonso enjoying a four-point lead in the drivers' standings at 194 points.

Finnish racer Kimi Raikkonen and Britain's Lewis Hamilton are also considered top contenders for the Korean race, and longer shots for the overall title this year. Lotus-Renault's Raikkonen has 157 points and McLaren-Mercedes' Hamilton has racked up 152.

The circuit in Yeongam is unusual in the sense that the drivers must race around it counter-clockwise. How quickly they can acclimatize to the change is likely to play a major role in the outcome on Sunday.

Korean pop sensation PSY, who rose to worldwide stardom with "Gangnam Style," will wave the checkered flag at the end of Sunday' race.

After the final, he will hold a concert at the circuit from 6 p.m. Three-day ticket holders and those with tickets for Sunday will be able to watch the concert for free.

englishnews@chosun.com / Oct. 11, 2012 09:43 KST