Sebastian Vettel has led a Red Bull Racing 1-2 to complete today’s second free practice session of the Korean Grand Prix atop the timesheets, pipping team-mate Mark Webber to top spot by a scant three-hundredths of a second.
With sunny conditions again greeting the drivers – along with the bare handful of spectators to made the long journey to the remote circuit – the teams were presented with good conditions to perform more set-up and development evaluation work in the ninety-minute session.
But the Yeongyam circuit’s highly-abrasive nature meant that – while the field was given its first opportunity of the weekend to bolt on sets of Pirelli’s ‘super soft’ rubber – most runners were cautious about saving tyre sets to use later in the weekend.
The track also decided not to play ball in other ways, with sections of Astroturf run-off becoming dislodged at the exit of the final corner, courtesy of many drivers venturing off-line as they explored the track and grip limits.
A selection of drivers and teams also had their own dramas to contend with. Getting his first outing in the cockpit this weekend, Caterham’s Vitaly Petrov suffered a right-rear puncture that compromised his planned program of set-up work, while Nico Hülkenberg reported his Force India was suffering some undisclosed overheating issue.
Down at HRT, Pedro de la Rosa was experiencing his own rear-end handling issues as the Spanish team continued to evaluate its new floor design. The Spaniard also copped the ire of Michael Schumacher, who gesticulated angrily at his fellow forty-plus driver after de la Rosa wandered into the German’s path when he was on a hot-lap.
But the worst outcome was to face Sergio Pérez, whose Sauber ran out of puff – courtesy of an actuator issue – after barely a half-hour’s running.
Up at the sharp end of the field, Vettel managed to move to the top of the timing monitors with a session’s best effort of 1:38.832 to bump team-mate Webber down to second-fastest, with his main championship rival Fernando Alonso finishing third-quickest in the Ferrari.
Jenson Button took his McLaren to the fourth-fastest overall effort in his McLaren, while Felipe Massa, Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton, Nico Hülkenberg and Kimi Raikkonen (running Lotus’ new Coandă exhausts) completed the top ten.
2012 Korean Formula 1 Grand Prix – Free Practice 2 Session Times:
|1.||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing Renault RB8||1:38.832||33|
|2.||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing Renault RB8||1:38.864||+ 0.032||33|
|3.||Fernando Alonso||Scuderia Ferrari F2012||1:39.160||+ 0.328||28|
|4.||Jenson Button||McLaren Mercedes MP4-27||1:39.219||+ 0.387||29|
|5.||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes AMG F1 W03||1:39.330||+ 0.498||31|
|6.||Felipe Massa||Scuderia Ferrari F2012||1:39.422||+ 0.590||30|
|7.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG F1 W03||1:39.584||+ 0.752||36|
|8.||Lewis Hamilton||McLaren Mercedes MP4-27||1:39.717||+ 0.885||25|
|9.||Nico Hülkenberg||Force India Mercedes VJM05||1:39.739||+ 0.907||33|
|10.||Kimi Räikkönen||Lotus F1 Renault E20||1:39.839||+ 1.007||26|
|11.||Romain Grosjean||Lotus F1 Renault E20||1:39.957||+ 1.125||28|
|12.||Bruno Senna||Williams Renault FW34||1:40.089||+ 1.257||32|
|13.||Paul di Resta||Force India Mercedes VJM05||1:40.112||+ 1.280||34|
|14.||Kamui Kobayashi||Sauber Ferrari C31||1:40.445||+ 1.613||28|
|15.||Sergio Pérez||Sauber Ferrari C31||1:40.745||+ 1.913||11|
|16.||Jean-Éric Vergne||Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR7||1:40.789||+ 1.957||31|
|17.||Daniel Ricciardo||Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR7||1:40.997||+ 2.165||32|
|18.||Pastor Maldonado||Williams Renault FW34||1:41.200||+ 2.368||33|
|19.||Heikki Kovalainen||Caterham Renault CT01||1:41.602||+ 2.770||23|
|20.||Timo Glock||Marussia Racing Cosworth MR01||1:42.596||+ 3.764||28|
|21.||Charles Pic||Marussia Racing Cosworth MR01||1:43.066||+ 4.234||21|
|22.||Vitaly Petrov||Caterham Renault CT01||1:43.067||+ 4.235||22|
|23.||Narain Karthikeyan||HRTF1 Cosworth F112||1:43.869||+ 5.037||36|
|24.||Pedro de la Rosa||HRTF1 Cosworth F112||1:44.533||+ 5.701||24|