Lewis Hamilton has closed out Friday’s two practice sessions for the Korean Grand Prix as the fastest driver.
The Englishman clocked a 1:38.673 lap time on the soft-compound Pirelli tyres in the afternoon’s second practice session, edging our Sebastian Vettel be one-tenth of a second. Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate, Nico Rosberg, was third-quickest.
Pleasant conditions and better track conditions were enough to encourage the entire field to post plenty of laps around the Yeongyam circuit. With conditions rather grippier than in the morning’s running, there were no major incidents in the session aside from a few lock-ups and overshot corners. Charles Pic provided one of the few moments, with the Frenchman having a wild spin in his Caterham in the closing minutes of play.
After initial runs on the medium-compound tyres, the field progressively switched to Pirelli’s softer rubber for some qualifying-style runs, with Mercedes and Red Bull Racing jousting for top spot.
With Mark Webber only 0.17 seconds off Hamilton’s best time in fourth place, it looks set to be an exciting qualifying battle on Saturday – although the Australian will have to take a ten-place grid penalty for his ‘taxi ride’ antics after the previous Grand Prix at Singapore.
Felipe Massa wound up best of the rest with the fifth-fastest time in his Ferrari, four-tenths of a second in arrears, with he and his teammate Fernando Alonso sandwiching Romain Grosjean on the timesheets.
Grosjean’s Lotus teammate Kimi Räikkönen was eighth-quickest, which came courtesy of a rather stellar effort by his mechanics to repair his battered E21 following his heavy crash in the morning’s practice session. But the Finn complained of steering issues, finishing a second adrift of the frontrunning pace.
The McLaren and Force India runners were next up, with Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta sandwiched by Jenson Button and Sergio Pérez’s MP4-28 challengers, while the Sauber, Toro Rosso and Williams runners staged a Noah’s Ark formation on the timesheets to complete the lower midfield.
Giedo van der Garde headed the Caterham/Marussia battle at the tail of the field, finishing ahead of teammate Pic, while Marussia duo Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton were slowest of all.
2013 Korean Formula 1 Grand Prix – Free Practice 2 Session Times:
|1.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W04||1:38.673||31|
|2.||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing Renault RB9||1:38.781||+ 0.108||30|
|2.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W04||1:38.797||+ 0.124||32|
|4.||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing Renault RB9||1:38.844||+ 0.171||35|
|5.||Felipe Massa||Scuderia Ferrari F138||1:39.114||+ 0.441||30|
|6.||Romain Grosjean||Lotus F1 Renault E21||1:39.226||+ 0.553||34|
|7.||Fernando Alonso||Scuderia Ferrari F138||1:39.444||+ 0.771||31|
|8.||Kimi Räikkönen||Lotus F1 Renault E21||1:39.757||+ 1.084||33|
|9.||Jenson Button||McLaren Mercedes MP4-28||1:39.774||+ 1.101||29|
|10.||Adrian Sutil||Force India Mercedes VJM06||1:40.006||+ 1.333||34|
|11.||Paul di Resta||Force India Mercedes VJM06||1:40.007||+ 1.334||34|
|12.||Sergio Pérez||McLaren Mercedes MP4-28||1:40.152||+ 1.479||31|
|13.||Esteban Gutiérrez||Sauber Ferrari C32||1:40.186||+ 1.513||33|
|14.||Nico Hülkenberg||Sauber Ferrari C32||1:40.210||+ 1.537||34|
|15.||Jean-Éric Vergne||Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR8||1:40.446||+ 1.773||30|
|16.||Daniel Ricciardo||Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR8||1:40.552||+ 1.879||26|
|17.||Pastor Maldonado||Williams Renault FW35||1:41.117||+ 2.444||35|
|18.||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Renault FW35||1:41.289||+ 2.616||34|
|19.||Giedo van der Garde||Caterham Renault CT03||1:42.461||+ 3.788||36|
|20.||Charles Pic||Caterham Renault CT03||1:42.798||+ 4.125||35|
|21.||Jules Bianchi||Marussia Cosworth MR02||1:43.108||+ 4.435||31|
|22.||Max Chilton||Marussia Cosworth MR02||1:43.441||+ 4.768||29|