Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber have led a Red Bull 1-2 in the second free practice session for the Korean Grand Prix

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.

Schumacher vents his ire at Pedro de la Rosa after being held up on a flying lap Sergio Perez ground to a halt and lost an hour's running

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:

Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1. Sebastian Vettel DEU Red Bull Racing Renault RB8 1:38.832 33
2. Mark Webber AUS Red Bull Racing Renault RB8 1:38.864 + 0.032 33
3. Fernando Alonso ESP Scuderia Ferrari F2012 1:39.160 + 0.328 28
4. Jenson Button GBR McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 1:39.219 + 0.387 29
5. Michael Schumacher DEU Mercedes AMG F1 W03 1:39.330 + 0.498 31
6. Felipe Massa BRA Scuderia Ferrari F2012 1:39.422 + 0.590 30
7. Nico Rosberg DEU Mercedes AMG F1 W03 1:39.584 + 0.752 36
8. Lewis Hamilton GBR McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 1:39.717 + 0.885 25
9. Nico Hülkenberg DEU Force India Mercedes VJM05 1:39.739 + 0.907 33
10. Kimi Räikkönen FIN Lotus F1 Renault E20 1:39.839 + 1.007 26
11. Romain Grosjean FRA Lotus F1 Renault E20 1:39.957 + 1.125 28
12. Bruno Senna BRA Williams Renault FW34 1:40.089 + 1.257 32
13. Paul di Resta GBR Force India Mercedes VJM05 1:40.112 + 1.280 34
14. Kamui Kobayashi JPN Sauber Ferrari C31 1:40.445 + 1.613 28
15. Sergio Pérez MEX Sauber Ferrari C31 1:40.745 + 1.913 11
16. Jean-Éric Vergne FRA Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR7 1:40.789 + 1.957 31
17. Daniel Ricciardo AUS Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR7 1:40.997 + 2.165 32
18. Pastor Maldonado VEN Williams Renault FW34 1:41.200 + 2.368 33
19. Heikki Kovalainen FIN Caterham Renault CT01 1:41.602 + 2.770 23
20. Timo Glock DEU Marussia Racing Cosworth MR01 1:42.596 + 3.764 28
21. Charles Pic FRA Marussia Racing Cosworth MR01 1:43.066 + 4.234 21
22. Vitaly Petrov RUS Caterham Renault CT01 1:43.067 + 4.235 22
23. Narain Karthikeyan IND HRTF1 Cosworth F112 1:43.869 + 5.037 36
24. Pedro de la Rosa ESP HRTF1 Cosworth F112 1:44.533 + 5.701 24

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.