Lewis Hamilton continued to top the timesheets in Froday practice at Korea

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:

Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1. Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W04 1:38.673   31
2. Sebastian Vettel DEU Red Bull Racing Renault RB9 1:38.781 + 0.108 30
2. Nico Rosberg DEU Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W04 1:38.797 + 0.124 32
4. Mark Webber AUS Red Bull Racing Renault RB9 1:38.844 + 0.171 35
5. Felipe Massa BRA Scuderia Ferrari F138 1:39.114 + 0.441 30
6. Romain Grosjean FRA Lotus F1 Renault E21 1:39.226 + 0.553 34
7. Fernando Alonso ESP Scuderia Ferrari F138 1:39.444 + 0.771 31
8. Kimi Räikkönen FIN Lotus F1 Renault E21 1:39.757 + 1.084 33
9. Jenson Button GBR McLaren Mercedes MP4-28 1:39.774 + 1.101 29
10. Adrian Sutil DEU Force India Mercedes VJM06 1:40.006 + 1.333 34
11. Paul di Resta GBR Force India Mercedes VJM06 1:40.007 + 1.334 34
12. Sergio Pérez MEX McLaren Mercedes MP4-28 1:40.152 + 1.479 31
13. Esteban Gutiérrez MEX Sauber Ferrari C32 1:40.186 + 1.513 33
14. Nico Hülkenberg DEU Sauber Ferrari C32 1:40.210 + 1.537 34
15. Jean-Éric Vergne FRA Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR8 1:40.446 + 1.773 30
16. Daniel Ricciardo AUS Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR8 1:40.552 + 1.879 26
17. Pastor Maldonado VEN Williams Renault FW35 1:41.117 + 2.444 35
18. Valtteri Bottas FIN Williams Renault FW35 1:41.289 + 2.616 34
19. Giedo van der Garde NED Caterham Renault CT03 1:42.461 + 3.788 36
20. Charles Pic FRA Caterham Renault CT03 1:42.798 + 4.125 35
21. Jules Bianchi FRA Marussia Cosworth MR02 1:43.108 + 4.435 31
22. Max Chilton GBR Marussia Cosworth MR02 1:43.441 + 4.768 29

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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.