Yeongam Practice 1: Hamilton sets early pace from Alonso
12 October, 2012
Oct.12 (Apex) McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton set a blistering early pace in the opening free practice session of the Korean Grand Prix weekend, at Yeongam.
Hamilton, who still has a mathematical chance at the title, topped the timing screens after the first ninety minutes of action with a best time of 1 minute 39.148 seconds, which was 0.302 seconds up on next best Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari who along with the McLaren driver spent most of the session at the top of the timing screened.
Alonso, the championship leader by a mere four points, and his team looked to be pushing the F2012 to the maximum as they try and extract maximum qualifying pace to avoid starting in down the grid where they have been susceptible to first corner incidents.
Third quickest was Mark Webber in the Red Bull which suggests that the trio of top teams, who are all in the running for the constructors title, will be slugging it out this the weekend.
Felipe Massa will be hoping that the Suzuka podium was not a one-off. He set the fourth best time of the morning in his Ferrari, ahead of Japaneze GP winner Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull.
The ‘first lap nutcase’, Romain Grosjean, was eighth fastest with teammate Kimi Raikkonen 11th best, neither having driven the Yeongam circuit before FP1.
Force India continued to show good form with Paul Di Resta ending ninth fastest, ahead of Jenson Button in the Mclaren who rounded out the top ten.
Reserve drivers on duty were: Jules Bianchi, in place of Nico Hulkenberg, for Force India; Valterri Bottas in place of Bruno Senna in the Williams and Giedo van der Garde, replacing Vitaly Petrov, in the Caterham - the trio ended 13th, 18th and 22nd respectively.
Korea International Circuit is hardly used for racing between the annual grand prix at the venue, thus the circuit was very green and caught out a number of drivers but with no major incident. The track surface is expected to rubber in as the weekend progresses, offering more grip and increasingly faster times.
Subbed by AJN.
Korean Grand Prix Free Practice 1, Yeongam – Friday, 12 October 2012
|3||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:39.575||0.427||21|
|5||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:40.088||0.940||21|
|9||11||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1:40.440||1.292||19|
|13||12||Jules Bianchi||Force India-Mercedes||1:41.140||1.992||21|
|22||21||Giedo van der Garde||Caterham-Renault||1:42.820||3.672||19|
|23||22||Pedro de la Rosa||HRT-Cosworth||1:44.517||5.369||23|