Korean Grand Prix 2012: Red Bull’s Vettel and Webber top practice
Korean Grand Prix 2012: Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel set the pace across two practice sessions for Sunday's race in Yeongam
Sebastian Vettel posted the quickest time across two Friday practice sessions for this weekend’s Korean Grand Prix, ahead of Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber and McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton.
The defending world champion’s time of one minute 38.832 seconds was just 0.032 seconds ahead of Webber, with current championship leader Fernando Alonso 0.328 seconds behind.
“All in all we can be quite happy, but I think it looks extremely tight,” said Vettel. “I’m not happy with every run we had today, but I think the track was changing quite a lot this morning, it was better than we expected.
“This afternoon it was quite slippery to start with, but then I think it got a little bit better so, all in all the car felt alright and now we see what we can do for tomorrow. I think we have to improve ourselves to match the others.”
Hamilton had topped the timesheets in the first practice session in Yeongam but slipped down to eighth in the second.
“For some reason I wasn’t able to get a good time out of the prime or option and even the option I went slower, so I’m not fully understanding that,” said Hamilton.
“P1 was pretty good for us, I was quite comfortable. So I’ve got to try to figure out what was going on.”
Hamilton’s team-mate Button ended up with the fifth-quickest time ahead of Michael Schumacher and Ferrari’s Felipe Massa.
Webber, currently fifth in the drivers’ standings, said: “We had a pretty good program for today and I think both of us managed to get the most out of it.
“We’ll have a look where we can improve tonight in different areas; it’s always a compromise on a track like this with a bit of top speed in the first sector, then the last sector is pretty twisty in terms of rhythm – it’s a bit like Budapest, so you need a bit of downforce there.
“So far so good, we have good information and the guys will now get on with the job tonight.”
Korean Grand Prix 2012: Combined Friday practice times
1. Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault 1m 38.832s
2. Mark Webber Australia Red Bull-Renault 1m 38.864s
3. Lewis Hamilton Britain McLaren-Mercedes 1m 39.148s*
4. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 39.160s
5. Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes 1m 39.219s
6. Michael Schumacher Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 39.330s
7. Felipe Massa Brazil Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 39.422s
8. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 39.584s
9. Nico Hulkenberg Germany Force India-Mercedes 1m 39.739s
10. Kimi Raikkonen Finland Lotus-Renault 1m 39.839s
11. Romain Grosjean France Lotus-Renault 1m 39.957s
12. Bruno Senna Brazil Williams-Renault 1m 40.089s
13. Paul di Resta Britain Force India-Mercedes 1m 40.112s
14. Kamui Kobayashi Japan Sauber-Ferrari 1m 40.445s
15. Sergio Perez Mexico Sauber-Ferrari 1m 40.745s
16. Jean-Eric Vergne France Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m 40.789s
17. Daniel Ricciardo Australia Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m 40.997s
18. Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Williams-Renault 1m 41.048s*
19. Jules Bianchi France Force India-Mercedes 1m 41.140s*
20. Heikki Kovalainen Finland Caterham-Renault 1m 41.602s
21. Valtteri Bottas Finland Williams-Renault 1m 42.027s*
22. Timo Glock Germany Marussia -Cosworth 1m 42.596s
23. Giedo van der Garde Holland Caterham-Renault 1m 42.820s*
24. Charles Pic France Marussia -Cosworth 1m 43.066s
25. Vitaly Petrov Russia Caterham-Renault 1m 43.067s
26. Narain Karthikeyan India HRT-Cosworth 1m 43.869s
27. Pedro de la Rosa Spain HRT-Cosworth 1m 44.533s
28. Dani Clos Spain HRT-Cosworth 1m 45.735s*
* denotes driver setting time in first of two 90-minute sessions