Hamilton leads inaugural Korean GP Friday Practice 1

Lewis Hamilton topped the very first Formula 1 practice session on the new Korean Grand Prix circuit. He was closely followed behind by Robert Kubica and Nico Rosberg.

Lewis Hamilton topped the first Korean GP practice session

Lewis Hamilton topped the first Korean GP practice session

A problem with his rear wing meant he had to wait until the dying minutes to set his fast laps, but this didn’t deter Hamilton, who set a 1.40.887, despite only setting 15 laps, one of the fewest out of all the drivers. Kubica was 0.081 seconds slower.

Sebastian Vettel was 4th, while Jenson Button was an entire second off Lewis’ pace in 5th. Michael Schumacher and Mark Webber were 6th and 7th, Nick Heidfeld 8th, and the two Williams drivers filled the top 10.

Vitaly Petrov was 11th, Felipe Massa 12th, Kamui Kobayashi 13th, Adrian Sutil 14th and Fernando Alonso 15th. While the Ferraris are currently well off the pace, it is believed they were running race fuel strategies, which would mean that they have potential to be 2-3 seconds faster.

Sebastien Buemi, Vitantonio Liuzzi, and Jaime Alguersuari were 16th, 17th and 18th. Timo Glock was 19th for Virgin, a full second ahead of Jerome D’Ambrosio, who took part in another F1 test session as part of his gradual move into a race drive in the next few years.

Heikki Kovalainen was 21st, while the Hispania cars were a spectacular 9 seconds off the pace, with Sakon Yamamoto half a second faster than Bruno Senna. However, Senna only did half the amount of laps as Yamamoto, as a suspension failure left him spinning out at Turn 7 after 15 laps. Jarno Trulli was last, as he had stopped on track due to a gearbox problem.

The track, predictably, started off very dusty and lacked grip, so the times improved well over the session. The newly laid track caught many drivers out, including both Ferraris, Jenson Button, Kamui Kobayashi and Sakon Yamamoto.

Pos.
Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’40.887 15
2 Robert Kubica Renault 1’40.968 0.081 18
3 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’41.152 0.265 21
4 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’41.371 0.484 18
5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’41.940 1.053 16
6 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’42.022 1.135 25
7 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’42.202 1.315 23
8 Nick Heidfeld Sauber-Ferrari 1’42.293 1.406 18
9 Nico Hülkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1’42.678 1.791 21
10 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’42.883 1.996 23
11 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’42.896 2.009 22
12 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’43.054 2.167 25
13 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’43.309 2.422 20
14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’43.602 2.715 18
15 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’43.928 3.041 21
16 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’43.940 3.053 23
17 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1’44.887 4.000 21
18 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’45.141 4.254 26
19 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’45.588 4.701 20
20 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1’46.613 5.726 17
21 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1’47.115 6.228 22
22 Sakon Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth 1’50.347 9.460 29
23 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1’50.821 9.934 15
24 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1’51.701 10.814 11
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