Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Korea International Circuit, 2012

Vettel on top by half a second in Korea

2012 Korean Grand Prix third practice result

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Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Korea International Circuit, 2012Sebastian Vettel was emphatically fastest in final practice for the Korean Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver ended the session over half a second ahead of the next-fastest car.

He and team mate Mark Webber took to the track earlier than their rivals and were immediately quick. Webber beat the best super-soft tyre time from Friday using soft tyres, lapping in 1’38.766.

McLaren and Ferrari didn’t send their cars out until the session was almost half-done. Fernando Alonso got within three-tenths of Webber.

McLaren showed better pace at this stage, Lewis Hamilton going quickest with a 1’38.464. But when Vettel returned to the circuit he quickly moved the benchmark further, lapping in 1’38.215.

Vettel increased his margin when the teams did their super-soft tyre runs. He set two laps quicker than anyone else could manage. His final effort of 1’37.642 was over half a second quicker than Hamilton’s best time on the softer rubber, and eight-tenths ahead of Jenson Button.

Webber was unable to set a time in the dying minutes as a technical problem kept him back in the pits.

The two Lotus drivers made gains on the super-soft tyres and completed the top five. Kimi Raikkonen, the only one running the team’s new Coanda exhaust, was slightly slower than Romain Grosjean.

Fernando Alonso was sixth for Ferrari, over a second off Vettel’s pace, with Felipe Massa eighth behind Webber. Pastor Maldonado and Nico Hulkenberg also made it into the top ten.

Traffic proved a problem again and as in the second practice session it was the HRTs bearing the brunt of the problems, Narain Karthikeyan complaining after being held up by Sergio Perez.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’37.642 17
2 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’38.199 0.557 12
3 3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’38.511 0.869 13
4 10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’38.582 0.940 16
5 9 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’38.666 1.024 18
6 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’38.705 1.063 12
7 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’38.766 1.124 7
8 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’38.791 1.149 13
9 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’38.833 1.191 16
10 12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’38.932 1.290 17
11 15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’38.954 1.312 17
12 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’39.010 1.368 20
13 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’39.150 1.508 18
14 11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’39.156 1.514 18
15 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’39.345 1.703 14
16 17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’39.448 1.806 17
17 16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’39.537 1.895 18
18 19 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1’39.706 2.064 18
19 21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1’41.114 3.472 14
20 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1’41.437 3.795 19
21 25 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1’41.684 4.042 16
22 24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1’42.062 4.420 15
23 23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’42.845 5.203 15
24 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1’42.882 5.240 14

Combined practice times

Pos Driver Car FP1 FP2 FP3 Fri/Sat diff Total laps
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’40.088 1’38.832 1’37.642 -1.19 71
2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’39.148 1’39.717 1’38.199 -0.949 60
3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’40.480 1’39.219 1’38.511 -0.708 63
4 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’40.422 1’39.957 1’38.582 -1.375 66
5 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’40.929 1’39.839 1’38.666 -1.173 58
6 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’39.450 1’39.160 1’38.705 -0.455 61
7 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’39.575 1’38.864 1’38.766 -0.098 61
8 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’39.854 1’39.422 1’38.791 -0.631 66
9 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’41.048 1’41.200 1’38.833 -2.215 74
10 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’39.739 1’38.932 -0.807 50
11 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’41.514 1’40.745 1’38.954 -1.791 48
12 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’40.396 1’39.584 1’39.010 -0.574 80
13 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’40.221 1’39.330 1’39.150 -0.18 70
14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’40.440 1’40.112 1’39.156 -0.956 71
15 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’41.220 1’40.445 1’39.345 -1.1 61
16 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’42.021 1’40.789 1’39.448 -1.341 73
17 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’41.596 1’40.997 1’39.537 -1.46 73
18 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1’40.089 1’39.706 -0.383 50
19 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1’43.067 1’41.114 -1.953 36
20 Jules Bianchi Force India-Mercedes 1’41.140 21
21 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1’42.104 1’41.602 1’41.437 -0.165 66
22 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1’42.708 1’43.066 1’41.684 -1.024 59
23 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1’42.027 23
24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1’42.175 1’42.596 1’42.062 -0.113 56
25 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1’42.820 19
26 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’43.869 1’42.845 -1.024 51
27 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1’44.517 1’44.533 1’42.882 -1.635 61
28 Dani Clos HRT-Cosworth 1’45.735 22

2012 Korean Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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29 comments on “Vettel on top by half a second in Korea”

  1. Well this is looking ominous. Barring any potential problems, we are most likely going to see a Vettel pole and win.

    1. We said the same thing about Valencia …

      1. I hope the same thing happen here in Korea too :P

      2. @prisoner-monkeys – the same thing was also said last week, look how that turned out.

  2. I should know this coming. Quite disappointed Vettel looks so mighty. Just hope someone or something stop his dominance sooner than later…

    1. it is better for his red bull to win the championship rather than ferrari

      1. @boss

        better for the championship


      2. I just want to see a decent remainder of the season, regardless of who wins (even if I do want Vettel or Alonso to win the title).

    2. @Eggry It’s hardly dominance if they win just two races in a row! :P

      1. @andrewtanner well this is 2012 style dominance :P

        1. @eggry I think you might be on to something now, I take it back :D

  3. It’s so depressing to know with almost complete certainty that Vettel will be on pole and, as is the nature of this season especially, will probably win as a result of this. I don’t know if I can cope with seeing him notch up another Championship — which is looking more and more like the season’s eventual outcome — when my driver has performed well enough to be leading with a healthy margin, but has been beset by more bad luck than any of the other contenders. I really hope that the signs of Red Bulls less dominant race pace are a genuine marker, and Vettel loses out tomorrow — to either Alonso or Hamilton. If either of those two can win the race, and the title, I will be made up. However, I’m unfortunately preparing myself to endure another Vettel cruise to victory. Also, anyone that takes offence to what I’ve said — don’t. I’m well within my right to wish a bad result on Vettel and Red Bull (although, I wouldn’t be unhappy with a great result for the Aussie in the team), as I don’t support them in any shape or form.

    1. Also, I should probably make it clear, I don’t want a bad result to be brought about by a car failiure — I don’t like seeing anyone lose a deserved win. I just hope their pace in the race isn’t the fastest, and they lose out as a result.

  4. Just another F1 weekend for Webber with technical issues hampering his preparation as usual.

    1. I wonder why it’s (almost) always Webber…perhaps due to driving style?

      1. @eggry It wasn’t Webber’s car that retired at Monza, or while leading the race in Valencia.

        1. @keithcollantine What I meant was in practice.

    2. It almost become generic or given to hear this or that issues at WEB’s side. And heard not an instance of issues coming from VET’s car out of RB’s garage. Either VET is too lucky golden boy or WEB is too unlucky 2nd man stuck by bad things.

      1. Vettel has had technical issues this year (and in other years), so let’s not get silly.

        1. @leotef @david-a Interesting point is that Webber usually suffers in FP or Quali, and Vettel suffers in race. I would say Vettel was a little more unlucky considering how it’s massive blow for the championship. Still I don’t know why this trend continues.

    3. Remember, Webber said he is in Korea to win! And still counting on the WDC.
      To me, that is a direct confrontation with Dr. Marko and he will not take it lightly with the Aussie. So no surprises there with his issues.

  5. Curious that Ferrari haven’t found as much time since yesterday as Red Bull or even McLaren.

    1. and even less than Lotus. I wish it’s the sign that they’re concentrating on race pace. That’s their last hope.

    2. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
      13th October 2012, 4:53

      Maybe they’re sandbagging?

  6. I’ll be very surprised if Vettel doesn’t grab pole; he would be on top even with the harder tire. Interestingly it seems that there isn’t that much of a difference between the tire compounds, maybe some team(s) [Red Bull] might be able to make it into Q3 with the harder one (though it might be risky).

  7. The championship was going so well… now by the looks of things, Vettel’s Red Bull is gonna be on pole by a mile for the rest of the season. Oh, well… it was fun while it lasted.

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