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.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
11Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’37.64217
24Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’38.1990.55712
33Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’38.5110.86913
410Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’38.5820.94016
59Kimi RaikkonenLotus-Renault1’38.6661.02418
65Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’38.7051.06312
72Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’38.7661.1247
86Felipe MassaFerrari1’38.7911.14913
918Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault1’38.8331.19116
1012Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’38.9321.29017
1115Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’38.9541.31217
128Nico RosbergMercedes1’39.0101.36820
137Michael SchumacherMercedes1’39.1501.50818
1411Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’39.1561.51418
1514Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’39.3451.70314
1617Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari1’39.4481.80617
1716Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari1’39.5371.89518
1819Bruno SennaWilliams-Renault1’39.7062.06418
1921Vitaly PetrovCaterham-Renault1’41.1143.47214
2020Heikki KovalainenCaterham-Renault1’41.4373.79519
2125Charles PicMarussia-Cosworth1’41.6844.04216
2224Timo GlockMarussia-Cosworth1’42.0624.42015
2323Narain KarthikeyanHRT-Cosworth1’42.8455.20315
2422Pedro de la RosaHRT-Cosworth1’42.8825.24014

Combined practice times

PosDriverCarFP1FP2FP3Fri/Sat diffTotal laps
1Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’40.0881’38.8321’37.642-1.1971
2Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’39.1481’39.7171’38.199-0.94960
3Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’40.4801’39.2191’38.511-0.70863
4Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’40.4221’39.9571’38.582-1.37566
5Kimi RaikkonenLotus-Renault1’40.9291’39.8391’38.666-1.17358
6Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’39.4501’39.1601’38.705-0.45561
7Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’39.5751’38.8641’38.766-0.09861
8Felipe MassaFerrari1’39.8541’39.4221’38.791-0.63166
9Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault1’41.0481’41.2001’38.833-2.21574
10Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’39.7391’38.932-0.80750
11Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’41.5141’40.7451’38.954-1.79148
12Nico RosbergMercedes1’40.3961’39.5841’39.010-0.57480
13Michael SchumacherMercedes1’40.2211’39.3301’39.150-0.1870
14Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’40.4401’40.1121’39.156-0.95671
15Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’41.2201’40.4451’39.345-1.161
16Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari1’42.0211’40.7891’39.448-1.34173
17Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari1’41.5961’40.9971’39.537-1.4673
18Bruno SennaWilliams-Renault1’40.0891’39.706-0.38350
19Vitaly PetrovCaterham-Renault1’43.0671’41.114-1.95336
20Jules BianchiForce India-Mercedes1’41.14021
21Heikki KovalainenCaterham-Renault1’42.1041’41.6021’41.437-0.16566
22Charles PicMarussia-Cosworth1’42.7081’43.0661’41.684-1.02459
23Valtteri BottasWilliams-Renault1’42.02723
24Timo GlockMarussia-Cosworth1’42.1751’42.5961’42.062-0.11356
25Giedo van der GardeCaterham-Renault1’42.82019
26Narain KarthikeyanHRT-Cosworth1’43.8691’42.845-1.02451
27Pedro de la RosaHRT-Cosworth1’44.5171’44.5331’42.882-1.63561
28Dani ClosHRT-Cosworth1’45.73522

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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