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FP1: Hamilton leads the way on dusty Korea International Circuit

  • Published on 12 Oct 2012 06:39
  • comments 0
  • By: Rob Veenstra
McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton set the two fastest laps in Friday’s opening practice session for the Korean round. First he recorded 1m 39.280s to depose long-time pacesetter Fernando Alonso, then he improved that right at the end with 1m 39.148s to go 0.302s clear of the Spaniard’s 1m 39.450s best for Ferrari.

Behind them, Mark Webber lapped his Red Bull in 1m 39.575s to head Ferrari’s Felipe Massa on 1m 39.854s, which left Sebastian Vettel only fifth in the second Red Bull on 1m 40.088s.

It was a slightly odd session as drivers struggled towards the end to approach the times they’d done early on, though Hamilton’s improvement implied that track conditions hadn’t really deteriorated.

Michael Schumacher was Mercedes’ faster runner with 1m 40.221s, but Nico Rosberg was on his tail with 1m 40.396s. Behind them, Romain Grosjean posted a late improvement to jump up to eighth with 1m 40.422s for Lotus ahead of Paul di Resta who took his Force India round in 1m 40.440s. The top 10 was completed by Jenson Button on 1m 40.480s for McLaren.

Lotus’s Kimi Raikkonen did long runs for a while but improved to 1m 40.929s for 11th, as Pastor Maldonado lapped his Williams in 1m 41.048s to head Jules Bianchi as the Frenchman stood in for Nico Hulkenberg at Force India; he recorded 1m 41.140s which left him ahead of the Saubers of Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez. The Suzuka hero lapped in 1m 41.220s, while his team mate had a spin and an off-course excursion on his way to 1m 41.514s.

Daniel Ricciardo again narrowly had the upper hand over Toro Rosso partner Jean-Eric Vergne, with 1m 41.596s to 1m 42.021s.

Valtteri Bottas had another run for Williams, which yielded 1m 42.027s for 18th, as Heikki Kovalainen registered improvement for Caterham with 1m 42.104s for 19th ahead of the likewise enhanced Marussias of Timo Glock on 1m 42.175s and Charles Pic on 1m 42.706s. Giedo van der Garde also did a good job standing in for Vitaly Petrov at Caterham, with 1m 42.820s.

At HRT, Pedro de la Rosa lapped in 1m 44.517s from Friday morning team mate Dani Clos on 1m 45.735s. (Formula1.com)

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Driver profile

  • Team Alpine F1
  • Points 145
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  • Grand Prix 84
  • Country ES
  • Date of b. Jul 29 1981 (39)
  • Place of b. Oviedo, ES
  • Weight 68 kg
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