HAMILTON ON TOP IN FRIDAY PRACTICE—
Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg completed today´s free practice sessions for the 2013 Formula One Korean Grand Prix in first and third positions after a strong day of running.
• The drivers completed a total of 103 laps in today´s three hours of running time, seven laps short of two race distances.
• Nico conducted a single evaluation run of the team´s passive drag reduction device this morning in first practice.
• Tyre evaluations and set-up fine-tuning were the order of the day, with both cars in the top four in both sessions.
The track is really great and the small changes that have been made this year are good improvements, especially the pit exit which is now much better. Generally it seems that we had a good day but Red Bull is always very hard to beat. We were quite close to them today and I hope this will continue the whole weekend. My only concern after the long runs was graining on the front tyres, which is something we need to work on tonight and watch out for. We have brought also some new bits and pieces to Korea which are working well and leaves me optimistic for a strong result this weekend.
I was very happy with how the sessions went today and it´s the first time I can remember that second practice has really gone well for me. We haven´t changed anything but the day just went smoothly and all the processes with the team worked well. I love this track: it was clean from the start, it provides good racing on Sunday afternoon and it just gets harder and harder through the lap. You have the first sector which is good for overtaking, then you get more and more corners coming at you and those final two sectors are all about precision. You need a good downforce package, too, and the car is feeling good. We can still make improvements overnight, and I have some things I want to do with the set-up, but it´s been a good start for us.
We made a good start to the weekend with both cars today. We ran through the planned programme, evaluated our test items and got good long runs on both types of tyre in the afternoon session to give us plenty of data to pore through this evening. In terms of competitiveness, all the usual Friday caveats apply: we know only what fuel loads we ran, not those of our competitors, so tomorrow will show us where we actually stand. As always, we will work hard overnight to further improve the cars and build on this good start to the weekend.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m38.673s 31 2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m38.781s +0.108s 30 3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m38.797s +0.124s 32 4. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m38.844s +0.171s 35 5. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m39.114s +0.441s 30 6. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m39.226s +0.553s 34 7. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m39.444s +0.771s 31 8. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m39.757s +1.084s 33 9. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m39.774s +1.101s 29 10. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m40.006s +1.333s 34 11. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m40.007s +1.334s 34 12. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1m40.152s +1.479s 31 13. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m40.186s +1.513s 33 14. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1m40.210s +1.537s 34 15. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m40.446s +1.773s 30 16. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m40.552s +1.879s 26 17. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m41.117s +2.444s 35 18. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m41.289s +2.616s 34 19. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1m42.461s +3.788s 36 20. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1m42.798s +4.125s 35 21. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1m43.108s +4.435s 31 22. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1m43.441s +4.768s 29